The Philosophy of Synesthesia: Rhapsody in Red (The Red Room)
In our postmodern world nearly everything has been deconstructed. Philosophers Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) and Michel Foucault (1926-1984) deconstructed the meaning and contrasts of words, thereby dismantling what was believed to be true about norms. This influenced the deconstruction of norms as it related to architecture leading to a disregard for traditional shapes like cubes and embracing of more unpredictable designs. An example of this is the Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry in Los Angeles. Beyond words, norms, and buildings, food is deconstructed by taking apart the dish to components in presentation (less so ingredients) and challenging our concepts of food norms, music is deconstructed by challenging our concepts of the musical and so on. Art is not spared this deconstruction. What is art but if only defined by what it is not? Who does it serve to be defined as such? Can a piece of art have singular meaning if those meanings are often many and contrasting?
This deconstruction can lead us feeling disjointed. Living in a world of deconstruction, questioning norms, and unpredictability can be challenging. How should we respond? If all is deconstructed then we are left with only one option:reconstruction. When one takes something apart, like a child taking apart old electronics for the first time, the pieces are left lying all over the place. We could, conceivably, leave everything dismantled but overtime we will get bored or frustrated with the mess we made. We could also throw all the pieces away and be left with nothing; however, as long as humans exist there will be some looking to explore the edge of thought, food, arts, and music. Even if we could throw it all away, those thought leaders will go through the recycling bin of history to create new ideas for our contemporary world. Which leads to reconstruction. What goes up must come down. Or in this case, what goes down must come up and what is deconstructed must be reconstructed.
Reconstruction after deconstruction leads us to welcoming the ambiguity created with acceptance. To continue forward with the knowledge from the critical analysis and act of deconstructing but not disrupting norms into chaos, rather creating new norms based on principles of unity and love. Reconstruction is obtaining singular meaning from the multiple, varied and conflicting meanings. Finding similarity in the dissimilar through shared purpose. Seeing the same source in all. Finding the one in the infinite.
Reconstruction in art is answering: sure, who cares and emphatically yes to deconstruction’s questions. Synesthesia: Rhapsody in Red (The Red Room) uses classical, modern and post-modern techniques combined with contemporary technology to blend one of a kind artisan fine art with commercial, mass-produced found objects while creating the one of a kind from a blend of the artisan and mass-produced. The Red Room attempts to create a singular thesis from the collision of art and the commercial across all the senses while reimagining the gallery or museum experience to be immersive without being kitsch or corporate. One axiom, one maxim from radically different works and meanings. This is red. The colors, sounds, smells, tastes, and feel all different but all unambiguously red.