Monday, 16 January 2017 11:34

The best psychedelic videos of 2015

Goodbye 2015, hello 2016. As in every year’s end, the daily psychedelic video is proud to present you with the only list of the best psychedelic videos of the year. This year’s list was meticulously selected from a list of over 500 videos which were featured on the DPV in 2015, and it’s more colorful and hypnotizing than ever.
 
How to watch these videos
We recommend dedicating a psychedelic evening to watching these videos on big, sharp screens, with good speakers and in a receptive, psychedelic state of mind. These videos are not for intended for standard YouTube watching. They can be viewed this way, but they are much better when you let them take you on a journey. They are about the total and ultimate experience, letting go and merging with the shapes and colors on the screen.
Over the years members of the DPV have arranged many psychedelic video screenings both official and for friends. It is always an amazing-mind blowing experience. If you arrange a similar psychedelic videos screening, please take a picture of it and post it on Facebook, tagging our Facebook page.
 
When I was done dying – Dan Deacon

Dan Deacon "When I Was Done Dying" (DDWIWDD) for Off The Air on Adult Swim from dave hughes on Vimeo.

Nine of the world’s trippiest, most psychedelic animators collaborated on “When I was done dying”, including Jake Fried, Chad Vangaalen and Anthony Schepperd. The result is a fantastic mixture of styles that still works superbly as a unified piece. (Original post)
 
Janzliker – Micah Buzan

Michah Buzan says he doesn’t do drugs, yet his videos are hyper-psychedelic journeys to alternate realities. In this one, Buzan created a mesmerizing and disturbing rendition to a song by Pala Leda, which he says, is open to interpretations. While he works by himself and draws by hand, Buzan’s creative output over the past couple of years puts him at the top of our list of psychedelic video artists you should know. (Original post)
 
Diffusion – Kouhei Nakama

DIFFUSION from Kouhei Nakama on Vimeo.

What if people could have patterned skin like animals. Kouhei Nakama says they will have it, and this is how it might look. (Original post).
 
Dry Lights – Xavier Chassaing

DRY LIGHTS from Xavier Chassaing on Vimeo.

Choreographed light meets organic landscapes in this spectacular video of an electric desert which comes to life. (Original post).
 
Don’t hug me I’m scared – Episode 4

The psychedelic web (quasi)children show Don’t hug me I’m scared released two new episodes this year. Episode 4, which makes some pointed critique on life in the era of computers, is funny, witty, psychedelic, and terrifyingly true. (Original post).
 
You Could Sunbathe in this Storm – Alicia Dunseath
Alicia Duneath’s graduation film from the London College of Art utilizes an masterful mixture of techniques, looking at the way we shape and are shaped by the world around us. (Original post).
 
The less I know the better – Tame Impala

The psychedelic Tame Impala does it again, and this time in a raunchy high-school tale which features a sexy teenager, a hot basketball player and a gorilla. We won’t tell you anymore but be sure not to miss the lusciously psychedelic colored body around 2:30. Psychedelic perfection. (Original post).
 
Inner Space Artifacts – Ben Ridgway

Inner Space Artifacts from Ben Ridgway on Vimeo.

Ben Ridgway’s Inner Space Artifacts transforms “artifacts from inner space” into “moving digital structures.” These are glowing and shining alien-droid structures you want to move into. (Original post).
 
Berg – Kanahebi

Berg from kanahebi on Vimeo.

A group of bio-luminescent psychedelic sea-creatures dance in an underwater cave, demonstrating great beauty and jellyfish finesse. (Original post.)
 
Crystal – by Delorean (Directed by Joan Guasch)

“Created from two 3D scanned characters, ‘Crystal’ is a psychedelic trip through different stages in a relationship.” Joan Guasch creates a confusing world of torn bits and pieces which float in space, advancing and receding in perfect harmony. (Original post).
 
People on the Sand – TRACA

TRACA "People On The Sand" Music video from Damien Bonnaire on Vimeo.

Nicholas Tracanelli doesn’t want to go where people are slow. He only wants to be with people like him. An amusing psychedelic pop song. (Original post).
 
