"The Color Out of Space" (2015) extends the probing of deep time into outer space, combining the conceptual concerns of smaller projector works with the narrative conceits of the longer films. The thirty-six-minute high-definition video is composed of images gathered at Hirsch Observatory at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and projected through five colored glass panels, mounted on a steel stand. The images of stars and space are reflected in the glass before spilling onto the wall, creating the effect of a luminescent light sculpture floating in space. The accompanying soundtrack comprises the voices of scientists, artists, and writers reflecting on the universe and its enigmas, such as the equally simple and unfathomable fact that what we see in space are the images of stars and planets millions of years ago. An astronomer describes the use of colored glass filters in the imaging of celestial bodies: without these, what the human eye can make out through a telescope are, basically, “white or gray blobs.” The sculptural form of "The Color Out of Space" was inspired by this use of colored filters. Artistic investigation and scientific inquiry reveal themselves as essentially speculative endeavors that are perhaps not so very different at all. Science is fiction and fiction is science.
The Color Out of Space, 2015 HD video, color, sound, 36 min, 5 colored glass filters, steel base Image 1: Installation view at Old Powerhouse, Pafos, 2017. Photo: Orestis Lambrou © Rosa Barba Image 2: Installation view at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge MA, 2015. Photo: Peter Harris © Rosa Barba