Publication: Flusser Studies

Publication: Flusser Studies


The depiction as computer code is another manifestation of reality. A new level of interpretation is added to the relationship between an object, its name and its representation. Also, a new term has to be found between the signifier and the signified.

All color representation on monitors is based on the RGB color space. In the RGB color space, the individual colors are named using the hexadecimal definition of color. The hexadecimal system consists of sixteen characters: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, a, b, c, d, e, f. A six-character string preceded by a # sign delivers the respective color value. This results in a total of 16777216 colors.

The NonDigitColors project is based on a text by VILÉM FLUSSER from 1991: “The Emigration of Numbers from the Alphanumeric Code.” Among other things, in this text FLUSSER evokes the fall of the letters: “The alphabet is about to be crushed by the numbers on the one hand and the images on the other hand, as by a pair of pliers.”

If the numbers “emigrate” from the hexadecimal code, only the “non-digit” codes remain. NonDigitColors consist of 6 letters: a, b, c, d, e, f making up the character strings. There are 46656 different permutations, or words or signs, that become color values by the addition of the # sign. NonDigitColors are computer color codes that, paradoxically, don’t consist of numbers.

NonDigitColors emerged in search of the logic of color terminology demanded by LUDWIG WITTGENSTEIN. The depiction as code establishes color as a linguistic construct. I am interested in the resulting cognitive color perception.

HexCircle is a special monospace font designed for the purpose of this work in collaboration with GEORG SEIFERT ( The font HexCircle allows six of sixteen alphanumeric characters that make up a hexcode to be depicted as a circle. The resulting strings can be read not only from left to right, but also from right to left and from top to bottom.

Jurgen Ostarhild 2019 Ndc 999 D 05 V2