Feeling Blue is a series of still life images that feature two hyperobjects, cobalt and water, as inspiration. Water is a background material in almost everything humans depend on. According to NASA water covers 71% of the earth’s surface. Human bodies, according to the USGS (U.S. Geological Survey), are up to 60% water. Unlike water, cobalt is a trace mineral that makes up only .0029% of the earth’s crust. This trace mineral’s primary uses are to make blue pigment (cobalt blue) and more recently as a component in lithium-ion batteries for cell phones, electric cars, and computers.
The water is represented by using blue, specifically cobalt blue, as a primary color of the background of the works. These backgrounds include water based paint, projected images, cyanotype prints, and x-rays of my broken fibula bone. The second hyperobject, cobalt, is represented first by the color cobalt blue and second by a companion image created using artificial intelligence (AI) software to alter each original image, creating a “Van Gogh’s The Starry Night” effect on the first image. Vincent Van Gogh referred to cobalt as a divine color and used it frequently in his still life paintings. Cobalt is a requirement for the technological advances that make cell phones, computers and artificial intelligence possible. These smaller companion images, which still include the watermarks of the AI computation, connect the images to both the still life paintings before them and the computer driven technology of the future.