I was recently contacted by the creator of the short film “No Such Thing As Color.” In it she features a colorblind musician named Evans Forde as he tries to identify the color of things and explains how colorblindness affects him and how he understands the concept of color and its perception. In some scenes Laura processes the colors to simulate colorblindness for ‘color normal’ viewers of her video. It’s a great 9 minute look at how colorblindness can affect someone and really touches on how it can feel to be colorblind.
At one point Evans is looking at a house trying to decide what color it is and he says “I just don’t know.” I understand everything about that frustration! To me it’s really interesting to think about how other people look at objects. Evans says he looks at an object and considers its shape, texture and any other attributes except its color. If I know what an object is I assign it the color it should be for a normal observer but if I don’t I might consider how warm or cool it is, its ‘ish-ness (reddish, blueish, yellowish) or if it appears more or less saturated. Perhaps that comes from my interest in visual arts such as photography. Color can be an important element so maybe I’ve trained myself to try to be aware of it, as best I can. With his background in music Evans tries to relate colorblindness to being tone deaf which is an interesting comparison (since I’m not really tone deaf) and one I’ll probably be rolling around in my head for a while!
This video has made me ask myself people who can see color without difficulty look at and consider the color before everything else or whether it depends on what they look at? Perception is a complicated thing and how much of our color perception is learned, such as when he talks about the red apple, is something I have heard asked many times (and is perhaps something worth going in to at a later date). It’s hard to imagine what perceiving colors must be like for the color normal yet at the same time you get used to how you see the world and don’t even think twice about it most of the time.
I have to point out that she brilliantly includes a clothes shopping scene, every colorblind person’s worst enemy! Matching colors is NOT our forte.
You can check out the site for the short film here or click through the video to its YouTube page.