Mixing Colors is a slide projection in which a series of photographs of the Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California, is projected onto a wall with slow cross-fades. Since all the pictures were taken at night, nothing can be seen except for the computer-controlled light show on the spokes of the Ferris wheel. The individual shots freeze the configuration, which in reality plays out in rapid permutation, and so the slide projection makes for a decelerated experience of the spectacle. Not all transitions project the continuation of the previous pattern from the same camera position.
The photographs were taken without the use of a tripod and at varying distances from the Ferris wheel, resulting in slight displacements and shifts of scale between the light configurations that appear on the wall. This interplay may cause a sense of dizziness, but the impression is fundamentally different from the experience of watching the original: the rapidly flashing colors and patterns of light plunge the optic nerve into a play with itself that is entirely absorbed in the present moment. The slide projection establishes a situation of contemplative calm that cannot be experienced in reality. It leaves room for associations, imagination, and the formation of a recollection that is effaced in the reality that the photographs “document.”