Tele-Synaesthesia: the Telematic Future of the Senses
The new media and the Internet enable us to experience different
kinds of information which are of a specifically telematic nature and for this
reason effectively differ from the usual forms of communication. By linking
the concepts tele and synaesthesia to each other, we deal with the fact that
the transmission of data creates a synaesthetic effect: tele-synaesthesia, synesthetes
are in some sense, people of the future. At the end of the 20th century, the
practicable units of time have become digitalised, magnified, and incredibly
accelerated. The modalities of our sensorial perception become interactive by
means of electronic mechanisms of control and selection. A tele-culture is emerging,
subjecting both the perceptual and the conceptual to strictly speaking
computer is a spiritual machine" UMBERTO ECO
content of a medium is the previous medium", Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980)
wrote. A necessary consequence of this principle entails the fact that a person
who searches for a deeper inner meaning is bound to invariably end up with the
M. McLuhan and B.R. Powers offer an explanation for this phenomenon in their publication: Global Village: "If man is able to transpose the workings of his central nervous system into electronic circuits, he will be on the brink of externalizing his consciousness in the computer. One could conceive of consciousness as a projection of internal synaesthesia towards the outside world, which in general coincides with the traditional description of common sense. Common sense is this specific human ability to translate one particular kind of experience towards all other senses and to present the result of this process as one global mental image." 
are the telematic and synaesthetic characteristics of digital art? Stricto sensu,
the very term of Cyber art (interactive art, digital art and/or net.art) is
a provocation in and of itself. For, in general, art is defined as craftsmanship,
spontaneous, honest, original, etc., but, by the same token, these very descriptions
are at the same time predisposition's against the computer as a machine. One
thing has become clear, however, the changing relationship between art and computer
technology reveals itself as a permanent creative challenge. Quite relevant
to digital art is the possibility and the potential of worldwide diffusion via
the WWW (World Wide Web). At the same time, interactive art implies embarking
on an adventurous journey and exploring immaterial spaces. By browsing and freely
navigating through Cyberspace, virtual worlds are within reach. Experiencing
the world by means of computer technology; to see, hear, feel and interact and
to share these experiences with others is the very essence of Virtual Reality
(VR). And, at the same time, this entails that by means of the inter-media,
and especially via VR, age-old dreams of artist about synaesthesia’ resurface...
and become true. In this context, we speak about:
By synchronising images, sound, movement and haptic experiences, electronic media are able to bring about the intermingling and fusion of one medium into another, resulting in making colours audible, visualising sound and making words palpable. Consequently, by being on-line, one is in extenso connected with each other (in 'real time') by means of image, sound and touch/feeling. Cyberspace is a collective mental environment/ambient indeed.
leads us to the point where we can reflect in some more detail upon the impact
and the consequences of the thesis of tele-synaesthesia we established above:
In his publication "The Unity of the Senses: Interrelations among the Modalities", L. E. Marks of Yale University states that: "Synesthesia serves as a means to unify different forms of art by means of a psychological unity of the senses. Since synesthesia refers to the transmission of qualities from one area of the senses to another, to the transposition of text into sound, or of sound into colour, odour or taste... and since the different artistic disciplines, poetry, painting, sculpture, music and dance are all based on appealing to different senses, synesthesia brings about connections between these senses and can equally reveal resemblance's and analogies as it can point at resemblances or differences between artistic disciplines." 
is apparent that we can retrace synaesthesia in all artistic disciplines. In
keeping with these considerations, we can establish and confirm that synaesthesia
has always constituted a basic principle underlying all aesthetic experience
of art. With the emergence of new media, however, the very concept of
art itself has become tele-transmittable, extensive and responsive, as cybernetic
space offers a new type of perspective: telecontact and interaction. The dissolution
of the familiar time and space coordinates leads us into a virtual world. We
experience a return to the assessment of being totally unprepared, a condition
which implies that both the perceptual and the conceptual are, strictly speaking,
subject to continuous modification. This leads us to a first formulation of
Tele-synaesthetic experiences are important explorations as they offer us a better insight in the nature of both our natural senses and of our electronically empowered/enhanced senses. Indeed, our senses constitute our most vital source of information with regard to sensorial adaptation to the ambient surrounding, as we can deduce from the underneath table:
As opposed to this table, Sean A. Day of the National Central University of Taiwan, points out that the senses are usually (more or less) classified according to their importance; from the least to the most important this would give: Smell - Taste - Touch - Hearing - Vision. 
In his publication "Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses", the American neurologist Richard E. Cytowic states his definition of synaesthesia: "The word synesthesia means common sensations. To begin with, perception is not a linear process. Information is not only being processed into the brain, but rather into the entire body as a whole. It is a sort of trunk, of radix, in which all sensations originate... It is the very seed that spawns sensations." 
In the above, Cytowic concludes that synaesthesia is part of the multiplex model of the brain. According to him, natural synaesthesia might be some sort of fossil cognitive remnant, a condition in which corrections and rectification's are being hindered and hampered and in which sensation consequently stands closer to what the essence of perception means.
With regard to our hypothesis, we can deduce from the above that perception is contextual in its inceptive stage and that this content can be considered as an activity. The quintessential difference between natural synaesthesia and tele-synaesthesia lies with the fact that electronic media are extensions of ourself, allowing for synchronisation and corrective interventions, thus bringing about a change/modification of our sensorial system and conceptions. In this respect, a processual, interactive approach to reality can be directive, since meaning is not a static data, but rather a type of activity.
leads us to the last argument to buttress our thesis. In the opinion of the
philosopher and phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1907-1961), synaesthesia
stood for: the natural way of perceiving the world. In his Phenomenology of
Perception, he wrote: "Synaesthetic perception is the rule, and we are unaware
of this fact for the sole reason that scientific knowledge shifts and displaces
the epicenter of our experiences, in such manner that we have been conditioned
not to see or to hear any longer, or to feel in general anymore." 
In closing, we could conclude that all media become synaesthetic media, and that Cybernetic time is the most innovating component in this process. It is a dynamic meta-medium with relevant dimensions and perspectives in Tele-culture. And here, we touch upon the very core of the issue at stake: the process of digitalisation and of virtualisation changes our conception of time at a fast pace. In the not-too-distant future, we will increasingly inhabit a virtual environment in tele-synaesthetic and immaterial fashion. This raises the question: "In how far are we prepared for this?" As a society, how shall we learn the art and acquire the raison d'être for living together in a virtual multiversum ?"
What we aspire to is a human(e) world with optimum quality information, communication and quality experience, which will enhance our abilities to make better choices. In this way -- and linked with an alert self-awareness and sense of responsibility the digital era will be able to optimise the quality of our life. And this future is already with us; only, it has not been distributed and divulged to just proportions, as of yet.
the final instance, we need to be aware of the need for and necessity of a vision,
for critical reflection and a clear insight into these ultra-rapid developments.
The dictum that living equals growing is of the greatest importance for the
fields of art and of technology; in other words, the sole limitations to scientific
and artistic research are the boundaries of our dreams and of our imagination.