Ex Animo – Wojciech Wojtkowski

Ex Animo from FUMI on Vimeo.

Wojciech Wojtkowski created an award winning and amazing hand-drawn universe of grotesque creatures and absurd scenes mixed with some powerful chamber music. (Original post).
 
Abstract 44 – Morgan Beringer

Abstraction 44 from Morgan on Vimeo.

Morgan Beringer’s Abstract 44 is a work of psychedelic avant-garde. The abstract moving color streams might remind one of an abstract-impressionist painting which has been awoken to life,  and while some of you watching this at the office might find it difficult to see what the fuss is about, in the right state of mind, this video can draw you in and take you on spectacular journeys. (Original post).
 
Days of High Adventure – Open Source

Days of high adventure is a spectacular fractal trance universe of numerous (elf?)machines doing their thing. Join the party. (Original post).
 
Julius Horsthuis – Our Fractal Brains

Our Fractal Brains from Julius Horsthuis on Vimeo.

Fractal master Julius Horsthuis gives a lesson about the ways fractals relate to the ways we perceive and think, in an especially stunning classroom. This video was not featured on the DPV yet, but we had another spectacular video from Horsthuis which you can check out here.
 
Ink Mapping: Video Mapping Projection on Tattoos, by Oskar & Gaspar

Ink Mapping: Video Mapping Projection on Tattoos, by Oskar & Gaspar from Oskar & Gaspar on Vimeo.

In 2015 the world’s first live event of tattoo mapping was held in Lisbon. Tattoo mapping is a technique which brings tattoos into life by projecting animated tattoos on them. Oskar & Gaspar created a spectacular video which documented the event and went viral on the web. No aftereffects were used. (Original post).
 
Subconscious Cinema – Dreamscience

Subconscious Cinema from Dreamscience on Vimeo.

Dreamscience masterfully edited a collection of well-known cinematic scenes into a powerful and disturbing video which manages to deliver a strong message while drawing from the collective unconscious of popular culture. This is how cultures dream. (Original post).
 
Understanding Perception – Beau Lotto

Beau Lotto – Understanding Perception: How We Experience the Meaning We Create from Future Of StoryTelling on Vimeo.

Neuroscience professor Beau Lotto explains how our perception tricks us into seeing not what actually exists, but what was useful for us to perceive in the past, and suggests how technology might enable us to challenge this perceptual fallacy. Director Steve West did a tremendous job translating Lotto’s words into a beautiful animation.  (Original post).
 
Grocery trip – Pouff

You cannot talk about 2015 in psychedelic video without mentioning Google’s Deep Dream artificial neural networks. When allowed to think in loops, the Google neural network algorithm dreams up crazy realities and lays them on top of our ordinary reality. 2015 was the year in which we learned how machines dream, and for some weeks the internet was swarming with Google Deep Dream videos. Some saw this as an interesting perspective on how human consciousness creates its own reality, while others considered this a proof that droids, too, dream of electric sheep. From the many Deep Dream videos out there we selected Pouff’s video which demonstrates how — for a machine — a walk in the grocery store might turn into a psychedelic mirage. (Original post).
 
Some forgotten 2014 gems 
 
While we try our best, we can’t help but miss some of the fresh psychedelic videos out there on the web, and sometimes these get featured on the site a year or two after their release. So, same as every year, he are some of the best videos of 2014 which we missed in last year’s list.
 
Pasarinho – Rainer Scheurenbrand

YouTube user Juan F created this beautiful video clip to Rainer Scheurenbrand’s Pasarinho. A good contender for the title, the best Ayahusca music clip ever. (Original post).
 
Draft Culture – Dorian Concept

Rhythmically moving Kaleidoscopic drawings in this video to Dorians Concept’s “Draft culture. (Original post).
 
Saint Joan – Husky

Husky - St Joan from Lucinda Schreiber on Vimeo.

Lucinda Schreiber directed and animated this beautiful music-clip to “St Joan” by Husky. The animation is fairly simple compared to some of the things you see on the site, but it works great together with the song. (Original post).
 
