Light is made up of different wavelengths, some of which we can see. Our eyes translate these waves into colour. In my practice I deconstruct colour by splitting it up using prisms, in a bid to understand the way it’s built up by our eyes and brain. I work from a certain distrust towards reality, because I can only deal with the one I see myself. By taking colours apart, layering them through projections and building them back up, I can question this visible reality and expose its seemingly unquestionable facts. I do this also to emphasize the subjective nature of colour vision.
Chaïm Dijkstra - Reactive Exploration 05.jpg
'Reactive Exploration' 2018, film still
Chaïm Dijkstra - Reactive Exploration 04.jpg
'Reactive Exploration' 2018, film still
Chaïm Dijkstra - Reactive Exploration 03.jpg
'Reactive Exploration' 2018, film still
Chaïm Dijkstra - Reactive Exploration 02.jpg
'Reactive Exploration' 2018, film still
Chaïm Dijkstra - Reactive Exploration.jpg
'Reactive Exploration' 2018, film still

Reactive Exploration - a delineation of colour

Light is the octave in the whole keyboard of electromagnetic radiation, that our eyes can perceive. White light, like that of sunlight, contains all the notes of that particular octave.
When splitting (or ‘refracting’) white light, we can see its component keys laid out in front of us in the form of the spectrum. With one the one hand the lowest note (or longest wavelength) the colour red, and on the other hand the highest note (or shortest wavelength) the colour violet.
Because of the nature of our perception, namely it being trichromatic, we can trick our eyes into believing that all the notes of the octave are shown (white light), when in fact only red, green and blue are shown. This makes red, green and blue the primary colours of light, and different mixtures of these three can create the entire range of colours visible to our eyes.


In this visual based research I delineate colour. I reflect on the works of Bronowski, Sagan, and Feynman. Of Goethe, Young and Helmholtz. And try to outline the question if reality itself is altered when perception is altered.
Reactive Exploration - by Chaïm Dijkstra.pdf
Chaïm Dijkstra

Chaïm Dijkstra

05 april 1990
  1. Artist statement; wat is je specialisme, wat maakt jouw werk uniek?

    Chaïm Dijkstra (1990) is a visual artist based in Utrecht. In his practice we find several self-designed ways of directing projections, self-developed colour cameras and newly invented colour photography processes.
    These works start from a simple question, for instance, ‘is there a way for a camera to deal with colour differently than our eyes do?’. From there Dijkstra delves into the history of science, photography and colour philosophy, before working in his studio to shape the answer into a physical work of art; the conclusion is made flesh by the apparatus showing the often quite complex answer to the simple question.
    Seeping through his works is a deeply rooted mistrust to Dijkstra’s own senses: ‘do I experience visual reality while using my eyes?’ Of course not. But a harsh ‘no’ would do injustice to the interesting complexity of perceiving colour and light. Whilst examining a reality that is created by the eyes, parts of the visual reality shine through. But which part is real, and which part is self-made real?
    In trying to weed out the subjective real from the objective real, a discovery is made in the underlying order of the world around us. For example: our eyes are trichromatic, meaning they perceive colour using three kinds of colour receptors (for red, green and blue). But these three primary colours only seem primary to our eyes, they are not primary by default in the ‘outside world’ around us. And yet they form a critical underlying order in the way our eyes work. This begs the question: Is this a manmade structure? Or was this order already present in the world around us and have we simply made use of it?

  2. Wat zijn je ambities? Wat wil je over vijf jaar bereikt hebben?

    Binnen nu en vijf jaar wil ik enkele residenties hebben gedaan die mijn verbinding met de wetenschappen verder kunnen ondersteunen. Daarnaast hangt het veelal af van waar ik daadwerkelijk toegelaten wordt wat mijn vervolg traject gaat worden, maar de komende jaren zet ik vol gas in op mijn kunstenaarspraktijk.

  3. Wat is het belangrijkste dat je hebt geleerd tijdens je studie?

    Tijdens mijn studie heb ik geleerd hoe fijn ik het voor mij werkt als ik het actieve spelen tijdens het werken, heel serieus neem. De open en verfrissende houding die dat met zich meedraagt doorbreekt mijn vooringenomen ideeën en zorgt er voor dat ik op nieuw terrein terecht kom in mijn werk.