BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Mª JOSE DE CORDOBA SERRANO. Some words on the author’s life and research.
Fw: Medal of Merit the Granada Royal Academy of Fine Arts awards 2009
Mª José de Córdoba Serrano, Doctor of Fine Arts, has been researching on the synaesthesia field since the 80’s. In addition, she also researches in other topics such as engraving and new materials and illustration systems on synthetic polymers (piece of work published by the Institute of Science and Polymer Technology, CSIC, in the year 2005). Forerunner of the study and promotion of synaesthesia in Spain, she has managed to organize threeInternational Congresses on Synaesthesia, Science and Arts, unique in Europe due to their multidisciplinarycharacter and bringing together the highest level of researchers among more than universities from 40 different countries. Likewise, she has been able to put in contact several national and international research groups which, sharing their ideas and progress, have created new projects and even implemented UniversityMasters (such as the one offered by the University of Seville on musical performance where synaesthesia is studied and used for artistic didactics basis); Summer courses, international contests on Visual Music, etc. and the establishment of an international and multidisciplinary research group whose members are renown and prestigious neuroscientists such as Edward M Hubbard, California; anthropologists and linguists, likeSean A Day, North Charleston, USA; psychiatrists such as Markus Zedler, Hanover, Germany and visualcommunication and design experts such as Dina Riccò, Politecnico University, Milan, Italy, among others;all of them are members of the International Foundation Artecittà(http://www.artecitta.es). Maria Jose de Cordoba is co-founder and chairwoman of the Research Department as well as in charge of cultural projects, promotion and development, carrying out all these tasks altruistically. A fruitful outcome of herresponsibilities has been signing collaboration agreements with Granada University, Seville University, and Music Conservatories. Nevertheless, she is committed to keep on hard working to obtain further supports to develop all the projects in mind. She has already become a reference in PhD works, some of them distantfrom the Arts topic, for example:“Cómo potenciar la generación de nuevas ideas en la fase creativa del proceso de innovación tecnológica en aplicaciones de la ingenieria industrial” (“How to promote the generation of new ideas in thecreative stage of technological innovation projects for Industrial Engineering applications”), by Saiz Segarra, Miguel Angelfrom Catalonia Polytechnic University, 2005. In one of her last articles we can read the following explanation:“In the last 25 years, the interest in synaesthesia, related to perceptual research, and scientific study ofsensorial and cognitive processes, related to creativity and arts… in other words, in relationship with mentalprocesses and our multiple intellectual abilities (multiple intelligences) has increased and it has becomemore appealing. Because of the discoveries of our brain structures, provided by new neuro-imaging techniques, we know our brain is further more plastic than it was believed. And there is a set of multipleintermingled nets participating in many of those sensorial processes, where the information from more than 27 sensorial powers are mixed and provide us this special and unique WORLD of perceptions.”(Experimentación artística e inducción a la sinestesia. (Artistic Experimentation and Induction to Synaesthesia) Maria José de Córdoba. 2008 From her first approach to synaesthesia to the last activity she has organized, the 3rd InternationalCongress on Synaesthesia, Science and Arts (April 2009, Parque de las Ciencias, Granada) togetherwith its programme for parallel activities, 20 years have gone by. Her first project was on paintingand sound in 1988, and it was funded by the regional Government of Castilla-la Mancha and Albacete Provincial Council. Fine examples of her evolutions are: in 1993 her piece of art “Painting and sound. Hermetic Confines”, sponsored by the social and cultural department of the savings
