Synesthesia Community News
"Real Rhapsody in Blue"
The Emerging Mind...
University of Virginia at Charlottesville
organized by Kate Spanos
Homage to Monet
featured in "The Synesthesia Evening"
on Martha's Vineyard
In a Newsweek article (Dec 1 2003 "Real Rhapsody in Blue"), journalist Anne Underwood writes of synesthesia, "a quirky phenomenon that scientists once dismissed could help explain the creativity of the human brain".
In his 2003 BBC Reith Lecture on
Numbers and Sharp Cheese" (lecture
#4 in The Emerging Mind series), Dr. V.S. Ramachandran
says,"It might tell you about
things like metaphor and how language evolved in the brain, maybe even the
emergence of abstract thought that us humans, human beings are very good
The Eighth Conference of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness, University of
Perspectives from Cognitive Neuroscience
Oxford University Press
(edited volume, with
The year 2003 also saw a number of activities and venues for educating the public about synesthesia.
October 22, 2003
Kate Spanos, President of the Students' Cognitive Science Society of the University of Virginia has organized a "Speakers' Series on Synesthesia". The series kicked off with author Patricia Lynne Duffy, Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens: How Synesthetes Color their Worlds, giving a reading from her book and a presentation on the experience of synesthesia and other idiosyncratic ways of coding information
An article about Ms Spanos appears in this month's University of Virginia's A & S Online
October 16, 2003
The Mind Science Foundation's Fall 2003 Distinguished Speakers Series , San Antonio, Texas (click for article about this event) included a lecture on synesthesia by Dr. Peter Grossenbacher of Naropa University
The Third Annual
American Synesthesia Association (ASA) Conference
took place at Rockefeller University, at the
invitation of Dr, Maria Karayiourgu, Head of Rockefeller's Neurogentics
Laboratory, New York City
May 2 - 4 (details here).and
was organized by Edward Hubbard of University of California
at San Diego, American Synesthesia Association (ASA) Board Members Sean Day,
Carol Steen and 'mc'd by Dr. Peter Grossenbacher
of Naropa University. The conference, which took place from May 19-21 featured
as its honored keynote speakers, Dr. Lawrence Marks of Yale University, who spoke
about "Synesthesia Then and Now",
April and February 2003
--Synesthete filmmaker Carrie Schultz' short documentary Chroma was screened at a number of independent film festivals, including the New York Independent Film and Video Festival in April 2003 and at the Los Angeles Independent Film and Video in February 2003. Festival where it won a prize for best short documentary
April 19 -- May 24 2003
An art exhibition, Multi-Sensory Memory and Synesthesia, organized by at the Hera Gallery, Wakefield, Rhode Island
The Synesthesia Evening, featuring presentations by synesthetic artist-photographer, Marcia Smilack, author Patricia Lynne Duffy, and poet Rose Styron, who read works of Rimbaud, Baudelaire and Garcia-Lorca at the Synergy Design Gallery, Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
The Synesthesia Afternoon, featuring presentations by synesthetic artists and writers took place at Halcyon Cafe in the artists' enclave of Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, NY
Presenters included (in order of appearance) Pat Duffy, who read from her book, Blue Cats (Henry Holt & Company. http://www.bluecats.info); Rosalind Palermo Stevenson, Anna Muir and Pauline Zalkin who read synesthesia-inspired poems by Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and Garcia-Lorca in both English and their original French and Spanish; Carol Steen, who presented slides of her synesthetic art work, along with a paper, Visions Shared: A Firsthand Look into Synesthesia and Art (Leonardo) on the synesthetic aspect of her creative process; Katherine Vaz, who read from her novel Saudade (St. Martin's Press), which features a character with synesthesia; Natasha Lvovich who read Confessions of a Synesthete, a chapter from her book, The Multilingual Self (Lawrence Ehrlbaum Press); Wendie Mass, who read from her forthcoming children's book which features a synesthetic character, A Mango-Shaped Space (Little Brown); and Mark Safan, who showed slides of his paintings and talked of the synesthetic relation between music and his art work.
As one member of the audience said, "There is something very moving and convincing about seeing so many people present about their experience of synesthesia."
The participants hope to repeat their performance of The Synesthesia Afternoon at another venue. Synesthesia Community News will keep you posted.
Synesthesia was much in the media in 2003. Some notables:
December 13, 2003
"Hearing Red", an article on Dr. Peter Grossenbacher's research and interviews with synesthetes in The Daily Camera, major newspaper of Boulder, Colorado
Colors, Tasting Shapes", an article American article
by Dr. V.S. Ramachandran and Ed Hubbard in Scientific American
February 16 & 19 2003
Hearing Colours, Eating Sounds, rebroadcast of BBC-radio interviews with assorted researchers and synestherts
February 7 and July 7 2003
National Public Radio, interview with Patricia Lynne Duffy, author of Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens: How Synesthetes Color their Worlds--on The Leonard Lopate Show, WNYC-FM The interview with Pat Duffy followed a fascinating interview with author Antonio Damasio who discussed his new book, Looking for Spinoza
"Extra-sense Perception" in The Dallas Morning News
For a fuller list of media events and research articles, visit the Blue Cats Synesthesia Resource Center
Please send announcements, info about synesthesia for 'Synesthesia Community News' to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Synesthesia Afternoon:
Presenters at he Second Annual ASA Conference
Rockefeller University, New York, NY, May 2003