DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Psychedelics

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Jess Johnson and Simon Ward Terminus, 2020
‘With their pioneering use of virtual reality, artists Jess Johnson and Simon Ward have created an immersive installation in which Johnson’s drawings have been transformed from analogue to digital. A mysterious universe of alien architecture, humanoid clones and cryptic symbols will open up to the viewer via a cyber network of travellators and gateways.

Terminus presents a quest, a choose-your-own adventure into the technological. Prepare yourself for a slippage of time and space as your journey propels you through spectacular cyber narratives: you will pass through Fleshold Crossing; take respite in Known Unknown; lose yourself within Scumm Engine; bravely face impending danger in the tower of Gog & Magog; and experience the brink of sensory overload in the psychedelic scenes of Tumblewych. A number of drawings and textile works by Jess Johnson especially selected for Heide are also on display.’

 

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Carsten Höller Giant Triple Mushroom, 2010
Giant Triple Mushroom is a large sculpture composed of two or three species of fungi. The cap consists of three parts: half is made up of fly agaric, which can provoke severe gastro intestinal and neurological problems, half of two more inoffensive species. The choice of this hybrid form evokes the hallucinatory perception and fragmentation of thought induced by fly agaric.’

 

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Jeff Keen Rayday Film, 1968 – 1970
‘‘Rayday Film’ is a sort of crazed homage to comic book superheroes (the title comes from a comic-book Keen himself produced). Sped-up, multi-exposure footage shows Keen’s wife and friends acting the role of various masked or costumed characters, and performing weird, cultish rituals in various locations around Brighton, where they all lived. Thrown into the mad mix are images of toys and dolls being melted, sections of damaged film stock, fragments of stop-motion animation, and a montage of TV clips showing wartime atrocities. Oh, and the soundtrack is a near-constant cacophony of overlaid tracks, forming a pulsing, shrieking vortex of white noise.’

 

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Bjarne Melgaard Puppy Orgy Acid Party, 2015
‘”I’ve been doing a lot of research recently into the basic expression of LSD and DMT, so it was like me imagining the Moomin on LSD,” explains Melgaard, who similarly created a 12-foot-tall, meth-smoking Pink Panther sculpture made from fiberglass for an exhibition at New York’s Gavin Brown in 2013. “For this, I wanted to evoke not the hardcore nature of crystal meth, but something much more peaceful and open-minded, in the way that LSD can influence.”‘

 

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Ge Yaxi LSD, 2020
‘The continuous advancement of the modernization process has made people accustomed to perceiving the existence and changes of the home environment in a rational and orderly modern construction method. Its characteristics have been gradually reduced to monotonous vassals and symbols. But no more!’

 

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embryoroom Ravaged By The Sun (American Cannibalism), 2021
‘While dressed in the trappings of horror and exploitation cinema, the underlying dread that runs in a dark vein through the entire film is something all of us have experienced in various ways over the last year. Quist’s densely-layered imagery, paired with the surging percussion and bleak drones of his score, is presented as a vivid manifestation of quotidian anxiety, a cathartic plunge into a chthonic void of spiritual turmoil and distress.’

 

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Katharina Grosse The Horse Trotted Another Couple of Metres, Then it Stopped, 2018
‘Rendered in spray-painted fabric, the artist’s latest installation transforms a giant warehouse called Carriageworks—into an immersive kaleidoscope painting. Grosse filled the warehouse with nearly 90,000 square feet (8,000 square meters) of white fabric suspended from the ceiling. The epic canvas, full of drapes and folds, was then painted by Grosse using a spray gun. The result is a psychedelic world of swirling colors that disguises the harsh industrial building.’

 

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Guy Zagursky Dark Void, 2018
Metal, glass, neon 250x250x250cm

 

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Jenna Sutela I Magma, 2019
‘Drawing a line between histories of mysticism, psychedelia and technology, the work places an emphasis on altered states of consciousness and the creation of artificially intelligent ‘deep-dreaming’ computational systems that mimic the brain. Influenced by divinatory practices such as the I Ching, I Magma builds a bridge between these ancient systems of knowledge and our contemporary attempts to divine the future. It’s within this assemblage of data and matter that Sutela posits the potential for a new collective consciousness driven by magma. This primordial ‘goo’ becomes both the physical ‘grey matter’ that flows within a series of head-shaped lava lamps and the data driven lava of the app, powering the flow of the oracle’s predictions.’

 

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Faig Ahmed Various, 2012 – 2016
‘Faig Ahmed distorts the patterns of traditional Azerbaijani rugs, dismantling their structure in order to build compositions that trick the eye by appearing to melt off the wall. By rearticulating the original design, he creates contemporary sculptural forms that look like digital glitches, patterns flatlining halfway through a tapestry or gradually morphing into a digital mosaic.’

