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Matthew Baldwin's Match Preview

Match du Jour

Synesthesia is a neurologically based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. (Has anyone yet coined a word that means “lifting material directly from Wikipedia to sound smart”? “Wikiplagia”, perhaps?)

And while Skittles has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the disorder with their "Taste the Rainbow" campaign, the condition remains enigmatic. Where I smell sulfer, a synesthete might hear a symphony. A punch in the arm might taste like vanilla.

I sometime think of artists as conceptual synesthetes, effortlessly (and perhaps involuntarily) translating information from one medium to another. Mathematics become music; rage is documented with charcoal and canvas; a narrative is chiseled from a block of marble.

Case in point: the I Can Read Movies series, in which popular films are recast as novels. I marvelled at these images when they arrived in my Inbox two weeks ago, forwarded by a friend. How do these people exist?, I wondered of the creator, with their boundless stores of creativity and ability to execute ideas with such precision. And then last week I learned that Mitch Ansara, the creator of this particular meme du jour, was participating in the same Layer Tennis match as I. Sometimes the Information Superhighway seems as slender as an weed-choked path.

I also learned against whom he'd be competing: Rod Hunting, a man who converts the world into intricate and evocative illustrations, losing nothing in the process. And he's as nimble with a joystick as he is with a pen, boasting of his ability to reach level 30 in Tetris. Will his block-wrangling prowess give him the crucial edge in this fight, enabling him to drop his volleys into perfectly-shaped niches? Or will he accidentally place his long piece horizontally over a narrow chute? (That's what ... she ... said?)

Tune in at 2:00 CST for the serve, when we learn if Hunting is simply Rod's surname or also his preferred method of battle.


Play by play commentary for this match is provided, as it happens, by Matthew Baldwin.

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