Digital synesthesia. Play with the image, listen with the body.
- Pier Giorgio De Pinto
- Digital synesthesia. Play with the image, listen with the body.
Digital synesthesia Play with the image, listen with the body.
Tactile, optical and acoustic perception experiences
Workshop with the students of the Cardinale Agostini Secondary school in San Martino di Lupari, Italy. Organized by Cartavetrata Association for the project Alta Percezione.
Alta Percezione is a project organized in five chapters made up of exhibitions, conferences, workshops and performances taking place between 2018 and 2019 on the theme of digital art. The project was conceived and organized by the association Cartavetrata and is supported by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo through the call for proposals ‘Culturalmente 2017’, and with the contribution of some local companies that have virtuously supported art for the city. The project is sponsored by the City of San Martino di Lupari.
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“Not so much in dreams as in the stale of delirium that comes before sleep, especially when I’ve heard a lot of music, I discover a concord of colours, sounds and scents. It seems as if all had been produced in the same mysterious way by a beam of light and then were made to merge into a wonderful concert. -The scent of dark red camations acts with strange magical force upon me; involuntarily I sink into a dreamy state and then hear from afar, swelling and again dying away, the deep tones of the basset horn.”
Kreisleriana (1814). E. T. A. Hoffmann ( 1776 – 1822)
De Pinto was offered a laboratory where the main stimulus was somehow linked to the interaction with sound. De Pinto thought about the synaesthetic relationship between the various senses looking for tactile, bodily and visual connections to everything that creates sound waves.
Synesthesia, from the Greek syn aistànestai, literally means “simultaneous perception”; it is a psychic phenomenon consisting in the functional synchronism of two sense organs, due to the stimulation of only one of them. When stimulations – which come from one of our five senses- are transformed into a sensory perception of another sense then we have synesthesia.
A sound, for example, can evoke a color, a taste can produce a tactile sensation and so on. This is a brain process that is mainly studied in neuroscience. In a more general sense, and apart from the strictly physiological implications, the phenomenon concerns everyone, as it is directly connected to the perception and representation of reality.
Synesthesia belongs to each of us because our senses, in the complexity of our organism, are connected to each other. The intensity of the experience, with which it is perceived, can be different from person to person. In the most striking cases it becomes a more complex condition such as in people who have the so-called chromoesthesia. These people perceive colours when they perceive sounds; the colours “seen” are not of an illusory type and are rather similar to mnemonic images.
Inductors of synesthesias, par excellence, are all forms of art because they become the object of improvement of the perception of one’s own self through the synesthesias connected to them: for this reason it is important that every human being frequent art events and in general cultural events.
Thanks to the technological developments that keep us company on a daily basis – for decades now – it is possible to have a synaesthetic approach within everyone’s reach. Just think of the touchscreens of our smartphones that respond with slight vibrations to our typing, to simulate keys that no longer exist. The key is pure image but its use returns a tactile response. Touch and sight merge into an experience, albeit elementary, synaesthetic.
It is on this basis that much of today’s digital art is founded.