Algorithmic Synesthesia

Noam Sagiv, Roger T. Dean and Freya Bailes

in The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199792030
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Algorithmic Synesthesia


This article presents a remarkable form of perception labeled synesthesia. Synesthesia is usually defined as a condition in which stimulation in one sensory modality also gives rise to a perceptual experience in other modalities. This article distinguishes between the involuntary psychological phenomenon and synesthesia in art involving intentional intermedia experimentation. No doubt, technology has made it easier to create multimedia today (e.g., the simple visualization one encounters using a media player), but the central question is not how to implement it but what to implement. This article discusses different approaches to real-time algorithmic synesthesia, in particular sharing features between simultaneously produced sound and image. It begins with the “genuine” synesthetic experience naturally occurring in a minority of individuals. The remainder of its discussion of the psychological phenomenon of synesthetic perception focuses predominantly on auditory-visual interactions.

Keywords: synesthesia; stimulation; sensory modality; intentional intermedia experimentation; auditory-visual interactions

Article.  8145 words. 

Subjects: Music ; Applied Music

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »