Distant Blue

In painting, aerial perspective employs the colour blue to signify far distance; using it to reinforce the structural rigging of Cartesian perspective, in which the distance between us, the viewer, and objects depicted is fixed. We are conceived as detached, analytical observers of what is before us.

This structure is upended in phenomenological analysis, in which the idea of the space between the viewer and the thing being observed is rethought, rather than detached observers we in the world with things. What is logically far away is made closer when we observe it. 

Martin Heidegger called this Entfurnung, which in the Macquarrie and Robinson translation of Being and Time is rendered as “deseverance” – a word that can be defined as “the opposite of being cut off from.” For Heidegger it is a condition of the spatiality of our dasein that we experience things, which are objectively at a distance from us, as close by, as being with us, the moment we engage with them.

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