Blue I

July 17 ,  12:00 am

All times are listed in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT)

Derek Jarman

Self Assessment


Blue Poison 

or My Blue Heaven 

or maybe Blueprints for Bliss 



They say the colour blue is running out. It's in short supply. As it runs out there, it keeps popping up here in stores wherever raw blues are bought and sold. 



In May of 2020, just a little over two years ago, a new blue was ok’d by the EPA. There was a sort of soft launch for this new blue, this punchier-than-cobalt blue, in 2017. Crayola even responded with a new crayon, Bluetiful, inspired by it. This bluetiful blue is actually called YInMn, after its chemical foundations yttrium, indium, and manganese. It’s said to be the middle ground between Cobalt and Ultramarine. According to, manganese helps the body form connective tissue, bones, blood, clotting factors, and sex hormones. It also plays a role in fat and carbohydrate regulation. Manganese is necessary for normal brain and nerve function. It helps to fight free radicals.



It’s not that blue is in short supply. It is that the supply chains have been negatively affected during the pandemic. I am struck just now by a blue squiggly line appearing under “effected”, effecting it to change to “affected.” As if the supply chain itself could feel the changes, and these feelings were perhaps of hurt or maybe even of relief. Really, what this means is that labour was in short supply, not minerals, not toxic conditions, not machines to do digging. It was the human resources that were lacking, because they were ill and dying or caring for themselves and others. How far do we go for blue? 



In 2008 the ancient application of Maya Blue was demystified in the academic world of antiquities. Through a combination of happenstance, observation, funding from universities, mining of local knowledges, technological probing of stolen loot, and a lot of inference, it was concluded that this blue, named for a contemporary people and their deep culture, is a ceremonial colour. This most stable of blues is impervious to the negative effects of “diluted mineral acids, alkalis, solvents, oxidants, reducing agents, moderate heat, and biocorrosion, and shows little evidence of colour deterioration.” Born of tree sap, clay, and indigo, this blue outlasts time. This is a slow blue of resistance. But it is also the blue of pleas, of calls for help, or reverence. It is a blue of sacrifice, of potential honour, of penitence.   

Continued in "Blue II"…


Derek Jarman
UK | 1993 | DIGITAL | 76 MIN


In his final—and most daring—cinematic statement, Jarman the romantic meets Jarman the iconoclast in a lush soundscape pulsing against a purely blue screen. Laying bare his physical and spiritual state in a narration about his life, his struggle with AIDS and his encroaching blindness, Blue is by turns poignant, amusing, poetic and philosophical.

  • Derek Jarman was an English film director, stage designer, diarist, artist, gardener and author. Blue is his final film.

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