Synesthesia

Synesthesia could be considered a connection between different senses of which the brains own system of understanding. This is a non-learnt process of association, to that of correlation to cultural understanding which we learn through the growth in knowledge. This look at Synesthesia links to a previous post of which I considered the understanding of learnt knowledge revolving around the ideas of colour, emotion and sound of which David Eagleman suggests we learn.

Synesthesia as David Eagleman suggest is the merging of senses something a select few have the ability to do. Digital technologies are becoming more advanced to give us experiences of dual feeling. For people with disabilities like hard of vision or hearing loss its reversed, digital is allowing them to experience 2 senses through one. Subtitles on a television program or Audio described are some of the most common combinations of media artefact in connection to senses.

Real world objects try to recreate this especially in a digital environment, particularly the blend between audio, visuals and touch are more easily combined. Objects like the mouse gives a user the ability to interact with something’s visual, blending the senses of touch and sight. A steering wheel game that’s controlled with movement can effect the visuals in the game or, music frequencies effecting visual elements of a graphics or animation on a stage/venue.  This is done through the understanding of data and being able to re interpret into another form.

An installation by Group Gravity (in collaboration with Iguan Dance Theatre, St.Petersburg) takes this into consideration the blending of senses involving sound and touch/movement.

The movement of the actors intern creates sound. This creates a metaphoric link between the movement and sound that could be considered a of multisensory of virtual reality. The combination of an action to have multiple effects upon other sense created by a digital technology could be considered a principle of virtual reality. Secondly this could be seen as contradictory to the action, in terms of a movement effects something that’s not physical that you didn’t even touch but a reaction is produced upon this.

Installation

The installation for the media foyer takes on some of the principles of mixing senses in the instance it takes sound and creates a visual image out of this flow of data. This process of transforming data from one context to another is what a person with Synesthesia dose in their brain with the blending and transforming of senses.

The installation transforms data of the ambient environment around us into a visual image that’s readable creating an understanding of that data and could be seen as a virtual reality of the sound in the form of visual imagery. Going forward I could consider the interaction of the installation in connection with inputs and introduce another variable to similarly affect the graphical display.

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