V International Congress Synesthesia, Science & Art. 16th- 19th may 2015

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Actividades Paralelas




Propuestas/proposals ( update 1/11/2014)


Sérgio Basbaum Pontificia Universidade Católica de São Paulo (PUC-SP)

Visual music and synesthetic art-works chronology accounts (for example Moritz, 1986; Jewansky and Sidler, 2005; Schneider, 2013; Brougher et al, 2005; Hernandez barbosa, 2007) usually focus the history of art and aesthetics in Europe and North America, mostly refering to artists that have produced their works in such circuits. However, as often noticed in contemporary art accounts (eg. Guy Brett, 2004; Ricardo Basbaum, 2006), Brazilian artists have played a key role in bringing in the unity of the body and the whole sensorium in contemporary arts, since the early 1960s, in a manner radically distinct from their peers in Europe and in the United States. Among Brazilian artists who can be related to synesthetic artworks narrative, one can certainly count the well known works of Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica (Sergio Basbaum, 2005), but also other names are relevant in an inventory of synesthetic poetics. Abraham Palatnik, for example, has produced in the early 1950s his first Kinechromatic works that, nevertheless silent, are surprisingly close to Thomas Wilfred's Lumias, Oskar Fischinger's works and other usually considered key references in syn-aesthetics. Among these, the work of composer Jorge Antunes is specially interesting and underdiscussed. Since de mid-1960's, when he founded the "Studio for Chromomusical Research", at the prestigious Villa-Lobos Institute, in Rio de Janeiro, Antunes has brought singular and original contribuitions for this cross-disciplinary field, works indeeds labeled by himself as "synesthetic" -- pioneer immersive multisensorial environments, cross disciplinary musical compositions and visual artworks. Specially worth to be noticed, his "cromofonic" compositions and his theory of correspondences between colors and sounds are exquisite in many aspects. Both for his unusual scope of thinking -- including an original hipothesis of brain activity which supports his own criteria of correspondences, in the 1960s, much before the "boom" of synesthesia debate in the late 1980s! --, as for psychology insights and surprising connections Rosacrucis esoteric texts. His unique position among contemporary eletrocoustic composers both in Brazilian scene and outside, and his many interesting insights on the relation between perceptual modalities of hearing and seeing are inspiring and surprising when revisited almost 50 years after the first public presentation of his ideas.
Jun 13, 18:51GMT  

Comparing the Shape of Sounds

Dr Timothy B Layden, Christine Söffing, Klaus Schmidtke United Kingdom Artecitta Foundation Germany Universtiy of Ulm Germany University of Ulm

A two part presentation:

Christine Söffing and Timothy B Layden both have shape to sound synesthesia and have done comparative experiments using specific sound stimuli to create drawings of the shapes they use with these sounds. The results were quite interesting, revealing quite a few correspondances. We would like to extend this experiment to a large public with the congress.

The first part of the presentation should take place at the beginning of the congress wherein we will explain our experiment and ask the public attending the congress to create visual interpretations of specific sound stimulus. We will analyze the results looking for correspondences and other interesting findings. The second part of the presentation we will share our findings with the public at the conference and present how we use our synesthetic experiences of sound in our individual art practices. The results from the experiment could also become part of the exhibition, which I am also currently putting together with Victor Para for the congress.

Comparando la forma de los sonidos

Ponentes: Dr. Timothy B Layden, Christine Söffing, Klaus Schmidtke

Una presentación en dos partes:

Christine Söffing y Timothy B Layden, ambos tienen la sinestesia de la forma de sonidos. Han hecho experimentos comparativos utilizando estímulos sonoros específicos para crear dibujos de las formas que experimentan con estos sonidos. Los resultados fueron bastante interesantes, revelando un buen número de correspondencias. Nos gustaría extender esta experimento a un publico mas grande con el congreso.

