Friday, 30 August 2013

Taste the tube

After my previous post entitled Taste the Rainbow the planets have aligned to give me material for a follow up called Taste the Tube.

The Daily Telegraph recently reported the case of James Wannerton who has synaesthesia and claims to be able to ''taste" all of London Underground's stations differently and distinctly. See also Gizmodo.


Mr Wannerton's condition leads his senses to become muddled so he experiences the sense of taste in relation to what he sees. And this is the map.

At first I was very dismissive of this latest example of what I call "Becksploitation" (the art of using Beck's famous map in a lazy, crude manner to hang your own ideas off and short-cut to high visibility and distribution).  But there's no reason to suspect Mr Wannerton's condition isn't valid and in that sense (no pun intended) this map reflects a very personal geography that he experiences. Soundscapes and smellscapes are often mapped so why not tastescapes.

While it is bizarre, why shouldn't the stations take on a different name that he relates more logically to?  When I regularly used the tube my daily route took me from Roast Lamb, through Raw Carrot, Sausage Meat, Sausage and Fried Egg, Curly Wurly, Apple Pie, Mint Cracknell and Fizzy Water. Odd...because all I used to smell was sweaty armpit, putrid perfume, stale smoker's breath, fast food and urine.

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