Art In Alternative Minds
We will only ever know what it’s like to be us. My thoughts are restricted by the things I have and haven’t experienced, as are yours. It’s human nature however, to be curious. How far can the mind’s function be warped and stretched beyond ‘normal?’ Art in Alternative Minds compiles and analyzes the most unique minds devoted to art, studying both voluntary and involuntary altered states of consciousness.
Dilated pupils, pounding heart, poor coordination, restlessness, and to top it off hallucinations. These are the symptoms an unnamed artist experienced while under the influence of LSD. In a 1950’s experiment, a researcher administered two 50mg doses of LSD to the anonymous man, enough to make your vision ripple and distort. He was then encouraged to draw the scientist who gave him the drug. To the left are the nine resulting drawings.
20 Minutes. He feels normal, claiming to be unaffected. His mark making is deliberate and refined, with accurate shading and contours- even the vignette seems purposeful. This can be seen as a control.
85 Minutes. “I can see you clearly, so clearly. This… you… its’ all… I’m having a little trouble controlling this pencil.” The drug has clearly started to take its affect. His jagged, exaggerated strokes are more expressive than those done only half an hour before. He seems to have more of an emotional connection to his creation.
2 Hours 30 Minutes. It’s a quick degeneration from the last drawing, only featuring a sketchy line contour. Although still accurate, it seems more rushed and careless, almost juvenile. He lost the emotion in his piece.
2 Hours 32 Minutes. Only two minutes later, all attempt at realism is lost. The double-exposure affect emulates his distorted vision, almost nauseating to look at as a viewer. “It’s not a very good drawing, is it? I give- I’ll try again…”
2 Hours 35 Minutes. He’s growing increasingly frustrated with his work. “I’ll do a drawing in one flourish… without stopping… one line, no break!” His overzealous strokes are childish and inaccurate.
2 Hours 45 Minutes. The researcher reports that the patient is agitated. He grabs a tube of tempera paint and seems stuck in his own world, becoming non-verbal. All his energy that was previously put in rambling speech was now channeled into his art. The style is wildly different, moving away from impressionism and becoming plain abstract. Yet this is definitely the most appealing and eye-catching piece.
4 Hours 25 Minutes. “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…”
(didn’t know how to end it – unfinished)
Marie Cheng | ’20