La primera parte de la presentación debe tener lugar al comienzo del congreso, en el explicamos el experimento y pedimos al público del congreso crear interpretaciones visuales de estímulos sonoros específicos. Después analicemos los resultados en busca de correspondencias y otros hallazgos interesantes. La segunda parte de la presentación compartiéremos nuestros hallazgos con el público e y presentaremos la manera en que utilizamos nuestras experiencias sinestésicas de sonido en nuestras prácticas artísticas individuales. Los resultados del experimento también podrían formar parte de la exposición, que también estoy armando para el congreso con Victor Para

Jun 06, 15:12 GMT  


Synesthesia and the Artistic Process

Carol Steen.United States. ASA.

Greta Berman. United States. Juilliard School of Music

I will examine the processes and outcomes of synesthesia in two-dimensional art. I ask what might be different about synesthetic artists who can incorporate their perceptions from additional sensory experiences into their work. In particular, I will focus on visual synesthesia triggered from colors, shapes, and movement, and explore how movement has been represented in 2D. I will look at a number of synesthetic artists to examine the impact of these experiences on their art. I will look at what is known about synesthetic consciousness and illustrate constant themes or forms that emerge. I also ask how synesthetic and non-synesthetic art might differ and present several case studies of work produced by synesthetic artists. The expectations of the ‘art world' can have a great impact on synesthetic artists and I will explore how these expectations may be changing. 

Jun 08, 22:35 GMT

39 Bond Street 2N New York 10012 United States

Synthetic Senses Synaesthesia and Its Role In Art Development 
Ninghui XIONG, La Plantation International Art Centre
Tong Jun DING, HANG ZHOU Normal University
Rui REN,Art Museum of China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA)

What does music mean to us? It is not just a sound wave, it is strongly links to  our emotion with synaesthesia in vision, touch, smell and taste, which is called  “synaesthesia of synthetic senses”, thus, generating a kind of “vision environment”. This is the process of “music visualization in Art”.Similarly, visual art is not a pure object displayed in plane or space. It is a combination of synaesthesia of synthetic senses and emotion, which generates a kind of “inner music”- tempo rhythm, melody, timbre tonality, dynamics, musical texture, etc. This is the process of “visual art in ‘inner music'”. 

In order to better integrate all the synaesthetic characterstics, and to illustrate the process of music visualization in art or the process of visual art in “inner music”, we propose a “music synaestheisa fishbone graph” or “visual art synaesthesia fishbone graph” to record exactly the synaesthesia impression and status. For example, in the “music synaestheisa fishbone graph”, the horizontal axis refers to the process of music, while the vertical axis refers to the simultaneous response of all synaesthesia feelings: emotion, brightness/richness, cold/hot, color, motion speed, shape in space, line and flow, touch/texture, smell and taste. 

In this paper, extensive case studies have been made. For example, 24 oil paintings 
were created based on the music of Chopin's 24 Preludes. In the same way, a 
Chinese Gin music “Xiao Xiang Water Clouds” (composed by GUO Chuwang around 
1276) inspired the author to produce his visual work as well.On the other hand, Van Gogh's painting as well as Zhang Xuan's painting (“Making Cloth” around 740 A.D.) often generate a kind of “inner music” through synaesthesia of synthestic senses. Hereby, visual art is not just limited to painting. It refers to any art works for “visual environment”, such as architecture in a closed space or open space as garden. The process of visual art in “inner music" can best explain how “visual environment inspired Debussy to create his music. 

“Synaesthesia of Synthetic senses fishbone graph” is recommended as a model not only to help artists to collect the idea for art creation, but also to support scholars to analyze individual's different response after listening to the same pieces of music or seening the same painting, in order to better understand the mechanism of human synaetheisa and condition. This approach is in line with the Chinese traditional aesthetics philosophy –human emotion is affected by the change in nature environment through vision, sound, touch, smell and taste.

Jun 10, 15:56 GMT

Room 214, Building 8, Zone 1, Zhongcanyuan 58 An Li Lu, Chao Yang District Beijing, China 100027 China

The Prometheus-Institute at the University in Kazan, Russia. Research on Synesthesia in Science, Music and Art since 1962.

Rustem Sakhabiev. Russian Federation. University Muenster.

Joerg Jewanski. Germany. University Muenster.

