Sarah Homewood is an interactive designer and a dancer and synaesthetic and generally excellent. I have been considering synaesthasia as a phenomenon throughout my project, but it didn’t emerge into anything until I asked Sarah to dance to flavours for me, and she divulged that she is synaesthetic.

Synaesthasia is another level of subjectivity, as with everything we experience as a human, there is not much commonality between such things, even pain is entirely relative to that person’s own experience. That said, it is absolutely fascinating to witness the different outputs of perception by lucky cross-modal-sensory people.

Movement is absolutely essential to my project. I found Daniel Shiffman’s book ‘The Nature of Code’, and have been absolutely hooked. Within computing, say in the Java language, the Random() class isn’t really that random – if one was to count the appearances of certain numbers, they would level out over time. More sophisticated algorithms exist but they aren’t to-hand in the canon of programming languages, but my point is that computers struggle to implement nature. We have fantastic physics engines that mirror the mathematics as perceived to us of nature (that’s another conversation for another day, our perception and processing of real nature systems are imposed on us by us, we don’t know everything) but still, they are simulated and not perfect. Even in GTA 5, a completely incredible and extensive game with physics that are getting eerily closer to our own, you can walk into a curb and be shot up into the air as if you’d been hit by a car.

I don’t want to create an engine that mimics natural systems better than anything else, as i’m not a physicist or a mathematician or even that much of a philosopher, so i’m going to be sticking to systems that already exist, but a general awareness of its disconnect from reality has helped me not get too bogged down in the details. I’m starting to realise that the job of truly representing movement is beyond me for now… this is just a tribute.

Back to Sarah, she danced to flavours for me. Here is the proof!

The first interpretation is sweet, the second sour, the third umami, the fourth salty. Unfortunately there wasn’t a bitter interpretation, but it’s cool, i’ll use Dave’s hand gestures for that one. I’m incredibly thankful as they are so interesting, and varied, and seem very close to how flavour moves around us. I’m going to do some blob detection on the videos and save the frames, and maybe think about applying particles to them.

So. pumped!