Art Exhibit in San Francisco Is Meant to Simulate Synesthesia

Onformative//YouTube / Onformative//YouTube

Synesthesia, or the phenomenon of blending together different senses like hearing colors or tasting words, is experienced by roughly 4 percent of the population. Artists and scientists have come up with some pretty creative attempts at making the experience accessible to the rest of us. Now a new San Francisco exhibit aims to simulate the condition by combining a massive light display with blaring background music, Co.Design reports.

Collide is the work of the digital art and design studio Onformative. Their first step was creating a 62-foot wrap-around screen for displaying abstract imagery. From there, the designers had an audio track custom-composed for the installation. Members of the cellist trio kling klang klong were outfitted with virtual reality headsets and tasked with playing music to match the visuals. In the realized exhibit, audio fills the room through a 54-channel speaker system.

Booking a trip to San Francisco isn’t the only way to test out the synesthesia-inspired art piece. Onformative shared a 360-degree video of Collide that can be turned to an immersive experience by anyone with a VR headset. If you’re more interested in the making of the project, footage of the musicians' composition process is also available to view.

[h/t Co.Design]

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