Who owns colour?

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Manage episode 291891287 series 1301443
By BBC and BBC World Service. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Scientists, artists and some of the world’s biggest companies are carving up the visual spectrum, and claiming certain colours as their own, so who does have a right to use the colours of the rainbow? We explore the ongoing rift over the worlds “blackest black” Vantablack, which was created by engineering firm Surrey Nanosystems, and can only be used by the artist Anish Kapoor. Contemporary British artist Stuart Semple argues that creativity should not be limited by commercial agreements, while Surrey Nanosystems executive Ben Jensen explains that the material is not suitable for general use. Author Kassia St Clair explores the meaning and history of colour, and we hear how interpretations of colour have changed from Julie Irish, an assistant professor specialising in colour, at the College of Design in Iowa. Note: Surrey NanoSystems has clarified their material Vantablack isn’t toxic, as described by one speaker in this programme, but can be an irritant. This programme is a repeat from January 2021. (Picture of a colour splash via Getty Images).

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