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A Sense of Connection- Synesthetic Metaphor, Inter Media, And the Possibility of Acquired Synesthesia

A Sense of Connection- Synesthetic Metaphor, Inter Media, And the Possibility of Acquired Synesthesia

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Published by: Dave Wall on May 28, 2011
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 A Sense of Connection:Synesthetic Metaphor, Intermedia, and the Possibility of Acquired SynesthesiaDave Wall
1
 
The remarkable thing is not that "synesthetic art" turns out to be a chimera, but that it is such a compelling and useful chimera for the production of art.
Paul
Hertz
 
 I 
ndeed, there is good evidence to suggest that our senses aren¶t as separate as you might think«
J
ami
e W
a
rd
Introduction
Th
e wor 
l
d of t
h
e senses
i
s not w
h
a
t
ma
ny of 
u
s
imagi
ne
i
t to be. Rese
a
rc
h
 
h
a
s
u
ncovered
a
n
a
rr 
a
y of senses t
h
a
t we
u
se w
h
en we enco
u
nter t
h
e wor 
l
d;
m
ost of 
u
s t
h
i
nk of f 
i
ve, b
u
trese
a
rc
h
ers
h
a
ve d
i
scovered
a
nyw
h
ere between twenty-one
a
nd t
h
i
rty-t
h
ree.
Th
ere
a
retwo v
i
ews for t
h
e w
a
y
i
n w
h
i
c
h
we exper 
i
ence p
h
ys
i
c
al
re
ali
ty: t
h
e
m
od
ula
i
ty t
h
es
i
sw
h
i
c
h
 
m
ost peop
l
e
h
o
l
d to t
h
a
t
a
ss
um
es f 
i
ve
i
ndependent
l
y f 
u
nct
i
on
i
n
g
senses;
a
nd t
h
e
u
n
i
t
a
ry t
h
es
i
s w
h
i
c
h
s
u
 pports t
h
e
i
de
a
of one
i
nte
g
a
ted sensory or 
ga
n w
i
t
h
i
ves
u
 bor 
ga
ns (v
a
n C
am
 pen 1999, 9).
Th
e concept of f 
i
ve senses co
m
es fro
m
Ar 
i
stot
l
e, w
h
o be
li
eved t
h
a
t e
a
c
h
sense w
a
s
li
nked to
a
sensory or 
ga
n. In f 
a
ct, t
h
ere
a
re
a
n
um
 ber of spec
iali
zed ce
ll
receptors for e
a
c
h
sense t
h
a
t respond to spec
i
i
c s
ig
n
al
s.
Th
e ret
i
n
a
, for ex
am
 p
l
e, cont
ai
ns
a
ce
ll
t
h
a
t responds to
lig
h
t
a
nd
a
not
h
er t
h
a
t responds to co
l
or,
a
nd t
h
eco
l
or receptors c
a
n be s
u
 bd
i
v
i
ded
i
nto t
h
ree types. Depend
i
n
g
on
h
ow we co
u
nt t
h
ese, t
h
en
um
 ber of senses we co
m
e
u
 p w
i
t
h
co
ul
d be
a
nyw
h
ere between twenty-one
a
nd t
h
i
rty-t
h
ree (W
a
rd 2008, 33).If we now
a
dd synest
h
es
ia
± t
h
e f 
u
s
i
on of one or 
m
ore senses ± to t
h
i
s
li
ne of t
h
o
ug
h
t, t
h
e poss
i
 b
ili
t
i
es for 
a
rt
i
st
i
c work exp
a
nds
g
re
a
t
l
y. We
ma
y not exper 
i
ence t
h
e work of t
h
esespec
iali
zed ce
ll
s, b
u
t we c
a
n cons
i
der t
h
e
i
r ex
i
stence
m
et
a
 p
h
or 
i
c
all
y w
h
en we prod
u
ce
a
rt. It
ma
kes sense t
h
a
t t
h
e
m
ore ce
ll
receptors
a
sense cont
ai
ns, t
h
e
m
ore r 
a
n
g
e
a
 
