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David colosi - a synesthete's query

 

2004

 

David Colosi - Synesthete's Query

 

I have always remembered being able to see letters in color (not in a hallucinatory way but in a perceptive way). I made this piece as a challenge and a document to myself to concretely associate the color-letter combinations I saw. I assumed that everyone saw letters and words in color. I had only recently learned that this had a name: Color Grapheme Synesthesia. The piece has become for me also a query to others: Are you a synesthete? Are my color-letter combinations the same as yours? Since making this, I realize this drawing is not consistent (a perceptive seven-year old pointed this out). I have come to agree that I was too generous in my hues: specific letters, in close proximity to others, do not vary as drastically as I've represented them. On the other hand, though the science suggests that the colors remain fixed, and though my experience agrees, certain letters, such as "I", prove to be exceptions. "I" mutates from black through gray to white at times. I'm still trying to understand why and when - if it's related to its position in the word and if it is uppercase or lower and if neighboring letters can influence it. While the colors remain fixed, searching for the right color from a limited selection can also be like trying to find the right adjective to describe something - we can get close, but our words limit us, and we can look to other languages for a better word, yet, still, it may never be exactly right.

 

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