New Ratio (2007, 1’40”, colour, stereo sound)
The colour fields that comprise New Ratio involve a tense relationship with the edge of the screen. The piece explores the move from the 4:3 screen ratio to 16:9, which is now effectively the standard for broadcast television and video. In the construction of New Ratio each colour was assigned a particular tone: white was attributed a standard 1KHz test tone; the pitch of the tone attributed to blue was half that of the test tone; and each of the colours in between (in descending order of luminance) were attributed tones at intervals between these values. The video comprises two simple repeating sequences, which are fundamentally the same. One sequence includes an additional frame of black, which throws them out of synch causing a phasing that effects different mixtures of colour, a range of tone combinations, and various pulsations in the soundtrack and within the frame. In commenting on this piece Sean Cubitt has suggested that the equal mixture of additive and subtractive colours is effectively a 'democratisation of colour'.