m
et
a
 p
h
or b
a
sed on synest
h
es
ia
 
h
a
s,
a
nd t
h
e deeper 
i
t c
a
n potent
iall
y be. L
a
n
guag
e,
a
nd by extens
i
on
m
et
a
 p
h
or, cond
i
t
i
ons
h
ow we
a
scr 
i
 be
m
e
a
n
i
n
g
to exper 
i
ences (
Paul
Hertz1999, 9)
a
nd to works of 
a
rt.
Th
e deeper t
h
e
m
e
a
n
i
n
g
, t
h
e
m
ore profo
u
nd t
h
e
a
rtwork.For 
a
rt
i
sts, t
h
e f 
a
ct of 
a
n ex
i
st
i
n
g
ne
u
ro
l
o
gi
c
al
cond
i
t
i
on ± synest
h
es
ia
-
i
s now
h
ere ne
a
a
s
i
nterest
i
n
g
 
i
n ter 
m
s of 
a
rt
i
st
i
c poss
i
 b
ili
t
i
es
a
s
u
s
i
n
g
synest
h
es
ia
 
a
s
a
 
m
et
a
 p
h
or to cre
a
tenew
a
rt. C
h
ro
m
est
h
es
ia
± t
h
e f 
u
s
i
n
g
of co
l
or 
a
nd so
u
nd ± 
i
s t
h
e
m
ost co
mm
on type of synest
h
es
ia
,
a
nd dropp
i
n
g
t
h
a
t poss
i
 b
ili
ty
al
one
i
nto t
h
e
i
de
a
stre
am
 
h
a
s
l
ed
a
rt
i
sts to
m
et
a
 p
h
or 
i
c
all
y
mi
x v
a
i
o
u
s sense co
m
 b
i
n
a
t
i
ons
i
n t
h
e prod
u
ct
i
on of 
a
rt.It
h
a
s been s
ugg
ested t
h
a
t t
h
e synest
h
et
i
c st
a
te c
a
n be prod
u
ced by consc
i
o
u
s
l
y cre
a
t
i
n
g
 
a
ssoc
ia
t
i
ons between d
i
fferent senses. So
m
e
a
rt
i
sts
h
a
ve
ma
de
a
pr 
a
ct
i
ce of cre
a
t
i
n
g
t
h
ese
a
ssoc
ia
t
i
ons so t
h
a
t, r 
a
t
h
er t
h
a
n work 
i
n
g
w
i
t
h
i
n t
h
e contr 
i
ved s
i
t
ua
t
i
on of ³
ma
i
n
g
 synest
h
et
i
c
a
rt´, t
h
e
a
rt
i
st c
a
n
u
se
a
n
a
ct
ual
, person
al
synest
h
et
i
c re
a
ct
i
on
a
s
a
too
l
.
Th
e
u
s
i
on of t
h
e d
i
fferent senses beco
m
es
a
n
a
t
u
al
, effort
l
ess
a
ct r 
a
t
h
er t
h
a
n
a
de
li
 ber 
a
tecontr 
i
v
a
nce (Ox 1999
a
, 7- 8).2At t
h
i
s po
i
nt,
h
owever, synest
h
et
i
c
a
rt prod
u
ced by non-synest
h
etes
u
s
i
n
g
synest
h
et
i
c
m
et
a
 p
h
or 
i
s for t
h
e
m
ost p
a
rt
a
contr 
i
v
a
nce, so
m
et
h
i
n
g
t
h
a
t needs to be worked o
u
t
i
n t
h
e
mi
nd of t
h
e
a
rt
i
st, not so
m
et
h
i
n
g
t
h
a
t occ
u
rs n
a
t
u
all
y. N
a
t
u
all
y occ
u
rr 
i
n
g
synest
h
es
ia
 
m
e
a
ns t
h
a
t connect
i
ons
a
re exper 
i
enced spont
a
neo
u
s
l
y
a
s person
al
re
a
ct
i
ons to t
h
e wor 
l
d.
 
