Ideasthesia

Ideasthesia

2014

The word “ideasthesia” refers to a phenomenon in which the activation of ideas evokes perception-like experiences. The term is etymologically derived from the ancient Greek verb idea (idea) and aisthesis (sensation), referring to “sensing concepts.” 

The project, Ideasthesia, is a single-channel video that focuses on how to perform imagination: it explores how to sense things not from external stimuli but through intensive imagination and association in both visual and auditory levels. In the video, a professional cellist plays the air-cello by remembering music in her mind. She uses her memory of the music to activate the action of playing the cello, and the action retroactively helps to stimulate her auditory memory. The imagination of playing can be almost as efficacious as playing the actual instrument. That is to say, she embodies her imagination into a performance by playing the cello in mind. 

The performance lies between absence and presence, and fact and essence. While the material property of a cello is absent, the essence remains in the presence of the performance. The void is not empty, but it is filled out by the viewer’s imagination. The essence of the performance is an event called imagination. In this sense, the project, Ideasthesia, is the celebration of human imagination.