Lida Zeitlin Wu is a PhD candidate in Film & Media. Her dissertation, “Seeing By Numbers: Color Systems and the Digitization of Perception,” traces how color systems—diagrams and models that attempt to encompass the full range of human color vision—came to play a key role in engineering perception over the course of the twentieth century. With examples ranging from the commercial paint chart and the postwar suburban home to the spectrophotometer and Adobe Photoshop, the dissertation argues that the way media theorists have defined digital color—in terms of numerical representation, abstraction, and detachment from form—maps onto a way of seeing that has been with us since long before the emergence of computational technology.
Lida has an MA in Comparative Literature from UC Berkeley and a BA from the University of Chicago in Russian Literature and Visual Art. Her writing has been published in Adaptation: The Journal for Literature on Screen Studies, The Nabokov Online Journal, The Art Newspaper China, and LEAP, China’s bilingual contemporary art magazine.