 

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Timothy Gatenby LSD, 2019
‘I am interested in the limits of cortical somatosensory plasticity and their functional consequences.’

 

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Jen Stark Various, 2012 – 2018
‘Jen Stark’s art is driven by her interest in conceptualizing visual systems to simulate plant growth, evolution, infinity, fractals, and mimetic topographies. Using available materials—paper, wood, metal, paint—Stark strives to make work that balances on a razor’s edge of optical seduction and perceptual engagement.’

 

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Jeremy Shaw Liminals, 2017
Liminals at first appears to be a black and white 16 mm documentary shot sometime in the 1970s. But we are quickly informed by a BBC-like narrator of a story set three generations from now, when humanity is on the verge of extinction. The video follows eight subjects who are attempting to escape this fate and save humanity through a fantastic combination of Machine DNA brain augmentations and the engagement in long-abandoned psychedelic rituals.’

 

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Ron Nagle Various, 2010 – 2017
‘Nagle’s adventures with ceramics began in the 1960s, when he worked as an apprentice to Peter Voulkos, who was on his way to forging a future for clay sculptures. Far out fusions allude to West Coast psychedelic culture, surfing, bodily functions and expulsions, everyday objects and emotions — and of course, the movement of rock music. Mind-bending and eye-expanding, surprising shapes are Nagle’s forte, as well as treacly textures and pastel palettes—colour schemes he spends hours pouring over. Nagle doesn’t just make cool ceramics – he made ceramics cool.’

 

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László Moholy-Nagy Light Space Modulator, 1930
‘In the Light-Space Modulator, Moholy-Nagy was able to create an actual working mechanism. Although he censured capitalism’s inhumane use of technology, he believed it could be harnessed to benefit mankind and that the artist had an important role in accomplishing this. Moholy had made preliminary sketches for kinetic sculptures as early as 1922 and referred to the idea for a light machine in his writings, but it was not until production was financed by an electric company in Berlin in 1930 that this device was built, with the assistance of an engineer and a metalsmith.’

 

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Joe Roberts AKA LSD World Peace Various, 2016 – 2019
‘The San Francisco-based artist and psychonaut (someone who uses altered states brought on by meditation, drugs, ritual, perhaps even martial arts to gain existential insights and spiritual experiences) makes art that riffs on his experiences taking LSD, DMT, and psilocybin (AKA magic mushrooms), and often works while on MDMA and smoking weed. “What difference does any of it make as long as you’re not harming anyone else?” he argues. “There’s quite a bit of misinformation and fear around psychedelics. People like to put things in boxes and label them. Psychedelics make that seem silly.”’

 

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Cyprien Gaillard Nightlife, 2016
‘This 3D film is a fever dream of race and revolution. Set to Alton Ellis’s reggae refrain “I was born a loser”, it begins with Rodin’s Thinker, projected in a void. But its feet are mangled, blown off by Black Power supporters the Weather Underground, believed to have dynamited this particular cast in Cleveland, 1970. The scene shifts to LA where Hollywood junipers wave their shaggy limbs in slow motion against the nocturnal city lights. The dense, rippling foliage resembles aliens or billowing smoke.’

 

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Classic Poster Auctions Rare Timothy Leary Signed LSD Blotter, 1969
“Felix the Cat” blotter surfaced in the South during the mid 1990s and it is rumored to have come from Mexico. LSD historians report that this was both “righteous” and “the best acid I ever had.” These blotters came in several colors. This blotter is perforated in a 30 x 30 pattern of 900 squares.This blotter is in superb condition with no flaws noted. In addition, this blotter has been signed by noted LSD guru Timothy Leary.’

 

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Pip & Pop Happy Sky Dream, 2010
‘Australian artist Tanya Schultz works as Pip & Pop to create immersive installations and artworks from an eclectic range of materials including sugar, glitter, candy, plastic flowers, everyday craft materials and all sorts of objects she finds on her travels. Often ephemeral, her meticulously constructed and highly detailed works embrace notions of abundance, utopian dreams and fleeting pleasure. She is fascinated with ideas of paradise and wish-fulfillment described in folk tales, mythologies and cinema.’

