Thursday, July 12, 2012

Oh, that Sound Looks so Delicious!

I had the privilege of studying at an intensive fellowship program last year on the Eastern Shore. While there I wrote an essay and performed an experiential event of cross-sensory artistry. Sound complicated? Well, we humans are complicated!

The essay's foundation needed to be a question. My question: How can I, an artistically minded individual, properly and effectively bridge the gap between art and the non-artist? What is the missing piece that seems to be making that gulf wider and wider? How can I act not only as a translator but a motivator, a motivator to the non-artist to feel intrigued, accepted and enriched by all that art and beauty can offer?

The year was rich with discussion and I want to present you with some things and include you in my eventual findings.

Think about art. Does that word make you excited? Bored? Angry? Confused? There are so many controversies around that word. Lets step away from that word for a moment.

Think about a creative friend of yours. That one crazy friend whose brain just seems to endlessly come up with ideas, whose hands seems to make something out of nothing or something beautiful out of junk. Or that one friend who has incredible skills in decorating or throwing a themed party. What do they add to your life? They add interest. They add that other element that enlivens you. Those sorts of experiences make you feel something for which, at times, there are no words.

This brings us to our SENSES. We have 5 specified ones... Sight, Auditory, Touch, Taste, Smell. But there are more. What does it mean to have a sense of history, a sense of family, a sense of fear? We absorb an intense amount of nonverbal information. Not only that, but our senses play off of each other and change the experience. Smell connects to memory, sight to stomach, sound to taste...

Art is this multi-sensory experience ... like intense intellectual reading, conversation, or lecture, it brings us into another realm and makes us grow. Art plays upon our memories, our visions, our senses. Art is and always will be a part of us. I've written on this before (Touch, Language, Fluency) but am so intrigued by this idea that I want to keep revisiting and testing it out.

Here are two short articles about our senses crossing over each other and changing the whole experience.
Smells Like Bethoven  from the Economist. (Thanks to JJ)
What does Sweetness Sound Like? from the Food and Think Blog at the (Thanks to RCA)

I hope this idea wakes you up, if not to art, to the crazy awesome world we live in. Eventually, I think, you will begin to appreciate art's place ... a strong tool for waking you up and pulling you up. And the arguments about what it is? Just another bee in your bonnet.

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