AnnieKO'Connor

Synesthesia

5 Comments

As an intro to this new blog, I feel somewhat obliged to posit a focus for what sort of information and ramblings can be expected herein. But, knowing myself, I find it best not to have a focus. Instead, I am going to post a series about the banner image found above, and hope said series will suffice to initiate you into the absurdity of my mind (and the subsequent absurdity of anything I produce.)

Before the above image can be properly understood, one must understand synesthesia. You may have heard of it, but still many haven’t (for instance, my browser’s spell checker). Mostly because, well, it’s odd. And scientists don’t seem to have a proper understanding of what causes it.

In short, synesthesia is a cross-wiring or some sort in the brain that causes a link between senses. Some people taste shapes. Others hear colors. The associations are consistent within the individual, and have not been discovered to follow any sort of pattern.

I cannot talk with much certainty about any synesthesia other than my own, so I will stick to that. My synesthesia causes multiple color associations with various senses. Each letter of the alphabet is a specific color (sometimes two at once!). Each number. Shapes. Music. Other things are located in specific areas in space. The week starts to my right and ends to the left. I know what day it is based on how many days are to the right, versus how many days are to the left. And the future is ahead of me, the past behind. Upcoming events hover in front of me, and past events hover behind my back.

Yes, yes, it’s all very strange. (At least for you. I’m quite used to it. I have always perceived the world this way.) The strangest part, even for me, is that it is completely involuntary. If you tell me the number five is blue, I cringe. Such a claim is like finger nails on a chalk board. Five is simply black. I can’t justify that, but it is, to me, the truth.

So, what does this have to do with the image above? It is a painting I made of a song. The shapes and colors indicate what I see during a specific song. But, more about that next time.

(And if you don’t believe me): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia (No, I didn’t write that article.)

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5 thoughts on “Synesthesia

  1. That’s very interesting. Afaik some of the most famous artists had a synethesia too, e.g. Wassily Kandisky. I am looking forward to what you tell about it and of course also to see your artworks.

    tc
    Tanja

    • Yes, Kandinsky had synesthesia as well. Vladimir Nabokov also spoke of his synesthesia in his memoir Speak, Memory, which I plan to read soon. He, his mother and his son all had it. It tends to run in families. My brother and father also have it to varying degrees.

  2. Anne, you have it all wrong :-). The week starts to the left and goes to the right. If you zoom out, months, years, decades, and centuries all do, albeit starting down a little bit not just straight to the left and proceeding slightly up as it goes right. And it’s a grid like a film strip with a cell for each unit: day week, month, etc.

    And the spelling of each day in the week gives it a color. As to the numbers of decades. The ’90’s are red because of the nine. The ’70’s are yellow because of the seven. And no, 5’s aren’t black, they’re dark brown :-).

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