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    “Exploration of an untranslatable phenomenon” investigates the neurological phenomenon of synesthesia; it’s uniqueness and how such a condition elaborates the subjectivity of human perceptions. Synesthesia is a hereditary condition in which a triggering stimulus evokes the automatic, involuntary, affect-laden, and conscious perception of a physical or conceptual property that differs from that of the trigger. People diagnosed with this neurological condition, the so-called synesthetes, perceive the world from a different angle. The letter “A” will evoke for example a color or a personality, the mere touching of a window will provoke a colorful visual perception.

    In order to study this fascinating phenomenon, Elisabeth Rubattel and I have collaborated with eleven synesthetes from diverse countries and interviewed them about their atypical perceptions and experiences. The outcome of the primary research allowed us to gain more personal and intimate insights in the field of synesthesia. The edition features the outcome of the conducted interviews as well as the detailed descriptions of visual perceptions triggered by specific stimuli. These perceptions have been furthermore interpreted by my colleague and me in a series of 10 photographs to create a visual stimulation for the reader and to questioning the subjectivity of perceptions.

    Those series and the edition, in general, investigate the untranslatable character of synesthesia and its perceptions. Synesthesia takes place in the minds of the subjects and is imperceptible for everyone else. There is no ultimate way to materialize or to translate those visions, they will and stay unique to the synesthetes themselves. Synesthesia is, therefore, a real engine of creative inspiration since it is a way of approaching the world that comes out of the ordinary and the tangible.

    Concept and Editorial team:
    Elisabeth Rubattel
    Rahel Oberhummer

    Design and Coordination:
    Elisabeth Rubattel
    Rahel Oberhummer

    HEAD — Geneva
    Vanherp Gwenola

    Elisabeth Rubattel
    Rahel Oberhummer

    Heaven 42 Softmatt
    Ispira Nero Mistero

    Akzidenz Grotesk
    GT Sectra