The man who hears colour

“Artist Neil Harbisson is completely colour-blind. Here, he explains how a camera attached to his head allows him to hear colour.

Until I was 11, I didn’t know I could only see in shades of grey. I thought I could see colours but that I was confusing them.

When I was diagnosed with achromatopsia [a rare vision disorder], it was a bit of a shock but at least we knew what was wrong. Doctors said it was impossible to cure.

When I was 16, I decided to study art. I told my tutor I could only see in black and white, and his first reaction was, “What the hell are you doing here then?” I told him I really wanted to understand what colour was.

I was allowed to do the entire art course in greyscale – only using black and white. I did very figurative art, trying to reproduce what I could see so that people could compare how my vision was to what they saw. I also learnt that through history, there have been many people who have related colour to sound.”

… “But my favourite colour is aubergine. It looks black but it is actually violet or purple, and it sounds very high-pitched.”

Neil Harbisson spoke to Outlook on the BBC World Service. Listen to the programme here.

for the full story go to  BBC News – The man who hears colour.


2 Comments to “The man who hears colour”

  1. I find this SO interesting. Both of my boys have been diagnosed with Achromatopsia, due to them having Blue-Cone Monochromacy and I am constantly wondering how things could be for them. They are younger, 8 y/o and 17 m/o. I am going to have to tell the oldest about your post. Thank you for posting!

  2. another interesting post here Synaesthesia migraines & creativity I found via my twitter links, thanks to @redrabbitskills for highlighting & @dajbelshaw for writing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: