This film is certainly quirky: it’s about how the renowned German philosopher/poet, Goethe actually spent most of his life studying color s and how he thought these affect us. Using Goethe ’s ‘Theory of Colors’ (Zur Farbenlehre) as a point of departure, this film, ‘Light Darkness and Colors’ takes us on a fascinating journey through the universe of color s.
In 1704, Sir Isaac Newton published “Light and Refraction”, his study of the interactions between sunlight and prisms. Newton was, as a good scientist, intent on achieving objectivity, which meant studying sunlight in isolation. He thought color s were contained solely in light, and found the spectrum he was looking for.
But when Goethe reproduced this experiment, he found another, hidden set of color s missed by Newton . Goethe found the hidden color s in the boundaries between light and darkness. He felt, as an artist, that one could not talk about light without including darkness. Calling it ‘the light-darkness polarity’, Goethe made this new scientific discovery using artistic methods in conjunction with science .
The film shows the different spectra viewed and described by two of the most celebrated thinkers of modern Western history and it opens one’s own eyes to the color s we overlook, every day.
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