What Is Inherited Synaethesia and Would It Make for a Unique Art Exhibition?

Hi, everyone. My name is Daniel Schuster. Welcome to this new blog, EarthFireWonders.com  The fun and excitement for me in putting this new weekly blog together is to share with you some of the truly stunning things that are out there taking place the arts and sciences, and related technology, with a particular nod to inherited synaesthesia and neurodiversity.  Of course, let’s not forget fashion, music, and design.

I am hoping this will all be something like having coffee and conversations at a fun cafe with good friends and that I will also hear from you as to what you discover out in the world of art, science, and technology.  Perhaps we can all form a wonderful community of talented people, curious and excited about all the wonder happening in the world.

As a career, I so much enjoy developing big ideas, sharing the big ideas with talented and sweet people (no drama) from different creative arenas in hope that they may be able to fulfill some of their own creative aims’ and agendas’ within the big idea, whether that may be dance, music, science, etc.  It is then that the magic and synergy happens, creative collaborations form, and spectacularly multi-faceted art exhibitions come together.

Without the encouragement and support of Executive Director and Curator Marisa Caichiolo and Building Bridges Art Exchange, SYNAETHESIA: what is the taste of the color blue? would not have been possible.



Building Bridges Art Exchange Gallery in Santa Monica, California

My name is Daniel Schuster and I am on staff with Building Bridges Art Exchange, an international nonprofit arts organization and gallery in Santa Monica, California.  My title at BBAX is Producer – Special Exhibitions.  I work with our Executive Director, Marisa Caichiolo, a world-renown curator, to put together unique exhibitions and also help the organization form new collaborations with international partners in the arts and sciences.



Things took an exciting turn for me when I first learned about inherited synaesthesia in the late summer of 2015 from a science program on National Public Radio.  I learned that four percent of the population inherits a cross wiring of the senses in which when one sense is activated in some way, another sense will always have the same response.  There are over 80 different forms of inherited synaesthesia. Some people see colors for emotions, while others taste words they hear, some see waterfalls of words during conversation.

Lady Gaga is probably the most famous synaesthete in the world.

For example, Lady Gaga is a sound–to-color synaesthete.  When she hears the note “C,” she will always see a spot of color in front of her field of vision or perhaps in her mind’s eye. Pharrell Williams, who is also a sound-to-color synaesthete, will always see a color for the note “C,” though it may not be the same color Lady Gaga sees. 

As I learned more about inherited synaesthesia, I realized that it would make for a fantastic art/science exhibition which could include dance, music, literature, etc.  I created a concept for an art show based on sound-to-color synaesthesia and my Gallery Director, Marisa Caichiolo, encouraged me to see if I could put it together.

I hope the subject of inherited synaesthesia has caught your interest and as it did mine.  In my next blog I will be excited to share with you how the world’s first major multifaceted exhibition on inherited synaesthesia, SYNAESTHESIA: What is the taste of the color blue? came to be- through a bit of luck, serendipity, and meeting Dr. Sean A. Day, President of the American Synaesthesia Association.



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