Frans Evers’s The Academy of the Senses is a book wanting to be three books at once. A study of the scientific approaches to synesthesia, related to the psycho-physical research conducted by Evers during his studies at the university; an alternative art history of the twentieth century based on the double paradigm of Castel’s clavecin oculaire and Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk; and a full account of the genesis of the Interfaculty Image & Sound. To encompass this entire range of subject, Evers coined a new term, “synesthetics,” to denote the experience, creative force, and study of synesthesia.
Throughout his career, Evers has profiled himself as an educational reformer. Together with electronic music pioneer Dick Raaijmakers, he started a series of projects and lectures exploring the interaction of music and fine arts, which culminated in the establishment of the first multimedia department in the Netherlands, the Interfaculty Image & Sound at the University of the Arts in The Hague, which Evers headed from 1989 until 2007. This book maps out the theoretical and artistic foundations of this educational reform project, as well as its synesthetic output: large multi-media performances such as a reworking of Anton Schoenberg’s Die Glückliche Hand, Mondrian’s Promenoir, and Scheuer im Haag.
The Academy of the Senses is a “source book,” a work of inspiration, rather than a rigid account of historical facts. It provides anyone with an interest in the wondrous realm of multimedia arts and synesthesia as a creative force, whether student or professional, an introduction into the foundations and extensions of seeing sound and hearing colors throughout the centuries.
Text and Image via Vangervenoei