Jenara Nerenberg, is one of the most fascinating and determined women I’ve met. She is the founder of the Neurodiversity Project, and I have been fortunate to attend many of the events she’s hosted that foster knowledge, community, and connection around neurocognitive differences. I was so looking forward to reading her book Divergent Mind, and was thrilled to crack it open on a recent spring day. I quickly turned into a puddle of tears when I learned that Jenara started Chapter 3 of Divergent Mind with my personal account of synaesthesia, ADHD, and other neurocognitive outliers. You can find Divergent Mind through your independent bookseller, or via Amazon.
It’s here! Synaesthesia: Opinions and Perspectives: 30 Interviews with Leading Scientists, Artists and Synaesthetes has been published by the University of Münster. This is the English language version of the book offered in Russian at Moscow State University of Psychology and Education. Edited by Anton Sidoroff-Dorso, Sean A. Day, and Jörg Jewanski, you can find this title on Amazon, or order it through your bookseller: ISBN-10: 3840502284, ISBN-13: 9783840502286. It is also available as an open source PDF. It is truly an honor to have my interview included in this important publication.
BBC Radio Wales teamed up with comedian Lorna Pritchard to produce a special program “What Color is Your Friday? Synaesthesia and Me“, a 30 minute exploration of synaesthesia and its impact on people who have this trait. I am grateful to have been included in the program; it was especially nice to hear the voice of my friend James Wannerton, who was also interviewed for “What Color is Your Friday? Synaesthesia and Me“. And, I am delighted to have met Lorna Pritchard; she is a gem. Her stand-up comedy segment on synesthesia at the start of the program is hysterical. You can listen to the whole program at the link below:
Christian Hook is an immensely talented artist whose work appears in the National Portrait Gallery (England), the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and the Bolton Museum of Art as well as additional galleries. He was the 2014 winner of Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year, and has painted the likenesses of Queen Elizabeth II, boxer Amir Khan, Sir Ian McKellan, the Maharaja of Johdpur, and Kristin Scott Thomas, among other notable people. Storyvault Films is an independent TV production company making a wide range of high-quality factual and factual-entertainment programmes for all the major TV channels in the UK and for international distribution. One of Storyvault Films current projects is a documentary about Christian Hook, who has a keen interest in the ways that synaesthesia can inform and add layers of meaning to a portrait. I was fortunate to travel to London to contribute to this film in development, which is scheduled for broadcast in October 2020.
RSI Novosti is the largest producer of international news in Russia. I am honored by my opportunity to represent the International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists in Moscow for a press conference that was broadcast throughout Russia. Recorded in RSI Novosti’s Presidential Hall, this hour long dialogue also featured moderator Natalia Loseva, IASAS president Sean A. Day, art historian Elena Rovenko, ASA president Carol Steen, synesthesia historian Jörg Jewanski, musician and inventor Kaitlyn Hova, and conference chairman and lecturer Anton Dorso. In the video, I am sitting between Jörg Jewanski and Kait Hova. The video is in Russian without translation.
One of the highlights of our IASAS Moscow conference was witnessing filmmaker Ola Pankratova at work with her crew as they develop an intriguing documentary on cross sensory perception. “Synesthesia” an immersive documentary, is still in production, but I’m so happy to share the teaser via Instagram. I’m delighted to be included in this project, and I will update this post as I learn more about “Synesthesia’s” journey to the big screen. You can find the teaser on Vimeo.
I can’t read Cyrillic, but I can be pleased to announce that my interview was published in Synesthesia: Opinions and Perspectives edited by Anton Dorso, IASAS board member and lecturer at Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, and Sean A. Day, IASAS president. This 275 page volume was an accompaniment to Synaesthesia: Cross-Sensory Aspects of Cognition Across Science and Art, a 5 day series of events in Moscow, Russia, held October 16th through 20th, 2019. This conference included speakers and presenters from 25 countries and more than 200 participants. Art installations, concerts, and first hand accounts from synaesthetes were matched by outstanding academic papers from leaders in research focused toward cross-modal perception and processing. What an honor to be included in this historic book, which is currently available in Russian, and will (hopefully) be translated to English in 2020.
