How do you define the color red or recognize red? Wikipedia defines red by referencing different objects—the color of blood and strawberries. Philosophers have written entire books discussing these questions of color (Wittgenstein and Goethe) that have implications beyond questions of color for questions regarding epistemology and ontology.
Red Premises is a collaborative video database that constructs and deconstructs the idea/concept of 'red'. Artists Christopher Biggs and Eric Souther collected videos of red objects, places, and things over the span of six months. The aesthetic arbitrariness of capturing an image solely because a color is present in that image is similar to the arbitrariness of the sound of the word “red” applying to the internal mental representation of red.
Clips from the database are accessed at random throughout the work. The audio is triggered and processed in real-time with various constraints and probabilities from three sound sources: the word “red,” which is omnipresent in various forms, and two abstract sounds, one of which abstractly represents the color green and the other blue. These streams of audio are mapped to and variably control different parameters of the video, such as when new videos are accessed and how the color red is displayed. As the piece evolves, the repetition of the word “red” and how the audio is processed results in the sound of word dominating the artistic discourse, not the semantic meaning of the word. While the probabilistic nature of the computer program that runs the piece will result in a unique performance every time the program is run, the work is clearly structured and sections are initiated by a person controlling the program during performance.