art & music
After making a few Synesthesia works, I have begun to pursue the task of making it possible to perform these live. This requires writing software. I have some experience as a web developer, but developing applications is a different concept.
For a synesthesia work to function as a live performance, you can't restrict performers to the dictates of timing, emotional expression, and nuance that are outlined by the metronomic pace of a video timeline. It's essential that a space be created that permits improvisation. Musicians need to be able to play music that translates into visual form in an immediate and improvisational sense. That's why I started to learn Cinder.
What you see above is my first video test rendering of a C++ application. I'm developing for Apple OSX desktop, so I guess I'm compiling for objective C. But Cinder seems to take care of all those translations. As a web developer, you don't have to worry about memory leaks and compiling errors or operating system performance and so on. But programming stacks on more of these concerns. So it's a bit of a learning curve.
What is a Synesthesia Work
I am dealing primarily with what might be called audio grapheme synesthesia as a concept. But basically, I am interested in creating an art form that connects an audience member to their inner brain, (so to speak) via the immersive experience of synesthesia. The art form is a unified performative experience that fuses music and visual art into one thing. There may be performance there and audience participation, but those are secondary aspects. I've done other works that get at this idea, but they were primarily video installations.
The psychological implications for connecting to abstract art in this way are immeasurable, in my opinion. I contend that opening one's mind to the deeper levels of consciousness that can be accessed via meditation on abstract forms in this way can lead one to greater insights about their lives, which can help them make better decisions. This is one of the main reasons I practice art making.
A "Synesthesia" is like a Symphony, in that it is wide in scope, and can be virtuosic in its demand of the performers. But it's a unified musical and visual art composition and experience. There is no separation between the two senses of sound and sight. Therefore, there is no separation between to two art idioms (music and visual art). Since this is the case, new theoretical paradigms have to be developed, new technologies have to be incorporated, and other exhibition concepts would have to be considered. This was explored by other artists in the early part of the 20th century, but technologies exist today that can make the dreams of Kandinsky, Scriabin, and Schoenberg more of a reality.
Here are some samples of other Synesthesia works that exist in video form right now.
Synesthesia 2: Undulations
What you see here is a very early phase of a development process in getting at a "Live" performance model of this idea. We'll see where it goes.
Note: I called it a "framework," but Cinder is actually a "Library" - if you want to get technical about it.