 

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Asmik Ace Entertainment LSD: Dream Emulator, 1998
LSD: Dream Emulator is an exploration game in which the player explores surrealistic environments without any overarching goals. Gameplay takes place in a first-person perspective in a 3D environment with the player’s control limited to moving frontward and backward, turning, strafing, running, and looking behind.The game is played in levels or “dreams” lasting up to ten minutes. The player begins each dream in a random area in which they can begin exploring. By walking into any object or walking through certain tunnels, the player will be transported to another setting. LSD has a set of several static and defined environments to explore including a Japanese village, a field, a city, houses, and a factory, among others.While the environments are static, the default textures are sometimes swapped and they may also be populated with random objects, animals, and characters roaming about to add variety. Each dream ends after ten minutes in which the character wakes up, or ends early if the player interacts with certain objects or dies.’

 

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QuiXotiC-RO Holy FUCKING shit guys, 2021
‘Enjoying my first gel tab.’

 

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Refik Anadol Machine Hallucination, 2020
‘The question of why we collect, record, and share our quotidian experiences has always been entangled with the formal and aesthetic concerns about how to represent reality, totality, and the depth of human imagination. Nineteenth century poet and critic Stéphane Mallarmé famously said that everything in the world existed to end up in a book. Revisiting Mallarmé’s proposition in her 1977 collection of essays, On Photography, Susan Sonntag wrote, “Today everything exists to end in a photograph.” More recently, Jonathan Zittrain, the co-founder of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and society, suggested that “internet architecture” lacked a definable center and instead relied on “an extraordinary collective hallucination.”’

 

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AJ Fosik Various, 2011 -2014
‘AJ Fosik’s eclectic handmade and intricately designed wood animal sculptures and paintings, combined with cryptic symbols, intrigue and provoke. Fosik creates an experience that at first glance evokes a questioning of familiar concepts and then pushes the viewer to look and think deeper. Inspired by subversive cultural influences which shift complacency, he creates pieces that suspend comfort while at the same time offer recognizable symbols and images.’

 

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Julius von Bismarck, Julian Charrière and Felix Kiessling Desert Now, 2016
‘The fetishisation of drug taking has also been promoted by the likes of German artists Julius von Bismarck, Julian Charrière and Felix Kiessling. Their 2016 exhibition “Desert Now” enshrined an LSD tab pill under a plastic pyramid after their twelve-day “journey”.’

 

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Total Refusal Featherfall, 2019
‘The video installation Featherfall is based on research in online forums in which video players * exchange their dream experiences. It becomes clear how close dream and game worlds can come to each other in the psyche of the users * and what feedback can develop between the two alternative realities. Featherfall ties in with the archetypal nightmare of “falling down”, which often occurs during puberty. Falling without ever landing “exists in video games in the form of a recurring programming error – a glitch – through which the avatar falls beneath the surface into the empty, non-programmed space. The glitch as a digital nightmare.’

 

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Klaus Weber Public Fountain LSD Hall, 2003
‘The 3 tiered Fountain is made from heavy Victorian crystal. The liquid in the fountain is made from potentized LSD (D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25). It has been professionally prepared. The nature and mind-altering effects of it have been confirmed in provings conducted by the School of Homœopathy in London 1999. When it flows over the crystal, and hits its surface by tripping and dropping on the edge, a high bell-like melody can be heard. It is never repetitive and never sounds the same.’

 

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Orlando Police Department Student Tazed While High on LSD, 2015
‘Police body cam footage of a UCF student who was high on LSD taken down using a taser after resisting arrest.’

 

 

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p.s. Hey. ** Dominik, Hi!!! Yeah, I love that huge level of fandom. I love that kind of love. Well, my shot was more than a week ago, so I don’t think my dizziness thing is related, but it’s weird, for sure, maybe a sinus thing, but, yeah, I’m hoping I can walk it off today or something. Or embrace your love’s love and get over it thusly. Love buying the Louvre, tearing it down, and commissioning a genius architect to design a giant building that looks unnervingly like a huge scab to replace it with a labyrinthine interior in which is displayed the growing SCAB archive in physical, projected, photographic, holographic, and ‘live concert’ form to great popular and critical acclaim, G. ** Misanthrope, There’s the corpse of an old Sears Roebuck store about a 5 minute bicycle ride from my childhood home where a Walmart could exist without too much offence. Since when has Rigby been into hiking? That’s a funny mental image. But, hey, I can imagine Rigby knocking sense — or maybe the opposite — into anyone, so maybe you have your solution. Excellent, excellent news about the illustrator and even a possible publisher! That’s an exciting wow thing. Go for it with haste! ** _Black_Acrylic, I can imagine Napalm Death being swell guys. I read with one of the original Napalm Death guys in London last year. Well, I read and he made noise. Wow, only 24 hours to go! Enjoy saying your fond farewells. At long, wonderful last, my friend! ** David Ehrenstein, Thank you, sir. ** Steve Erickson, I hope you got a quick appointment. My brain is malfunctioning on me at the moment too. Something’s up. The Sabs are having a year, yes. ** Okay. I decided to let you trip out in an artful way today, so do take advantage. See you tomorrow.

