Carrie C Firman
photographs that demonstrate the ephemeral vibrance, delicacy, flow, and power of the synesthetic visualizations in my mind’s eye in response to sound and music.
That Which Cannot Be Said with Words is an ongoing series of digital photographs that demonstrate the ephemeral vibrance, delicacy, flow, and power of the synesthetic visualizations in my mind’s eye in response to sound and music. Simple materials are used: a digital camera, glow sticks, string/domestic lighting, headlights, and darkness. No major manipulation is done aside from altering color and occasionally layering two images to provide a more accurate variety. I choose the photographs that most resemble my personal synesthetic experience, and find them striking many chords with the form constants. This set of shape categories was developed in the 1920s by Heinrich Klüver as the result of research comparing the subjective visual experiences of synesthesia, hallucination, physical and psychological stress, and other strong triggers.
This research gives synesthetes a valuable reference, as trying to share our exact visual experiences with verbal or written language is often impossible and frustrating. While each synesthete’s experience is unique, many have expressed appreciation and resonance with this series for the same reason. As one of the first projects that I presented at a synesthesia conference, I continue to add to it in honor of the welcoming, inquisitive community we have formed.