Sunday, May 27, 2012

"Synesthetic Landscapes" Portfolio Book Published

"…lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting, and… stop thinking! Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to ‘walk about’ into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?" Wassily Kandinsky

Those of you following my blog must know that - over the last few years (dating back to Dec 2009) - I've been consumed with capturing what I call "synesthetic landscapes." Synesthesia derives from the Greek syn = union + aisthaesis = sensation, and means "joined sensation." Such as when something that is ordinarily "seen" is tasted as well; though this hardly does justice to the psychological, creative - even mystical - experience of synesthesia (which I possessed until about the age of 10, during which I "saw" numbers as colors, the most common form of synesthesia). 

My experiments to recreate some semblance of these memories of the experience have technically consisted of using one "reality" - consisting of shallow depth-of-field, extreme macro (1x - 5x) photographs of mundane everyday objects, from curved reflecting metal surfaces to translucent colored glass bottles and glasses - to evoke an experience of another, less "obvious" landscape of the mind's eye. The result is synesthetic in the sense that, just as synesthetes use two or more senses other than the one nominally used to designate a given experience of an object to add to their experience of its ostensible "reality," my experimental images are designed to collectively evoke glimpses of surrealities by adding other - visually nonliteral - representational dimensions to our direct experience of reality.

The result is also an experiential synergy between two ostensibly different (but fundamentally intertwined) realities: one literal, and external - i.e., reflections and/or refractions from common everyday "things" - the other implied, and internal - i.e., ineffable landscapes of the imagination. (I should add, and emphasize, that while all the images in this series look like they are severely "Photoshopped," this is emphatically not so; digital manipulations are all deliberately confined to global curves, local tonal adjustment, and occasional noise removal. What you "see" is what is / was "really there," although what your experience of "it" will be ... will be whatever your "eye" and/or "I" will make it ;-)

And so, for those of you interested in exploring my ongoing experiments with "synesthetic landscapes," I announce the publication of two portfolio editions: one small (consisting of about 40 images), the other large (consisting of 105 images, which includes all of those that appear in the "small" version). Both versions physically measure 7-by-7 inches (although a larger 12-by-12 inch version of the small portfolio edition is also available), come with soft- and hard-cover options, include an introductory essay on synesthesia and photography and an end-notes section that describes the process I used to capture these images (though this process continues to evolve, of course), and include a low-cost eBook edition (that is available as a direct download for Apple's iBooks).

"Color is the key.
The eye is the hammer. 
The soul is the piano with its many chords. 
The artist is the hand that, 
by touching this or that key, 
sets the soul vibrating automatically."