9 Comments

  1. Hey Denis, French for Dennis 😉 life is good across the pond in mtl. The weather has been pleasant the last week. I read some Capote stories, Faulkner and am poking my way through Lolita. Will go pick up The Mars Room from the library today. Things are moving forward with my novel which is really cool. Will be able to drop the interview I did in the next week or two and I hope it will lead to some of the dc faithful getting a copy of the authors novel. Also I go get my first vaccine on Monday, slowly creeping toward normality. Besides that I’ve been watching a lot of baseball and am currently leading my fantasy baseball league. Go me!
    Take care, Ian
    Ps: love that acid puppy orgy and happy sky dream

  2. Dennis, You be trippin’, yo. 😀 The Jan Stark ones are kerazy to me. That whole pattern. Eek!

    Oh, man, Rigby’s been hiking/camping for a couple years now since he recovered from his illness. He’s really into it. I’ve actually bought stuff for him here and sent it to him in London. And carried a whole shitload of stuff over last time I went to London; he ordered it and had it sent to me to bring over. He’s into the ultra-light camping, and regularly does 20+ mile hikes in England. And longer ones. He even buys materials and sews his own gear. Dude is off the hook with his camping!

    Thanks, Big D. Yeah, it’s quite exciting. I’m getting with the illustrator very soon to go over everything. I think we can do it and do it well. He’s done a cover for Siratori before, as well as a lot of other stuff. He’s right up my alley in a lot of ways and I’m up his. Think it’ll work out well. Thanks again.

  3. The Black Prince

    May 12, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Hi Dennis! This post is so magical & strange I love it. Looking at some of these vids sort of recreates the sensation of being on MD. I love the Puppy Orgy Acid Party! But all of them are so good, am stealing some! The melting carpets stress me out a little… Do you have a favourite? I’m going to be honest though, what I’m really awaiting is your post on the 15th. Not long now. The other day, I caught myself daydreaming about you having more boy posts than just twice a month. Although perhaps their rarity makes them feel like more of a treat! Anyway, I hope you’re extremely well? From where I am it looks like the pandemic is finally ending, but who knows… xoxoxo

  4. Hi!!

    Whatever causes it, I hope the dizziness goes away ASAP. Or maybe it already has? Fingers crossed!!

    Ah. Can I please move to the new SCAB-Louvre? It sounds like a place I’d never want to leave. Thank you! Love dressed as a giant Moomin inviting you to the Puppy Orgy Acid Party, Od.

  5. This is perfect for brightening up a grumpy week. Those Ron Nagle ceramics look so edible. And Jeremy Shaw’s video is particularly lovely.

    I’ll try to be less grumpy soon.

    Bill

  6. Hey Dennis – What a fun post! And a real balm. I’m out of town again dealing with another family health crisis and it’s been nice to vanish briefly into this artful alternate reality. I’d forgotten how mindbogglingly great that Jeff Keen film is — but really everything here punched my ticket.

    Dug the Jack Skelley day too and glad to know about his new book, which also looks like a lot of fun.

    Recently saw there’s a new Ashbery collection coming comprised of four longer poems that were finished – or almost – before his death. You know anything about that?

    What’ve you been working on lately?

  7. NORMAN LLOYD HAS GONE TO BLOOINGDALES He was 106, and having worked with Welles, Hitchcock, Chaplin, Losey and Marty it’s fair to say he was THE CINEMA ITSELF !

  8. Hey Dennis,
    How are you?
    Super cool psychedelics day! That Jeff Keen movie is really intense and great and I liked the LSD World Peace pieces a lot too, actually I like almost all of it. Sometimes I fantasize about taking psychedelic drugs again, but I think my body and mind are a wee bit too old.
    Covid restrictions are relaxing here in Brussels, but I’m worried it’s a little too soon as the infection numbers have stopped going down. Terraced cafes and bars reopened at the weekend, which is v nice, although we walked around town on Saturday afternoon and there was an intense vibe. I think you’re getting some relaxations in Paris soon? Gosh, it’ll be nice when Covid isn’t a thing to talk or think about any more.
    I hope everything’s as good with you as is possible.
    Lots of love,
    Jamie

  9. Dee-Cee: Dude, I’m totally peaking! This is great. An infinitude of thanx to your readers and commenters who responded to my Dennis Wilson/Charlie Manson post. You have the most BeachBoysAndCultKiller-literate readers in the Northern Hemisphere!! And now ever more literate! Luv hugz to all !!

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