After more than a hundred years of dealing with quantum mechanics, science still avoids confrontation with unpredictability, especially when it comes to subjective phenomena, such as perception and cognitive thinking. In other words, transient and unstable effects are not preferred scientific subjects. Synesthesia is one of those occurences that makes scientists’ sneer. It appears all the time and in many forms, yet it never acquired serious scientific investigation.
However, without synesthesia, it wouldn’t be possible to imagine artistic expression. Kandinsky’s artistic & educational practice is founded on interconnectivity between sound, form and colour. His interpretation of synesthesia has influenced generations of Bauhaus students and originated modern art & design movement. In some strange way, without synesthesia it would be impossible to imagine modern times. Today, we are exposed to synesthesia more than ever before, because new technology uses it to simulate infinite correlations between image, text, colour and sound. In fact, digital synesthesia is a trope that occurs in the production and use of mainstream digital media, as well as the media arts. This brings back the notion of gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork), since new technology is capable to reconstruct and/or augment the real like no technology beforehand.
Currently, most notable (technologically controlled) environments happen to be commercial and entertaining events. Sport and music venues, experimental restaurants and multimedia theatres are testing the boundaries of “synemedia” (merger between senses and technology), constructing previously unimaginable conditions, and therefore generating previously unknown sensations. The new “éclat” has been born in the kitchen, the very same birthplace of every cult and culture in the history of the mankind. Where else we can expect art to meet life, but in the place where all senses meet?
Here are few examples of “synemedia” or, if you prefer “nouveau éclat” (term still doesn’t exist and I am trying to figure something out), which is conditioned by traditional processes, creative freedom and new media.
Parisian restaurant “Miss Ko” by Philippe Starck http://www.miss-ko.com
Italian restaurant “Osteria Francescana”, chef Massimo Bottura http://www.osteriafrancescana.it/video.html
Spanish culinary experiment “El Somni” (“Dreams”) http://vimeo.com/85269269
Art is continuously searching for new ways of expression and we have to be reminded that we are only a medium.