Synesthesia & Imagination
A solstice workshop for beating a path to the collective imagination

At the entrance of the shortest day is its exit. In a time in love with the eye, summer is supreme, but what about winter? What is the vision of the other senses? What if you were to see with your tongue or hands or hearing? What can we learn from creatures who live, or even thrive, in the night? Incandescence, witch’s butter, phosphorescence, photoluminescence, night light, neon sign, jellyfish, squid? According to the Inner Classic of Chinese Medicine, “the forces of winter create cold in Heaven and water on Earth, and the kidneys (which open to the ears) and the bones within the body.” In this two-hour outdoor workshop we’ll stand at the threshold of winter and find our own unique paths and vocabularies for meeting the collective imagination. We’ll do this through writing and simple movement exercises meant to amplify the vision of the senses other than sight, in order to amplify insight. In that way, we can bring our own light to the short days, and value that we have a place to shine it. This workshop is for anyone interested in exploring this subject ? dancer, nurse, gardener, poet, artist, writer, musician, psychologist, teacher, dj, landscape architect, gardener, barista, chef. Anyone.

A One-Day Workshop

What is the architecture of the imagination? What gives it shape, and how are its doors and exits made? When does one sense become another and what does that disorientation yield? We will explore these questions and more in the rich historical context of Seattle’s Volunteer Park its water tower, sculpture and plant conservatory - and in neighboring Lake View Cemetery. We will learn about love from the dead, about dying from plant life, about living from architecture. We will learn to see through the microscope of Noguchi’s Black Sun, and see into the earth and stars through the telescope of the water tower. In Basil’s 18th century Theory of Agreeable Sensations, he writes “it is with the musician as with the architect. The form and the octave should seem to form the most pleasing concords, because they impress the fibres of the ear with the greatest degree of motion.” This is a one-day workshop for anyone wishing to explore their sense of creative motion and direction in the world to create intersections where there might seem to be none in the mind, in memory, and in the natural and the more made world surrounding us.

An Imagination Workshop

"If I had some paints handy, I would mix burnt sienna and sepia for you as to match the color of a ‘ch’ sound . . . and you would appreciate my radiant ‘s’ if I could pour into your cupped hands some of those luminous sapphires" (from Vladimir Nabokov's The Gift). This is a poetry workshop for artists interested in poetry. Though it's primarily a reading and writing class, it’s open to anyone seeking a way to reframe and investigate their imagination. We’ll read and consider the five senses, as well as the elusive sixth, through the work of George Oppen, Claire Denis, essential oils and spices, Arthur Rimbaud, Rebecca Solnit, Janet Cardiff, early silent films, Kazuo Ohno, Dylan Thomas, Samuel Beckett, Thelonious Monk, Ono No Komachi, and others. We'll find ways of listening with our eyes and seeing and tasting with our ears, with antennae for the ways our work might extend past a single dimension.

Classes and workshops are conducted in universities, parks, senior centers, and community centers. Private poetry lessons and/or imagination prescriptions along the lines of the aforementioned may also be arranged.