An imaginary primary color introduced by Crosley Bendix, an fictional character created by negativland. Squant was first aired on OVER THE EDGE, a radio show on KPFA fm in Berkeley, CA and was then released on Negativland Presents OVER THE EDGE Vol. 5 in 1993.


And now Crosely Bendix, cultural reviewer and director of stylistic premonitions for the Universal Media Netweb with todays Arts Review..

Good hello everyone. Well, I'm sure you know by now what this weeks discussion is about. You've all heard the news by now, the biggest art related crossover story I've ever confronted in all my years of interpreting aesthetic ambiguities for our relatively unschooled public. And of course, the impact of this will dent many aspects of life outside the arts, if there are any. I assume you all have gotten the basic story by now, but perhaps I can supplement the headlines with some details you may be unaware of.

Let's start at the beginning. Three days ago, the Optical Institute and Shade Company of Mindinaw announced the discovery of a new primary color. Now for those who never had any interest in colors and never took the time to study a color wheel, perhaps some background should be sketched out here in order to properly frame the subject. A standard color wheel depicts a hierarchical breakdown of all the hues in the universe as we know it, or rather as we knew it. A color wheel is divided into what are called primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. Up to this point in time there have been only three primary colors, red, blue, and yellow, the basic building blocks of every rainbow. All other hues are made from combinations of these primaries. The secondary color green is formed from a mix of the primaries blue and yellow, for example. Violet from red and blue, and so on.

But now, a fourth, never-before seen primary color has been discovered. The new color has already been named by its discoverer, Dr. Wohan Squant. With a distinctly questionable view of posterity, he has named the fourth primary color "squant," and that has become the very first controversy to taint this shocking discovery. Several international appeals were immediately filed by some of the world's leading authorities on color, disputing the right of Dr. Squant to name this new color after himself. They pleaded for a different naming procedure, perhaps a radio contest. No, no put down your phones. It turns out that the Divine Spectrum Institute in Naples, the world's supreme arbiter in all questions of color, has ruled that since no new primary color has ever been discovered before in all of human history, there was no precedent for naming procedures, and therefore Dr. Squant was free to establish that precedent. That, of course, means that any future primary color discoveries will probably bear the name of their discoverers.

Now, a little more about the color squant itself. I must admit I have not actually seen the color, in color, myself. So far, there have been only black and white photos of the color in the Mindinaw newspapers which, unfortunately, are not quite up to the standards of USA Today. In fact, USA Today is unable to print the color of squant until a supply of squant ink is produced. In the gray register, squant appears to look very much like a light cerulean blue or a perhaps a mid-range oxide green but, of course, it isn't. It is reported by those who have seen it that squant is a very unusual-looking color, but that goes without saying. Like all primary colors, it is extremely difficult to describe in terms of comparison. It's not really anything like red or blue or yellow. No, like its better-known two brothers and sister of the primary family, squant must be visually experienced to be known.

Dr. Squant has already carried out an impressive array of mixing tests with squant and other colors. The results of mixing squant with the other primaries have already produced what Dr. Squant is calling squed, sque, and squellow. O dear, this naming thing is most distressing.

However, in a most interesting sidelight, pure squant has also proven to be the only color, primary or otherwise, to carry its own unique scent with it. The exact physiological mechanism at work here is still a mystery, but Dr. Squant insists that to see it is to smell it. But not necessarily, though, because strangely enough, the smell of squant, which Dr. Squant has dubbed "squanty," seems to have an irresistible attraction for anything that is blind, such as ants, earthworms, snails, cavern bats, and sub-marine life below ten thousand feet. The odor of squant is apparently also difficult to describe by comparison to known odors because it is a primary odor. However, Dr. Squant suggests that it's not an unpleasant odor, and should not hinder a universal acceptance of squant in any conceivable application, except perhaps in products that require no odor, such as nose plugs.

Which brings up the squanty smell of profit. Squant will undoubtedly be in great demand, so it should give the world's economy a sharp kick in the bucket. However, Dr. Squant, in a completely selfless act of altruism, has donated squant to the whole world for free, as a benefit to humanity. Grumbacher, Liquitex, and Dutch Boy, however, have each filed proprietary patents on squant. It is, as yet, unclear whether a primary color should, or can, be privately owned. And this will probably be working its way through the color courts for years. Each of these companies claims to be the best-equipped entity to mass-distribute squant concentrate to all other color users in controlled and measured increments, which will minimize the potential outbreak of panic or insanity among isolated segments of the public who still may not be aware of the discovery of squant. And, by the way, I certainly hope this report on squant can also serve to help alleviate any unnecessary outbreaks of insanity. Just be aware that squant is coming, folks. It's just reflected light, but be prepared. Dr. Squant suggests that when you first encounter squant, it helps to squint.

Finally, one can only speculate about the far-reaching impact on our whole environment due to the addition of squant. For example, this will turn all paintings to date into pre-squant works, making all paintings instant collector's items, so hang onto them. The introduction of squant should revolutionize all kinds of eye-oriented areas such as interior decorating, outer- and underwear, bumper stickers, candy, makeup, paint programs, graffiti, striped toothpaste, virtually anything in which color plays a major role.

This is truly a momentous turning point in the now-weary adventure of human perception. There is, indeed, something new under the sun, we anxiously await our first look at squant.

You've been listening to cultural reviewer and social critic, Crosley Bendix.

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