Human+ The Future of Our Senses is a documentary series focused on the sensorium, technology, and the fascinating variations in our experiences with touch, sight, smell, taste, and hearing. Episode 5, “The Orchestra of the Senses”, explores synaesthesia as a sensory outlier; I am featured in that episode describing what it’s like to live with mirror-touch synaesthesia. I am so happy to be included in this project, and even more delighted to see my friend Lidell Simpson and me fencing on San Francisco’s Marina Green in the trailer below. Human+ airs in the Canadian television market beginning August 21st, 2019, and is available as well via other international media outlets. The production is collaborative; partners include Idéacom International, Bonne Pioche Télévision, and the European Union “Creative Media Europe” campaign.
I’m a bit giddy to have my very own junior high school favorite song included on the My Mixtape program at KALW! I have the loveliest chromesthetic experiences with “How Deep is Your Love?” by the BeeGees. This song was a radio favorite when I was in 7th grade, and it stayed at the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 for 10 weeks. At 13, I didn’t know what to call my visual experiences of the sounds I heard, but my chromesthetic perceptions of the Gibb brother’s voices is still with me. You can find My Mixtape by clicking here.
Fundación Internacional Artecittà is an international organization focused on synesthesia in relationship to the arts, science, and society. They host a stellar synesthesia congress every 3 years in in Alcalá la Real, Spain, which includes the TEKSYN II art installation. TEKSYN II is housed in El Museo Palacio Abacial, a former abbey built in the 1700’s. It was a pleasure to have my visual art included in the installation as well as the TEKSYN II catalogue. Timothy Layden and MJ De Córdoba, you have my gratitude!
I’ve long admired Dr. Richard Cytowic, MD, MFA, whose book Wednesday is Indigo Blue is the watershed publication for both researchers and general readers on the topic of synesthesia. Richard is ridiculously smart, gracious, and funny. He included my colored graphemes in Synesthesia, his latest publication from MIT Press. I am both awed and honored.
The Daily Mail is a British newspaper with more than 100 million unique visitors to it’s website each month! Journalist Natalie Rahhal crafted an article about MTS focused on healthcare workers who have mirror-touch synesthesia. I’m honored that she included me; I’m even more honored to appear alongside Joel Salinas! Find that article here.
In 2017, two landmark books about Mirror-Touch Synaesthesia were published. In April, Mirror Touch: notes from a doctor who can feel your pain was released by HarperOne. A moving memoir about MTS by Dr. Joel Salinas MD, Mirror Touch expertly helps the reader understand the conflated sensations of MTS and its impact on daily life. Dr. Salinas interviewed me for his memoir; I am mentioned as “CC” in the text. I highly recommend Dr. Salinas’ book to anyone interested synaesthesia and/or neurodiversity.
Daria Martin is an artist and academic. Oxford University Press published her research volume Mirror-Touch Synaesthesia: Thresholds of Empathy with Art. I had a series of dialogues with Daria Martin and her research colleague Dr. Elinor Cleghorn, and was fortunate to meet Ms. Martin in San Francisco when she presented her art film Sensorium Experiments at California College of the Arts. While I am not mentioned by name in Mirror-Touch Synaesthesia: Thresholds of Empathy with Art, I am quoted in various chapters as (research subject) #5.
From late winter of 2016 through the end of 2017, I dedicated most of my discretionary time to helping the International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists launch a series of events in Los Angeles, California. I sit on the board for IASAS, and as part of that team, I helped to coordinate a dynamic installation of interactive art. My role was solely executive; I served as a producer and organizer, and IASAS was fortunate to have the support of a world class curator for our exhibit at Building Bridges Art Exchange. When the Huffington Post featured an art critique of Synaesthesia: what is the taste of the color blue? you could have knocked me over with a feather.
Oh my! Oh my! You can find me on VICE! I had the loveliest conversation with writer and journalist Layla Haidrani; her intellectual curiosity and generosity of spirit made interviewing for this article a true pleasure. Neurodiversity matters to me so much, and Ms. Haidrani really got to the heart of what it’s like to have mirror-touch synaesthesia.
