Synapticism is an old-fashioned personal blog and digital scrapbook designed to reflect my wide range of interests and experiences. I am Alexander Synaptic, a photographer, developer, and designer, among other things. For the last few years I have been following a vaguely minimalist lifestyle, eschewing physical possessions and a fixed location for travel and living abroad while working on a wide variety of creative projects (including this blog). Nowadays I spend most of my time in Taiwan 台灣 where I am an avid urban explorer, cyclist, and student of local history and culture, though I also share content from elsewhere. If you’re interested in what I’m up to right now browse over here for some insight.
This blog began as an attempt to break out of the sanitized monotony of mainstream social networks and create something of my own on the web. Now that I’ve been at it a few years I would describe my blog in general terms as “an experiential journal of synchronicity and connection”. What I share here is an expression of my insatiable curiosity and adventurous spirit, a living record of what I’m learning about the world.
As a creature of new media I am interested in blogging as an end unto itself. I have no professional aspirations as a blogger nor do I intend to monetize my work through advertisements or sponsored posts. Critical engagement is appreciated, of course, but I am not publishing anything solely in pursuit of traffic or whatever. I sometimes joke around that this blog is one of the things I do instead of watching television of playing video games but that’s really not far from the truth!
If you’re new around here I suggest browsing the highlights or sampling any of these representative articles and photo essays:
- South Taiwan Ride 2015: a complete 20,000 word write-up of a bicycle journey around southern Taiwan.
- Changhua Roundhouse: all about one of Taiwan’s great unsung cultural treasures.
- Crossing the Central Mountain Range of Taiwan: a road trip over the highest mountain pass in the nation—on a small scooter.
- An Overnight Trip to Keelung via Jinguashi and Jiufen: in which I try my hand at capturing a few days travel and discovery in north Taiwan.
- Nishinari and The Way Things Ought To Be: a brief tour of one of the most rundown parts of Japan.
- Hengwen Temple: one of my more in-depth articles about Taiwanese temple culture.
- Postcards From Kowloon: a series of photographs from a trip to Hong Kong 香港.
- Postcard From Hanoi: more photographs, this time from a brief trip to Hanoi, capital of Vietnam.
- Qiaoyou Building: one of the more extravagant ruins I have explored in Taiwan.
- The Mystic Island of Pulau Besar: a visit to a supposedly haunted island off the coast of Melaka in Malaysia. Still one of the most popular posts on the blog for some reason.
I am endlessly fascinated by the secret lives of inanimate objects, the eerie solemnity of abandoned places, the desolate beauty of manufactured landscapes, and the wonders of remote and otherworldly locales. I am drawn to the visual rhythm of grit, grime, and decay and inspired by the majestic works of nature. I am especially interested in the juxtaposition and intersection of organic and artificial forms, particularly those places where nature is busily reclaiming manmade structures and objects. Most of all I am intent on exposing the hidden stories and forgotten fables all around us, no matter how inconsequential.
Most of my work is documentarian more than it is fine art of any kind, though I enjoy dabbling in conceptual and abstract domains now and then. Recently I have been much more direct, methodical, and unpretentious in my approach to photography. In an age of perpetual and ubiquitous image production I derive some amount of satisfaction from paying attention to what is ordinarily beneath notice.
I also work with music as a digital distributor, record label owner, and occasional DJ (but not for a living or anything). If you’re curious have a look at my Creative Commons music portal or many house and techno or psytrance and downtempo mixes.
I welcome contact from friends, family, and strangers alike. If there’s anything you’d like to discuss—freelance work, licensing, creative collaboration, or anything else—please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to respond!