Tauba Auerbach (American, b. 1981). RGB Colorspace Atlas. 2011. Digital offset print on paper, case bound books, with airbrushed cloth cover and page edges. Binding co-designed by Daniel E. Kelm and Tauba Auerbach. The books were bound by Daniel E.Kelm and assisted by Leah Hughes at the Wide Awake Garage. 8 x 8 x 8″ (20.3 x 20.3 x 20.3 cm). Courtesy the artist and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. © Tauba Auerbach. Animations by Jonathan Turner
Human eyes typically have three types of color receptor on their retinas, each sensitive to a different range of wavelengths of light. The colors associated with these wavelengths are approximately red, green, and blue. Because there are three types of color receptor, it is possible to map the visible spectrum in a three-dimensional spatial model by assigning red, green, and blue each to a dimension. It is then possible to outline a cube in this space, where the values of red (R), green (G), and blue (B) are visible on a gradient scale of 0 to 100% in their respective directions. These gradients combine to create the RGB color space cube, a volume in which any color can be located by a set of three coordinates. RGB Colorspace Atlas, both a sculptural object and spatialization of color, consists of three books. Each volume contains the entire visible spectrum mapped out over 3,632 pages, representing the RGB cube sliced in a different direction: vertically, horizontally, and from front to back.