A CULTURAL HISTORY OF THE SYNESTHETIC AND CROSS-SENSORY ARTS
By Thomas Bey William Bailey
© Thomas Bey William Bailey 2016
Edited | Francisco López
First Published in 2016 by
SONM – Sound Archive of Experimental Music and Sound Art
Puertas de Castilla Center, Murcia, Spain
Design | Susana López
Distribution | diegomarin.net
“Between the scientific/technical and the esoteric, synesthesia has remained as a somewhat obscure and ungraspable myth, apparently of interest only for the initiated and the Orphic-minded. A broad cultural history of synesthesia, therefore, is not only an intelligent and brave undertaking, but also a much-needed contribution to a proper understanding of a form of cross-sensitivity that seems to have fundamentally influenced all sorts of artists and creators throughout the centuries. From music to painting to film to computer art, from the archaic to the contemporary, from Nabokov to McLaren, from Blavatsky to Merleau-Ponty, this book opens up the gates of what I would consider as the most intense and appealing form of ‘multi/trans/inter-media’: that which takes place place inside the body.”
Francisco López, Editor
Thomas Bey William Bailey
Working with a number of different communications media, TBWB aims to construct a body of work that interrogates notions of utopia, anthropocentrism, and “the extreme”, while refusing to reject any unpopular cultural manifestation as invalid until its parameters have been fully mapped out, and its more nuanced aspects brought to light.
An admitted autodidact, TBWB draws upon the work of a diverse body of 20th and 21st Century thinkers to aid him in a personal quest for “serious playfulness”. Johan Huizinga, John Gray (Straw Dogs), Friedrich Kittler, Paul Virilo, Gilles Deleuze, Gregory Bateson and numerous others all contribute to TBW’s jargon-free, non-specialist writings on creative life.
As a sound enthusiast and artist, he takes his cues from composers such as Iannis Xenakis and the new contingente of computer-aided- “psycho- acoustic” artists: those with no fear of using the full spectrum of audible sound to produce rapturous, ecstatic moments of deep personal inquiry.
His writings have been published in multiple languages, and in newsstand magazines (The Whire, HiS Voice, A2 Cultural Weekly) as well as the weblogs and online presences of arts and culture institutions (Rhizome.org, Vague Terrain, etc.). The thematic concerns mentioned above are most fully investigated in his first book (Micro Bionic, Creation Books, 2009) and his forthcoming volumen (Unofficial Release: Handmade And Self-Released Music In Post-Industrial Society).
He has also hosted a program on London’s Resonance FM treating 21st Century Electronic composition, and worked as an educador in Japan and Central Europe.