The city of Kazan is located 500 miles east of Moscow. As a part of the Technical University, since 1962, a research institute named Prometheus exists (the name is taken from Scriabin's composition of the same name for music and light), in which, under the umbrella term synesthesia, the inter-relations between the arts are investigated. Previously, more than 20 scientists and engineers worked there under the direction of Bulat Galeyev. He coined the institute and distinguished two types of synesthesia: the first is what is normally named genuine synesthesia, the second is connected with intersensory associations and metaphorical thinking. Galeyev was only interested in the latter: “That type of synesthesia relates to art, artists and musicians. In this sense, practically all people are synesthetes” (Galeyev). Under his guidance, synesthesia in music, visual arts, literature, film, architecture and pedagogy was investigated. His own output as a scientist encompasses more than 500 articles and more than 30 books as an author or editor. Up to today, 17 conferences were conducted at the Prometheus institute – the longest series of synesthesia conferences worldwide –, each devoted to a special topic and each with a published conference proceedings. With Galeyev's death in 2009 and the death of his wife Irina Vanechkina in 2013, the activities of the institute have distinctly decreased, so that we can speak of a closed period of the institute and should start to clear its enormous output of publications, technical devices and artworks. 
Outside of Russia, little is known about this institute. Not more than a first interim report, the lecturers give a short overview of its multifaceted activities. 

Jun 11, 19:23 GMT

Breite Gasse 1 Muenster 48143 Germany


Downwind 2013 Raewyn Turner & Brian Harris

The Downwind installation combines art, engineering and science research and is composed of twenty pods that sense human presence and respond by breathing smells on the audience. 
Downwind explores our differences in olfactory sensitivity and selectivity due to the genetic basis of human olfactory variability and the perception of odiferous sequences in changed contexts. 
Not only are synthetic olfactory molecules changing perception of the world, but technologies are changing perception. Is a visceral comprehension possible in a sanitised and deodorised olfactory environment suffused with new synthetic olfactory molecular architectures for smell and taste? Whether natural, synthetic or engineered, they are the olfactory cyphers of change, yet sensing them is defined by a combination of genetics and personal experiences. To increase our ability to perceive the information of new chemical signals not just with the nose but with the gut it may be necessary to retrain one's olfactory observation and to note the feelings and emotions that arise from olfactory materials. At first the phenomena of smell may seem insignificant but humans are bound up in the transpiration and consumption/absorption of olfactory particles. 

The smell compounds are ones known to elicit specific anosmias ( loss of sense of smell) for some, and not for others. The revolutionary wind of genetic discovery suggests that we may not all be perceiving the same reality.

Jun 12, 11:01 GMT

62 Burnley Terrace Sandringham 1025 New Zealand



Resumen (Castellano) 

Las partituras gráficas son un tipo de partituras musicales donde los sonidos se plasman a través de elementos del lenguaje visual. En ellas, el sonido se hace visible, creándose sinestesias entre elementos visuales y sonoros. Entre las formas y símbolos presentes en la notación gráfica desde su origen a mediados del siglo XX hasta nuestros días, el círculo ocupa un lugar destacado, siendo múltiples los ejemplos de partituras gráficas circulares. 

La presente comunicación pretende dar respuesta a la pregunta –sinestésica – de “cómo suena el círculo”. A partir del estudio de las partituras gráficas circulares más relevantes de las últimas décadas, se presenta una muestra de las diferentes posibilidades de interpretación musical y sonora de la forma circular y se reflexiona sobre ciertos aspectos circulares y espaciales de la música. 

Abstract (English) 

Graphic scores are a type of musical writing where sounds are represented by elements of visual language. In graphic scores sound becomes visible, creating synesthesia between visual and sound elements. Among the different forms and symbols which are present in graphic notation since the mid-20th century to the present day, the circle is one of the most prominent, and we find multiple examples of circular graphic scores. 

This communication seeks to respond to the synesthetic question: "how does the circle sound?". It studies some of the most relevant circular graphic scores of the recent decades, and presents a sample of the different possibilities of musical interpretation of the circular form. It considers also certain circular and spatial aspects of music.

CV (Castellano) 

Marina Buj Corral es Licenciada en Bellas Artes y Profesora Superior de Flauta. Actualmente, está acabando su tesis de doctorado en la Facultad de Bellas Artes de la Universidad de Barcelona. Su investigación y creación artística se centra en las analogías y correspondencias entre artes visuales y música, en concreto, en las formas gráficas de escritura del sonido y el fenómeno de la notación gráfica. 


Marina Buj Corral has a Master's Degree in Fine Arts and a Master's Degree in Flute Performance. She is currently finishing his doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona. Her artistic research and creation focuses on the analogies between visual arts and music, specifically in the graphic forms of writing sound and in graphic notation. 

Jun 12, 14:30 GMT

Ideasthesia and color dynamics in the anime

Antonio Horno. Universidad de Granada

En el ámbito artístico es habitual utilizar el color como una forma de lenguaje visual independiente, como un elemento plástico con significado propio. En el caso de la animación, el color también puede llegar a resultar un elemento fundamental por sus efectos emotivos y su simbología intencionada. En este trabajo se muestra cómo el particular modelo de la animación japonesa, conocida generalmente como anime, utiliza la dinámica del color no sólo de modelador de la figura, o de complemento narrativo de la propia animación, sino que junto a otros recursos gráficos, como las características “líneas gloom”, es usado para evocar en el espectador diferentes conceptos, o percepciones y que en neurofisiología recibe el nombre de ideastesia. 

In the art world it is common to use color as a form of visual language and as a plastic element with its own meaning. In the case of animation, color may also turn out to be an essential element for its emotional impact and intentional symbolism. This paper shows how the particular model of Japanese animation, known as anime, uses dynamic color not only of shaper figure or narrative supplement to the animation itself, but together with other graphic resources, such as character "lines gloom", is used to produce what in neurophysiology called ideasthesia: the ability to evoke in the viewer different concepts, or perceptions. 

May 05, 18:29 GMT

Simbología y Sinestesia de los Colores

Mohamed Ahmed Radi Abouarab Egypt Universidad de Kafrelsheikh, Egipto

Los colores representan un simbolismo y sinestesia variada: la simbología cósmica, la biológica, la fisiológica, la psicológica, o la nacional-estética. Los colores poseen los mismos símbolos y significados en la cultura de los distintos pueblos antiguos, es una coincidencia que lleva una lengua común universal que se relaciona íntimamente con la religión.

La coincidencia de los símbolos y sinestesia de los colores sorprendió a los científicos e investigadores, de la cual sacaron una conclusión esencial: la unidad de las religiones en su esencia humana; la gran prueba consiste en el significado y simbología de los colores, que es el mismo para todos los pueblos y épocas. Analizamos el uso de los colores en el Arte Copto y cómo estos transmiten el mensaje religioso cristiano.

Palabras clave: Símbolo, Ideaestesia, Sinestesia, Color, Copto, Arte, Egipto.


The colors represent varied symbolism and synesthesia or ideaesthesia: cosmic symbolism, biological, physiological, psychological, or national-aesthetic. The colors and symbols have the same meanings in the culture of the various ancient peoples, coincidentally carries a universal common language that is closely related to religion.

The coincidence of the symbols of the colors surprised scientists and researchers, which removed a key conclusion: the unity of religions in their human essence, the big test is the meaning and symbolism of the colors, which is the same for all peoples and all times. We analyze the use of color in Coptic art and how they transmit the Christian religious message.

Keywords: Symbols, Ideaesthesia, Synesthesia, Color, Coptic, Art, Egypt.
Jun 12, 23:35 GMT  

The Aesthetic Appreciation of a Synesthetic Artwork: Entropy or Augmented Reality?

