sketch of the shape of the word "perspective"


Last evening I sat down and made a list of the 25 (and counting) messages that I’m putting on the disrupt. NFTs. I haven’t often tried to articulate the tastes and smells of words. Many are hard to pin down and become elusive when I try to focus on them.

Like when you have one of those squiggly things in your eye and every time you try to look at it, it swims away.

There’s often more than one taste and/or smell present in a word due to the fact that syllables are the building blocks of the flavor profile of the word. Which means that suffixes and prefixes influence flavors of root words.

I had to close my eyes and repeat some words over and over to myself, trying to probe the nuances. And that’s the first time I was startlingly, 100% conscious that words have fourth and fifth dimensions I’ve only been subliminally aware of till now.

Mouth feel. And scale.

Words have shapes and textures — some complex architectures — that I feel inside my mouth when I get past the noisier senses.

I’ve never paid close attention to it before because it’s a lot more subtle. Working behind the scenes while the sounds, flavors, and smells take the stage. I only noticed it when I was concentrating on a word with a very faint smell and suddenly felt like my lips and tongue were moving across a geometric object made of glass triangles fitted together into a chrome frame.

And the object’s scale was split in two in the sense that there was a large one and a small one, but I felt and saw both at the same time. I could only see them in an oddly fractured way, as if I could only see the top halves with my left eye and the bottom halves with my right. And it was big enough for me to stand up in and small enough to fit in my mouth.

Imagine standing inside something that’s inside your own mouth, and also seeing mismatched halves of the whole scene from the viewpoint of an outside observer, and that’s what it felt like.

Oddly enough, that word was “perspective.” And the featured image is my attempt to sketch it based on what it feels like in my mouth.

It might sound like I’ve taken LSD, and I never have. (Does it sound like I need to?) But when people who have taken it describe their sensory experiences while under the influence, some of it sounds exactly like what words do to me all day every day.

In light of this revelation, some of the NFTs in this collection will have mouth feel attributes in addition to taste and smell. And if there’s a mouth feel, I’ll reference shapes and textures in the images as accurately as I can.

That’s one visual link I can use to pull the threads of a bigger synesthesia project together. I thought Diarpi’s idea was a bolt of lightning, but with aftershocks like this it must have been an earthquake.

It was such a beautiful moment for me that I’ll always associate with Diarpi. And now the word “perspective” will make me think of him.

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