bankCaja General de Ahorros de Granada; 1996, “Impressions of the sound” (Synaesthesia – naturaland city sounds), or Zafra Nazari House (Centre for Historic Studies on Granada and its Kingdom).Therefore, a lot of water has passed under the bridges since she started… even if some may think they havediscovered something new… synaesthesia is coming in fashion.A short list of her last projects follows: 2001. Interdisciplinary Research Project entitled "RESEACH AND ANALYSIS OF SYNAESTHETIC INTERRELATIONSHIPS IN SENSORIAL PROCESSES (anthropological, sociological, artistic and educational aspects) by means of the use of new technologies. Application for auditory and visual impairment, presented in the 6thCongress of Applied Anthropology. Ángel Ganivet, University of Granada (UGR).2004. “Synesthesia Sound/Image/Colour – Proposal for the study of a mathematical model of the synaestheticprocesses”. The Fifth Annual National Conference of the American Synesthesia Association, Faculty of Medicine,Houston, Texas.2005.-, “Proposal for the study of a mathematical model of synaesthetic processes”, in collaboration withJosé Mª Jerónimo. IAA. Granada – 1st International Congress on Synaesthesia and Arts, University of Almeria,International Foundation Artecittà, Cuevas de Almanzora Town Council. 20052006. - “Interdisciplinary Research on Synaesthesia: development and goals. 2nd International Congress onSynaesthesia, Science and Arts 2007. Granada Congress Palace. International Foundation Artecittà, University ofGranada, 28 April -2 May 2007 2007.-Authors- Milán, E. G.1, Hochel, M.1, Domínguez García, E.1, Mata, J. L.2, De Córdoba, M.J.3, & Vila, J.1 (1 Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Granada, Spain;2 Department of Psychology, JaénUniversity, Spain;3Artecittà Foundation, Spain), Work: “Do colours really matter? Emotional and physiological impact of colours in chromatic synaesthesia”. 2nd International Congress on Synaesthesia, Science and Arts 2007. GranadaCongress Palace. International Foundation Artecittà, University of Granada, 28 April -2 May 2007Video and animation International Exhibition on Synaesthesia and visual music; parallel activity included in the2nd International Congress on Synaesthesia, Science and Arts 2007. Palacio de los Condes de Gabia. GranadaProvincial Council.2008.-“ARTISTIC EXPERIMENTATION AND INDUCTION TO SYNAESTHESIA. University of Almeria Summer Course 2008, Cuevas del Almanzora. Almería. 14-18 July 2008 2009. - “RESEARCH AND SURVEY OF POSSIBLE SYNAESTHETHES IN THE EDUCATIONAL FIELD:SYNAESTHESIA, CREATIVITY AND SENSORIAL REPRESENTATION SYSTEMS” 3rdInternationalCongress on Synaesthesia, Science and Arts. Parque de las Ciencias. Granada. 26-29 April 2009.Authors: Emilio Gómez Milán; Mª José de Córdoba Serrano; Emilio Domínguez: “RUNNING HEAD:CREATIVITY IN SYNAESTHESIA. Are synaesthetes more creative than non-synaesthetes?”Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Granada, Spain.3rdInternational Congress on Synaesthesia, Science and Arts. Parque de las Ciencias. Granada. 26-29 April 2009 Likewise, the publication of the minutes corresponding to each of the Congress designed and organized by Maria Josede Cordoba, as well as the International Contest of Visual Music, in collaboration with Professor DinaRiccò, have become the reference for many researches on the synaesthesia field, which is not so emerging any longer. Itshould also be mentioned the first documentary filmed in Spain about this field, which has been broadcasted, due to itsscientific character, by regional and national televisions.In addition, she is a member of the research group “Cognitive Training” SEJO28, in the Experimental Psychology Department of the University of Granada. She also collaborates with the research groupSetshif (Experimental Psychology Department of the University of Granada), in projects such as “CognitiveModel of Mental Reconfiguration: emotional and neurological development” started by Emilio Gómez Milán, in
2006.For further information on projects and publications of the Artecittà Foundation research group, visit:http://sites.google.com/site/sinestesiagroupint/HomeFinally, let us mention Mª José de Cordoba’s last exhibition was called: “Impressions of Sound”, a retrospectiveexposition that was held in March 2009, in the Cultural Department of Maracena Town Council. This lastexhibition can be included in a list with more than 200 individual or collective exhibitions both in Spain and abroad.(ARS. April 2009)