Giuseppe Galetta Italy University of Cassino and Southern Latio (UNICLAM)
By creating an artwork, a synesthetic artist encloses a specific quantity of multisensory information that is lost during the viewing by the ordinary public (aesthetic entropy), but it is possible that this quantity does not disappear altogether if the artwork is observed by a synesthetic viewer. This means that the synesthetic viewer might look at an artwork feeling the same sensations experienced by the synesthetic artist, without affecting the quantity of information enclosed in the artwork, revealing a specific level of mutual perception. Then does exist a bidirectional metaperceptive communication system between synesthetic artist and viewer, that is a specific frequency of multisensory perception according to which they are able to stay tuned and communicate with each other, or the perceptual world of a synesthetic individual is a closed and autistic system? An artwork would encode the sensations perceived by the synesthetic artist in a conventional signifiant form, which can be totally deciphered only by synesthetic viewer, as if the artistic creation was a cryptographic code: for example, a painting might enclose a map of numbers or an encrypted message. Synesthesia might therefore represent a new form of human communication and not a subjective or self-referential perceptive phenomenon, the code of which has been genetically imprinted during the human evolution in some susceptible individuals, who can be defined "the switchers", that are specific individuals able to switch from a standard perception level to a multisensory perceptual level, from normal reality to augmented reality. The synesthetes could then communicate on the basis of a mutual perceptive system, influencing each other: this system and its sensory flow could be tuned, because it is an archetypal communication form of the mankind.
Jun 15, 20:39 GMT  





Universidad de Granada, Facultad de Bellas Artes

This project looks at a selection of works by artists Marina Abramovic, Laval-Jeantet and Carina Úbeda, who attempt to establish a connection between Art and Life by using blood as a main element. In the earliest forms of prehistoric art, blood was used as pictorial and symbolic material on body rituals and stones. Blood is still today a physical and conceptual element found in the realization and the presentation of the works chosen for this analysis, which examines the synaesthetic relations at a perceptive level present in the works of the above-mentioned artists. 

Desde las primeras manifestaciones artísticas prehistóricas podemos observar como la sangre ha sido utilizada como material pictórico sobre protuberancias pétreas y a nivel simbólico en representaciones rituales y corporales. Desde un punto de vista contemporáneo la sangre sigue siendo un elemento físico y conceptual en la ejecución y presentación de algunas de las piezas seleccionadas, realizadas por artistas como Marina Abramovic, Laval-Jeantet o Carina Ubeda, quienes tratan de establecer una conexión entre arte y vida, siendo la sangre el elemento principal. En este caso analizaremos algunas de sus obras intentando ver la relación sinestésica que puede producir la percepción de estas piezas. 

Oct 27, 18:09 GMT

01. Art and Synesthesia

Art, Synaesthesia, Blood, Red, Connection, Life, Death, Body


Robson Rosseto Brazil Universidade Estadual de Campinas - UNICAMP


This study focuses on the artist of scene corporal preparation through improvisation exercises. So, the pre-expressive basis of the interpreter work is taken as the analysis focus, and synesthesia studies are likewise considered as part of this action. Improvisation is recognized as an important element in the scene arts. To improvise is create, play, risk, transform an idea into a privileged place for the poetic and symbolic conceptions. In the rehearsal room space, this sets off learning processes that contribute to the formation of creators-interpreter more autonomous, mediated by intuition and artistic references. In general, the impromptu are effected by instinctive expression and thus, the corporal historic is revealed on artistic propositions. Indeed, corporal experiences in the ambit artistic or social of each interpreter are one body, your body – so, it is essential to evaluate the movement constantly to develop a corporal awareness. The developed research resorted to the pratice-theoric association, this experience based mainly on the following authors: Antonio Damasio, Eugenio Barba, Christine Greiner and Marica Strazzacappa. The body which presents itself as scenic and actions from this presence emerge of the sensory perception and are intrinsically associated with corporal awareness. And for the continuos development of this presense state and ability to improvise is recurrent the need for constant observation the body's own. When talking about the body listens, not only are the ears, either the eyes are summoned, but all the senses together. Has been found that to become aware of itself, is necessary to support the interpreter intuition, and be aware of all the information brought by the senses. The received stimulus in the surrounding space influences corporal state, results of the functioning of sensory systems, even if such interference is narrowly perceived consciously. The relationship established an impromptu game requires a better understanding about the processes of interpreting sensory information.

Time: Nov 17, 17:33 GMT

01. Art and Synesthesia



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