16 Nov 2017 - 6:00pm

SYN CITY is a one night only exploration of merged perception. A pop-up event immersed within the installation Synaesthesia: what is the taste of the color blue? at Building Bridges Art Exchange, SYN CITY melds creative expression with scientific inquiry, inviting the audience to experience cross-modal perception through sculpture, performance, interactive installation, photography, and visual art. Produced by the UCLA Art | Sci Center in collaboration with Building Bridges Art Exchange and the International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists, SYN CITY is a benefit / fundraising celebration focused toward the publication of a catalogue documenting this inaugural large-scale synaesthesia exhibition, symposium and accompanying performances and author readings -- the first of its kind in the United States.

Victoria Vesna, Artist and director of UCLA Art | Sci Center will present on this occasion Octopus Brainstorming: Synesthesia – a performative installation created in collaboration with neuroscientist Mark Cohen. This work utilizes real-time EEG brain waves, video, color, and sound in an illustration of brain-to-brain communication. Performers featured at Building Bridges Art Exchange gallery are Appelusa and Marcos Lutyens, synaesthete artists who currently have their works installed at Building Bridges Art Exchange.

Featured works also include Pathless Woods by artist Anne Patterson, a touchable, walk-through sculpture, and Tim Thompson's The Space Palette, an instrument that combines sound with color, pattern, and light, providing visitors to SYN CITY with the chance to experience colored music of their own creation.

This special event is free of charge and open to the public.

Building Bridges Art Exchange
2525 Michigan Avenue, Unit F2
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Image Credit: Appelusa Photography:
Syn City: a multi-sensory imaginarium of scientific delight + artistic inquiry + synaesthetic confession is co-curated by Building Bridges Art Exchange founder Marisa Caichiolo and Victoria Vesna, Director of the UCLA Art | Sci Center.

Produced by IASAS, CC Hart, Sean Day

Produced by BBAX, Marisa Caichiolo

Produced by UCLA Art | Sci Center, Victoria Vesna
Creative content contributors: Michael Becker, Andrew Ortiz, Portrait XO, Appelusa


Jon Adams works in a variety of mediums, is a trained geologist and considers himself to to be an 'Outsider Artist'. Adams has synaesthesia and Asperger Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. The artist's work explores sense and sensitivity through the 'hidden' and plays with perceptions of normal and the inaccessible.

Raewyn Turner and Brian Harris individually and collaboratively engage both simple elements with engineering to create experiential art. Their work is intertwined with science, utilizing a fusion of commonplace and made objects fused with high level electronics which Brian invents and develops for camera and robotics along with Raewyn's olfactory scientific research and art practice. In Turner and Harris's collaborative work they create multisensory experiences and manifestations of unsensed data and invite the audience to sample, taste, smell and participate.

Anne Patterson has chromesthesia; when she hears sound, she sees color. Trained as an architect and theater production designer, this unique combination of senses combines to create an artistic practice, hovering somewhere between the theatrical and the experiential. She continues to explore creating synesthetic environments with site- responsive installation, Pathless Woods, an investigation that began with her acclaimed 2013 installation Graced with Light, at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.

James Wannerton is an Englishman with an incredibly rare ability to taste sound. Even as a young boy, James always experienced an involuntary taste on his tongue every time he heard a sound. Hearing the name Anne Boleyn in history class, for example, gave him a strong flavor of pear drops. He associated most of the British monarchs with a specific taste, making it easy for him to remember facts and events.

Appelusa is a world champion artistic roller skater, and also an accomplished actor, writer, voice-over artist, photographer, mixed media, and performance artist. As a visual artist, she strives to depict how synaesthesia affects her perception of daily life by combining technology, roller dance, photography, and music. She is a founding member of the International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and Scientists (IASAS), and serves as the organization's Dance Curator.

M.J. Cordoba, Doctor of Fine Arts (1994), has been researching on the synaesthesia field since the 80's. In addition, she also researches in other topics such as engraving on new materials and illustration systems on synthetic polymers (piece of work published by the Institute of Science and Polymer Technology, CSIC, in the year 2005). Forerunner of the study and promotion of synaesthesia in Spain, she has managed to organize four International Congresses on Synaesthesia, Science and Arts, which are unique in Europe due to their multidisciplinary character, These congresses bring together the highest level of researchers among universities from 40 different countries.

Marjan Vayghan informs her life experiences through multiple forms of synaesthesia, Marjan Vayghan's creative practice is shaped by her flexibility and relationship with colors, sounds and cross-pollination of senses and the multiple realities these sensations engender.

Tim Thompson is a software engineer, musician, and installation artist. His wide-ranging artistic work includes a programming language for MIDI, interactive installations at Burning Man and other festivals, musical performances with Playstation dance pads and QWERTY keyboards, and realtime video looping and processing with a handheld security camera. The Space Palette is a collaboration with Paul Sable, who created the woodwork.

Christine Söffing, born in Dortmund, Germany, studied the history of art, German language and literature, computer science, psychology and art in Münster, Germany. She has committed herself to working as an artist, while also giving workshops for drawing, painting, sculpture and video for children, young people and adults. Since 2010, Christine Söffing has served as head of the EMU-Ensemble, which offers experimental music and art through the Musisches Zentrum Ulm University concerts and sound-installations uniting art and science.

Marcos Lutyens's practice has centered on the investigation of consciousness to engage the visitor's embodied experience of art. Exhibitions of infinite scale and nature have been installed in the minds of visitors. His investigations have included research with social groups such as the third-gender Muxhe, Raeilians, synaesthetes, border migrants, space engineers and mental architects to explore how unconscious mind-sets shift across cultures and backgrounds.

Dr. Richard E. Cytowic, MD, MFA, currently Professor of Neurology at George Washington University, is a pioneer in synaesthesia research and, as an author, his books are considered the foundation for much of what we now understand about inherited synaesthesia. Dr. Cytowic and artist Marcos Lutyens often collaborate to create an ongoing dialogue between science and art.