So? But for sure 98% of the people in the world care – yes? Well, it’s just that Kiki and Booba may really be the Adam and Eve of our language.
Hold on – see for yourself: which one is Kiki, or Booba ?
In the back of our head, inside the skull, our visual association areas and auditory association areas have lots of interconnections. Many of our visual impressions can be remembered better if translated into sound. For example, when you park your car in the mall, you look at the sign on the wall that says A5 – and if you say it a few times out loud, you are more likely to remember where you had parked a few hours, and a movie later.
I know one woman, exceedingly bright who would remember people’s names by making associations. So once she met Mr. White, the next time she called him Mr. Snow – close enough.
This kind of cross modality connection is important not just for remembering things, but is believed to be the basis of creativity – and the beginning of language (not to mention art) in primitive men, when things we see have symbolic meaning: in the case of Kiki and Booba, form into sound. Most of us associate the sharper Kiki sound with a sharper shape and Booba with a more globular one. While language has deep roots in our visual and auditory brains, it also involves other modalities like touch, taste and smell, and above all emotions and feelings. This type of inter-modal communication can be trained and improved upon as opposed to a related condition called ‘synesthesia’ which the abstract artist Wassily Kandinsky famously had and who painted from musical notes in his head. The contemporary artist David Hockney also is a synesthete. Syneshesia is automatic and is involuntary, probably with a genetic component.
I don’t understand why our art and our museums are viewed by the general public with such distance and distrust. Of the five senses, the eyes are the only sense organs we can completely control – open or close, aim or wander, focus or dissociate.. . While hearing is also sense for distance but it’s hard to shut out noises completely, even with earplugs. The other three senses: touch, taste and smell all depend on contact for which we have even less control. * No wonder then that we now believe it is somewhere in our visual brain where our human consciousness ** occurs – volition, or intention, being an important part of consciousness. Looking at art, especially abstract art (form, shape and color) is a very good way to reach our own deep consciousness, when the meaning of the work is not prescribed, as is the case in a figurative Madonna and Child painting.
Also see this very interesting piece about a baby’s cry pattern – it may predict his or her future language skills.
* Smell travels a short distance but still depends on airborne molecules reaching the moist membrane in the nose.
** Yes, the ‘C’ word, the current holy grail of neuroscience.