josef, jorge & the bezold effect

borges01  No, no. You fix the gadgets. They are a hindrance, but I will try to talk as if they’re not there. Now where are you from?

albers01  Bottrop, yes. That is in the Ruhr district. Do you Inow what the Ruhr is?

borges02  Yes. I rambled about the streets—Fifth Avenue—and got lost, but the people were always kind. I remember answering many questions about my work from tall, shy young men. In Texas they had told me to be afraid of New York, but I liked it. Well, are you ready?

albers02  No, that is always stated incorrectly. I never was at the Academy. I was at the Royal Art School. That was a preparatory school specially for art teachers. You see, it was not so much for the development of artists. But we had there terribly stiff training. We really had to learn to draw. Boy. You see like Menzel, you know who Menzel is?

borges03 Now, before we start, what kind of questions are they?

albers03  No, everything. Reading, writing, arithmetic; you see, everything. No, you see I was really trained as a teacher for all the things. And this training again was also quite Prussian; you know what that is – Prussian?

borges05 I think there is a kind of, perhaps, of low epic in him—no?

albers05 I’ve indicated already, you see, when he saw that I was practical-minded, that I could handle material he asked me – and that was this way: Later I was very much against Itten. And then Gropius was also particularly against Itten. Have you seen the catalogue on Fifty Years of the Bauhaus?

borges07 Oh, yes. I’m awfully superstitious. I’m ashamed about it. I tell myself that after all, superstition is, I suppose, a slight form of madness, no?

[sub-concept : the actual 7th albers entry is far too long to use here, so i chose the 8th]

albers08 How see Van Gogh. You know his Sunflowers?

borges11  [With great interest] Who said that?

albers11 Is that the March issue?

borges13  Don’t you think so?

albers13 Twill show you a typical one. There I discovered that when I put a white line in the right way and made the surroundings for the white line right, then the white line makes out of 1, 2, 3 colors 1, 2, 3, 4 colors. Can you see it?




josef, jorge & the bezold effect

Jorge louis borges speaks in 1966 while josef albers speaks in 1968. but here they speak to each other today, based on a loosely arranged script machine [see opposite]

The bezold effect is an optical phenomena which albers used in his teaching. it describes how one colour appears to change lightness or hue intensity when adjacent to a contrasting colour.

I have found no evidence that these great minds ever met in person. like some sort of necro-networking nitwit i’m strangely star-struck by bringing these voices into close proximity. i mean, these dead-guys really seem to be talking, arguing and believably ignoring each other! imagine the bizarre weaves of conversation that other script machines could conjure

script machine

  1. jorge louis borges –  & josef albers –
  2. 7 comments from each interview, in alternating fashion
  3. the artist to begin will be judged by a flipping of a 1p coin; heads = borges,                 tails = albers. [coin flipped 11:50am 5th sept 2011]
  4. each comment can be one or more sentences long, though the final sentence must end with a question mark [?] for it to be considered usable.
  5. prime numbers dictate the number of entry used to compile script