Synesthesia – Extension of Perception for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Sighted

The project Synesthesia (2012) invited visually impaired participants to discuss experiences related to their sound perception. In this collaboration, a mathematician living with visual impairment in Bratislava explained how he associated the sound of a bubbling stream in nature with the sound frequencies of speech synthesis, an aid tool software he uses every day. The sound collage he created for the project elaborated upon our conversation about his synesthetic experience which made him hear voices of water. His audial reconstruction of a lucid experience related to sound perception was one of the main contributions to the transnational collaborative project.

András Blazsek's sounding table installation is more than the poetic moment stiffened and extended with the babbling of water and environmental noises, as stated in the interview excerpt placed next to it. Excerpt from one of the interviews: …speech-synthesis moves within a spectrum of some sort of limited sound-frequency, and this frequency spectrum is truly quite narrow, because this is done by the program, which generates these patterns in a way that is as sparing as possible. As for the quantity of data, the perception of this frequency spectrum is advantageous for us, and the babbling water has a very rich frequency spectrum, with everything in it, and since our brains are trained for such sounds, thus, the babbling of the stream attracts the spectrum to that which is attractive, or to which it is accustomed. (Zsolt Sőrés, 2012)

image: Attila Zérczi, 2012.

SZINESZTÉZIA/ 2B Gallery Budapest, 2012.

SYNESTEZJA/ Galeria Labirynt Lublin, 2013.