Paul
Hertz s
ugg
ests t
h
a
t persons, not
a
rtworks,
a
re synest
h
et
i
c
a
nd offers t
h
e ter 
m
³cross-
m
od
al
 
a
rt´
a
s
a
 
m
ore prec
i
se ter 
m
t
h
a
n ³synest
h
et
i
c
a
rt´ w
h
en descr 
i
 b
i
n
g
non-synest
h
et
i
c
a
rt
i
sts, w
h
il
e reco
g
n
i
z
i
n
g
t
h
a
t t
h
e f 
u
s
i
on of t
h
e senses represented by synest
h
es
ia
 
i
s w
h
a
t
u
e
l
s t
h
e
imagi
n
a
t
i
on of t
h
ese
a
rt
i
sts (Hertz 1999, 400). In t
h
e c
a
se of t
h
e
a
rt prod
u
cer w
h
o
i
s
a
synest
h
ete, synest
h
et
i
c
a
rt
i
s
a
n
a
 ppropr 
ia
te ter 
m
for w
h
a
t t
h
ey prod
u
ce. W
h
il
ekeep
i
n
g
Hertz¶s d
i
st
i
nct
i
on
i
n
mi
nd I w
ill
, for t
h
e p
u
rposes of t
h
i
s p
a
 per, be
u
s
i
n
g
 ³synest
h
et
i
c
a
rt´ to descr 
i
 be t
h
e work of bot
h
synest
h
ete
a
nd non-synest
h
ete
a
rt
i
sts. Bot
h
 
a
rt
i
sts
a
re c
a
 p
a
 b
l
e of cre
a
t
i
n
g
synest
h
et
i
c
a
rt
i
st
i
c exper 
i
ences, w
h
i
c
h
I t
h
i
nk of 
a
s t
h
es
imul
t
a
neo
u
s percept
i
on of 
mul
t
i
 p
l
e st
imuli
 
i
n
a
s
i
n
gl
e exper 
i
ence.
Th
i
s type of exper 
i
ence
i
n
a
rt
g
oes by t
h
e n
am
e of 
i
nter 
m
ed
ia
, w
h
i
c
h
I w
ill
 
l
ook 
a
t
la
ter 
i
n t
h
e p
a
 per.Bot
h
synest
h
ete
a
nd non-synest
h
ete
a
rt
i
sts
u
se synest
h
et
i
c
imag
ery
i
n order to
a
ccess
mul
t
i
 p
l
e, s
imul
t
a
neo
u
s
m
e
a
n
i
n
g
s t
h
a
t c
a
n be free
l
y co
m
 b
i
ned, re-co
m
 b
i
ned
a
nd
u
n-co
m
 b
i
ned. As Hertz po
i
nts o
u
t, ³we
a
re t
i
ed ne
i
t
h
er to deep str 
u
ct
u
res nor to
a
rb
i
tr 
a
il
ydeter 
mi
ned sy
m
 bo
li
c codes, b
u
t free to p
la
y w
i
t
h
t
h
e w
h
o
l
e r 
a
n
g
e between t
h
e
m
´ (Hertz1999, 404). Synest
h
et
i
c
a
rt
gi
ves
u
s t
h
e
a
 b
ili
ty ³to
u
se
al
e
a
tor 
i
c j
u
xt
a
 pos
i
t
i
on, p
a
rt
ial
 
ma
 pp
i
n
g
s
a
nd
a
ssoc
ia
t
i
ons, p
a
all
e
l
co
u
 p
li
n
g
 
a
nd co
m
 p
l
e
m
ent
a
i
ty free
l
y
a
s
a
 
m
et
ala
n
guag
e of cross-
m
od
al
co
m
 pos
i
t
i
on,
a
co
u
nterpo
i
nt of r 
u
 pt
u
re
a
nd co
h
es
i
on´(Hertz 1999, 404).
Th
i
s freedo
m
 
h
a
s
l
ed to d
i
ff 
i
c
ul
t
i
es
i
n est
a
 b
li
s
h
i
n
g
 
u
n
i
vers
al
 correspondences between senses (
i
.e. t
h
i
s
imag
e eq
ual
s t
h
a
t so
u
nd)
a
nd t
h
i
s
i
s seenc
l
e
a
l
y
i
n t
h
e prod
u
ct
i
on of 
g
a
 p
h
i
c
mu
s
i
c scores
a
nd t
h
e
u
se of co
l
or or 
ga
ns.
Th
ed
i
ff 
i
c
ul
ty
i
n f 
i
nd
i
n
g
 
a
co
mm
on v
i
s
ual
 
la
n
guag
e for extended
i
nstr 
um
ent
al
tec
h
n
i
q
u
e
i
nconvent
i
on
al
 
mu
s
i
c not
a
t
i
on
i
s
al
so re
la
ted to t
h
i
s
la
ck of correspondence between t
h
esenses. W
h
il
e t
h
i
s
i
s often seen
a
s ne
ga
t
i
ve,
i
t cre
a
tes t
h
e sense of freedo
m
o
u
t
li
ned byHertz
a
 bove
a
nd c
a
n
l
e
a
d to t
h
e cre
a
t
i
on of person
al
,
i
d
i
osyncr 
a
t
i
c syste
m
s.I
h
a
ve to
u
c
h
ed on t
h
e
mai
n
i
ss
u
es t
h
a
t I w
ill
 
l
ook 
a
t
i
n t
h
i
s p
a
 per ± synest
h
es
ia
 
a
s
m
et
a
 p
h
or,
i
nter 
m
ed
ia
,
a
nd t
h
e deve
l
op
m
ent of synest
h
es
ia
 
i
n non-synest
h
etes.
 
Th
e
la
tter 
i
s so
m
ew
h
a
t controvers
ial
 
a
nd
h
a
s been
li
kened to
a
 
mu
s
i
c
ia
n deve
l
op
i
n
g
 
g
ood re
la
t
i
ve p
i
tc
h
. It
ma
y we
ll
beco
m
e t
h
a
t b
a
n
al
so
m
ed
a
y, b
u
t for now
i
t ex
i
sts
m
ore
a
s
a
n
i
de
a
t
h
a
n
a
s re
ali
ty,
a
nd po
i
nts tow
a
rd
a
n
a
rt
i
st w
h
o
i
s n
a
t
u
all
y
a
dept
a
t
i
n
h
a
 b
i
t
i
n
g
w
h
i
c
h
ever 
a
rtwor 
l
d
h
e/s
h
e f 
i
nds necess
a
ry for t
h
e effect
i
ve co
mmu
n
i
c
a
t
i
on of 
i
de
a
s.A br 
i
ef s
u
rvey of synest
h
es
ia
rese
a
rc
h
 
a
nd exper 
im
ent
a
t
i
on w
ill
serve to context
uali
zesynest
h
es
ia
 
a
nd
i
ntrod
u
ce so
m
e of t
h
e
ma
c
h
i
nes t
h
a
t were prod
u
ced t
h
ro
ug
h
t
h
e synest
h
et
i
c
m
et
a
 p
h
or,
ma
c
h
i
nes t
h
a
t
h
e
l
 ped keep t
h
e
i
de
a
 
ali
ve
i
n t
h
e
mi
nds of 
a
rt
i
sts
a
nd t
h
e p
u
 b
li
c
i
n
g
ener 
al
. I w
ill
 
al
so cons
i
der two p
ai
nters,
Paul
l
ee
a
nd W
a
ss
il
y K 
a
nd
i
nsky
i
n so
m
e dept
h
,
a
s contr 
a
st
i
n
g
ex
am
 p
l
es of 
a
 ppro
a
c
h
 
i
n
u
s
i
n
g
t
h
e synest
h
et
i
c
m
et
a
 p
h
or. I w
ill
 
al
so
l
ook 
a
t
a
 bstr 
a
ct c
i
ne
ma
p
i
oneer 
J
o
h
n W
h
i
tney
a
s
a
n ex
am
 p
l
e of so
m
eone w
h
o
u
sed t
h
e synest
h
et
i
c
m
et
a
 p
h
or to cre
a
te
a
co
l
or 
mu
s
i
c syste
m
of 
g
re
a
t dept
h
 
a
nd co
m
 p
l
ex
i
ty.3
Research and Experimentation: Synesthetic Metaphor in History
Pi
tc
h
 
a
nd co
l
or correspondences
h
a
ve been
a
so
u
rce of f 
a
sc
i
n
a
t
i
on for p
h
il
osop
h
ers
a
nd
a
rt
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