Maureen Kaegi

Blog

Shifting Baseline

Mar 13, 2018

The human colour vision operates through three different types of receptors on the retina; the red-, green-, and blue-sensitive cones. Deriving from their signals, our brain can generate an impressive number of around two million colour impressions. The display of colour images on a digital screen is also based on a trichromatic system, the RGB colour space.

The artist Maureen Kägi is interested in both aspects of “R, G, B”. She investigates the reciprocal effects between the physiological device ‘eye’ and the influences of digital images upon our perception within her own artistic practice. With felt tip pens tailored to her particular needs, Kägi draws line after line in hues of red, green and blue acrylic paint across the painting surface, from left to right, always in the same order. She repeats this procedure, until the pen runs out of colour or the paper is full. In doing so, Kägi uses the preceding line at any one time as a reference point, which evokes a parallel offset within the horizontal pattern, referred to as ‘shifting baseline’ – effect.
Bit by bit, the lines start to touch and overlap each other. This causes the image surface to flicker like white noise on a monitor.

It is remarkable, how Kägi obtains a digital aesthetic which refers to the quickly retrieved and produced imagery from the digital space with a genuinely analogue, time-consuming and ruminant technique. She takes a stance in an achievement-oriented society, striving to accelerate production processes and eradicate errors by consciously creating a space for slowness, repetition and the appearance of ‘faults’ in her practice.