Paper to be published in the International Journal of Food Design, 2018
Abstract Recent developments in neuroscience and psychology have confirmed what many artists have long intuited, that our senses are connected. Research into crossmodal correspondences – the universal tendency of a sensory feature in one modality to be matched with one from another sensory modality – has highlighted strong connections between flavour and sound that has only just begun to be explored by artists working in these sensory realms. This paper investigates Oenosthesia, a practice-led art research project that aims to harness crossmodal correspondences in an artwork that combines a soundscape created from field recordings of the winemaking process with wines consumed as part of the piece. Its success in achieving this was tested through data gathered from participants at presentations of the work in London in September 2016 and in Sydney in March 2017. This paper presents the results of this study, which suggest that sound can significantly change perceptions of flavour and highlights the potential for the design of crossmodally congruent sound works that heighten specific flavour characters of a wine.
Oenosthesia: the international blend
This version of Oenosthesia was a remix of the original using wines and their sounds from different regions around the world. It was presented at Studio Sienko in London in September 2016 and Black Box, University of New South Wales Art & Design in Sydney in 2017, from which feedback was gathered for this study.
“If the plant contract is an effort to redress damages incurred upon nature due to human over-dominance and extreme sovreignity over the natural world, then Jo Burzynska is experimenting with changing our perceptions of the vegetal life, and dabbling with the changed usage of a given landscape.”
Prudence Gibson. The Plant Contract: Art’s Return to Vegetal Life. 2018. Lieden: Brill.
I’m honoured to have a section devoted to my work in Prudence Gibson’s excellent new book on critical plant studies, The Plant Contract. In “A Baccanalian Labour,” Gibson writes about my Oenosthesia project and ongoing research into the perceptual interactions between sound and taste/flavour.
I’m recruiting participants to take part in a study on how sound affects the perception wine characters. This is the final part of an experiment started at Oxford University’s Crossmodal Research Laboratory with Professor Charles Spence and Dr Janice Wang that I will be finishing in Sydney.
To participate in the study you must be over 18, comfortable with consuming a small (125ml) amount of red wine and have a normal sense of smell, taste and hearing. Participants will be given red wines to taste with different sounds, and will be asked a series of questions. The experiment is a single session that takes no longer than 30 minutes. All those taking part in the study will be invited to attend a free wine and music tasting that I will host later this year in Sydney using the results of previous research.
The experiments will take place at the UNSW Paddington Campus:
22nd March 5-8pm
23rd March 11am-6.30pm
24th March 10.30am to 3pm
The 22nd and 23rd March sessions are largely booked up now, but slots are still available on the afternoon of Saturday March 24th.
And UNSW Kensington Campus:
5th April 10am-4pm
6th April (possible extra date)
Those with all levels of wine expertise are welcome. However, I’m particularly interested in recruiting participants who are able to identify body and acidity in a wine.
If you are interested, please contact me using the form below, ideally with an idea of what dates/time might suit. Slots are on the hour and half hour between the specified times.
Please do circulate this invitation to anyone else who might be interested.
Live audio-olfactory performance
28th January, 2018 – NOW Now Festival, Sydney, Australia
28th April, 2018 – Selectors’ Records, Vancouver, Canada
“When Locomotion No1 made the world’s first commercial steam journey in 1825 it created the first movement in the history of the railways, and of a whole body of musical work inspired by the iron horse’s subsequent noisy passage through the world’s once peaceful open country. While the train came to symbolise order, progress and freedom, its potential for unpredictability and disaster on the other – from runaway trains to derailments and crashes – evoked a mixture of fear and fascination reflected in and provoked by some of the sublime musical journeys which have incorporated its aural imagery.
Jo Burzynska, “The Sound of Steam.” Noisegate 13 (2006).
In preparation for the performance
Jump on board for a dromological journey illuminated by the sonic, kinetic and olfactory energy of locomotion and landscapes passed through at speed. In this live audio-olfactory performance – which follows the Stanier Black-Five vinyl release of Alone with the Black Spirits on the UK’s Rail Cables last year – I’m returning to my longstanding fascination with trains in my first ever rail-based work in Australia and featuring aromatic elements. The sound component will use my field recordings of trains made around the world, which is entwined with a congruent shifting aromascape that I’ve blended that applies my own and existing research into crossmodal correspondences, the universal tendency of a sensory feature in one modality to be matched with one from another sensory modality.
A few copies of the Rail Cables vinyl still available to purchase.
The Auricle Sonic Arts Gallery, Christchurch, New Zealand
June 1-24, 2017
Jo Burzynska’s Amazuppai work for sound and wine was part of An Audacious Decade exhibition at The Auricle Sonic Arts Gallery in Christchurch, NZ. Amazuppai uses the interactions between sound and wine to explore the physical sensations, conceptual contrasts and subconscious synergies of ‘sweet and sour’. The knife-edge balance between these two contrary but often complementary tastes and their semantic associations is explored in Amazuppai (the Japanese for sweet-sour, comparable to the idea of bittersweet). This is reinforced and destabilised through the interplay of a crisp off-dry Riesling with a modulating soundscape.
This work was created as part of Jo’s current doctoral research at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. In this, she is investigating the interactions between sound and taste and applying this in the creation of installations that work at the intersections of the senses.