Sunday, June 18, 2017

Psychedelic Time Lapse

Any story about LSD experiments from the 50's is urban legend by now and should be taken with a grain of salt, or a microgram, as it were. There's the video of the dosed soldiers climbing trees and wrapping themselves in the field-telephone cord, that's a good one, and it's on video, so I guess that's less legend and more real.

Here is a series of pictures that was supposedly done by an artist after taking a dose of LSD. Maybe they were done by dozens of artists over the course of many years and even by different scientists, and only the best were chosen to narrate this story. Maybe the whole thing is made up! Who cares!?


1.  --  0 hr 20 min
Patient chooses to start drawing with charcoal. The subject of the experiment reports - 'Condition normal... no effect from the drug yet'.

2.  --  1 hr 30 min
The patient seems euphoric. 'I can see you clearly, so clearly. This... you... it's all... I'm having a little trouble controlling this pencil. It seems to want to keep going.'

3.  --  2 hr 30 min
Patient appears very focused on the business of drawing. 'Outlines seem normal, but very vivid - everything is changing colour. My hand must follow the bold sweep of the lines. I feel as if my consciousness is situated in the part of my body that's now active - my hand, my elbow... my tongue'.

4.  --  2 hr 32 min
Patient seems gripped by his pad of paper. 'I'm trying another drawing. The outlines of the model are normal, but now those of my drawing are not. The outline of my hand is going weird too. It's not a very good drawing is it? I give up - I'll try again...'

5.  --  2 hr 35 min
Patient follows quickly with another drawing. 'I'll do a drawing in one flourish... without stopping... one line, no break!' Upon completing the drawing the patient starts laughing, then becomes startled by something on the floor.

6.  --  2 hr 45 min
Patient tries to climb into activity box, and is generally agitated - responds slowly to the suggestion he might like to draw some more. He has become largely non verbal. 'I am... everything is... changed... they're calling... your face... interwoven... who is...' Patient mumbles inaudibly to a tune (sounds like 'Thanks for the memory'). He changes medium to Tempera.

7.  --  4 hr 25 min
Patient retreated to the bunk, spending approximately 2 hours lying, waving his hands in the air. His return to the activity box is sudden and deliberate, changing media to pen and water colour.) 'This will be the best drawing, like the first one, only better. If I'm not careful I'll lose control of my movements, but I won't, because I know. I know' - (this saying is then repeated many times) Patient makes the last half-a-dozen strokes of the drawing while running back and forth across the room.

8.  --  5 hr 45 min
Patient continues to move about the room, intersecting the space in complex variations. It's an hour and a half before he settles down to draw again - he appears over the effects of the drug. 'I can feel my knees again, I think it's starting to wear off. This is a pretty good drawing - this pencil is mighty hard to hold' - (he is holding a crayon).

9.  --  8 hr 0 min
Patient sits on bunk bed. He reports the intoxication has worn off except for the occasional distorting of our faces. We ask for a final drawing which he performs with little enthusiasm. 'I have nothing to say about this last drawing, it is bad and uninteresting, I want to go home now.'


Check out this series, again debatable authenticity, by an artist who developed mental illness, but continued to do cat drawings all his life...

Louis Wain and the Evolution of Schizophrenia
2013, Network Address

No comments:

Post a Comment