BBC Three offers lively online content focused toward a young audience and the ‘wild west’ of the digital world. It’s the perfect home for a story about the neurodivergent phenomena that is Mirror-Touch Synaesthesia. I’m honored to be included in Nick Arnold’s wonderfully insightful article.
The BBC World Service program Outlook features extraordinary first person stories from around the world. I am so happy to share my experiences with Mirror-Touch Synaesthesia with the BBC, as I’ve long admired their commitment to international narratives. Find my Outlook audio essay at 37:00, as interviewed by Pippa Tilbury.
Multisensory Research is an interdisciplinary archival journal covering all aspects of multisensory processing, including perceptual, behavioural, neural and computational mechanisms. My essay “Mirror-Sensory Synaesthesia and the Practice of Manual Therapy” appears in the April 2017 special edition of MSR.
Oh Wow! I was chosen from the audience at the KALW production Kamau Right Now! for an impromptu chat with W. Kamau Bell. I feel fortunate for every opportunity to speak up for synesthesia as a form of human neurodiversity, but this chance to chat with my favorite comedian during a live radio broadcast was absolutely magical!
I’m filled with great big gratitude for my mirror-touch synaesthesia experience as profiled by Great Big Story. I’ve long admired the innovative and creative narratives published by this CNN property, and I’m really and truly delighted with the production values in the video. Feeling all the feels!
As the official monthly publication of The British Psychological Society, The Psychologist serves as a forum for communication, discussion, and debate on a range of psychological topics. I was fortunate to be interviewed by journalist Jack Dutton for his article, The Surprising World of Synaesthesia, which appears in the February 2015 issue.
Pacific Standard covers the nation’s biggest issues in economics, education, the environment, and justice by focusing on what shapes human behavior. Writer and UC Irvine journalism professor Erika Hayasaki has authored an article for Pacific Standard, “This Doctor Knows How You Feel”, which appears in the July 2015 print issue. My experiences with Mirror-Touch Synesthesia are explored in this piece.
I enjoyed my recent opportunity to write for the innovative app VoiceMap, which provides location-aware audio tours via iPhone and Android devices. Syn City SF: The Haight Ashbury allows a non-synesthete to feel what it’s like to view the iconic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco through the lens of synesthesia. You can download Syn City SF here.
I’m beyond honored to have my story featured in Sensorium, author Maureen Seaberg’s blog for Psychology Today magazine. Maureen is a gifted writer whose books include Tasting the Universe: People Who See Colors in Words and Rainbows in Symphonies, and Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel. Maureen writes with insight and grace, and I’m thrilled she interviewed me for Sensorium.
Halloween is a mirror-sensory synaesthete’s nightmare; The Establishment is a writer’s dream…insightful journalism, fascinating essays and expert editors. I’m over the moon to have my All Hallows Eve musings published by this excellent news and culture website.
My essay “Built for Hurt” appears in the inaugural issue of Qualia Journal. Qualia is edited by Dr. Elinor Cleghorn, who has conducted research (with principal investigator Daria Martin) at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Art. Their research examines the scholarly and artistic implications of mirror-touch synaesthesia. Pain is the theme of this first issue of Qualia; “Built for Hurt” is focused on my experiences with synesthesia-for-pain.
I’m so happy to have an interview, “A Strange and Wonderful Life“, published on the blog Like-Minded Magazine. This fascinating project is edited by Rodger Hoefel, a writer, graphic designer, and art director who makes his home in Amsterdam. Like-Minded Magazine is a showcase of stories and conversations shared by those who have experienced life at its most unforgiving. This creative project is “based upon the insight that exposing your experience can initiate meaningful connection and exchange, with the likely goal that support and understanding can be found from others who have shared similar experiences”.
Braindecoder.com is a website that “covers the most interesting neuroscience news with thoughtful reporting, and captures the ongoing social and scientific quest to unravel the mysteries of the brain”. Edited by neuroscientist Bahal Gholipour, braindecoder.com is an engaging resource for readers interested in the fascinating terrain of the brain and mind. I’m honored to have my personal essay on my experiences with mirror-touch synesthesia published at braindecoder.com. You can find that essay here.