Zuma Teaser – Sam Mason

ZUMA TEASER from Sam Mason on Vimeo.

The spectacular Zuma teaser takes the viewer to alluring imaginary worlds which might remind one of the works of Moebius and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Too bad it’s so short. It left us wanting more! (Original post).
 
Intrinsic Gravity – Still

This spectacular op-art demo video won the first place in the Ghetto Scene 2014. (Original post).
 
Other Earth – Pouff

Pouff - Other Earth from Pouff on Vimeo.

Pouff’s other earth video might just be the best fractal video ever produced. We’ll let you judge for yourself. (Original post).
 
Conact – Vladimir Tarasov 

Finally, a trip back in time. Vladimir Tarasov’s “Contact” from 1978 is an old Soviet psychedelic gem which tells the story of a painter who is contacted by an shape-shifting alien. Almost as an instinct, our painter imagines the alien as a scary and belligerent creature, he runs away from him and only later, when he lets go of his fear of the unknown, does he find out this alien other can become his good friend. Drawn in s a style somewhat reminiscent of the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, the film won a couple of 1979 awards. (Original post).
Published in NEWS Archives
1.) Above
 
With unpredictable weather conditions and improvised workspaces, street art isn't that easy to do. In fact, it's extremely difficult, and that's precisely why these artists deserve so much respect. Over the last couple of years, we've featured many great street artists here at theMET. All of them have different styles and approaches, but they all share one thing in common - their art has left us with a lasting impression. In this post, we pay tribute to these incredibly talented artists. Regarding the piece on top, Above says: "When I was in Lisbon, Portugal three months ago, I would walk by this homeless lady who was begging for money everyday. I found it sadly ironic that just six feet away there was an ATM machine where people were literally lining up to withdraw money. With an obvious visual clash of 'Rich' and 'Poor' being in such a close proximity evoked me to make this stencil, 'Stealing from the Rich, and Giving to the Poor.'"
 
 
 
2.) Banksy
 
 
Banksy is the gold standard when it comes to urban street art. His legendary reputation has only grown since the 2010 release of his intriguing movie, "Exit Through the Gift Shop."
 
 
 
3.) Vhils
 
Portuguese-born Alexandre Farto aka Vhils is an amazing, super-talented street artist that you've probably never heard of. Using tools like a power drill, chisel, and different types of paint, Vhils literally scratches off the surface of buildings to create his masterpieces. His latest carved piece (above) was recently seen on the streets of Moscow, Russia.
 
 
 
4.) Roa
 
 
I think it's fair to say that street artist Roa is on top of his game. What really separates him from the rest of the field is the way he adds different layers into a piece, giving his viewers multiples perspectives of the biology behind his animal subjects. It's almost like we have x-ray vision.
 
 
 
5.) C215
 
 
French street artist Christian Guémy aka C215 travels around the world beautifying the streets. He usually paints local faces because, in his words, "faces reflect the personality" of a city.
 
 
 
6.) Mentalgassi
 
 
You have to stand at the perfect angle to see this piece by Mentalgassi. Spotted in Berlin, his pieces are sometimes wheatpasted in places you'd probably never look - like on the side bars of metal fences.
 
 
 
7.) Hyuro
 
 
Hyuro is an Argentinian-born street artist that is currently based out of Valencia, Spain. His works are full of movement and are mostly composed in black and white. Simply stunning!
 
 
 
8.) Titi Freak
 
 
Hamilton Yokota, aka Titi Freak, is a São Paulo native with Japanese ancestry who's art combines his cultural backgrounds. After making his way over to Japan, he kept himself busy by painting the streets of Osaka for three whole months. Seamlessly coinciding with Japanese culture and landscape, his brightly colored koi fish really sets the bar for other street artists.
 
 
 
9.) SpY
 
 
Hailing from Madrid, SpY is a famous urban artist that uses many different mediums. His work consists of playful reappropriation of urban elements, that he replicates or transforms, and then installs on the streets. SpY's pieces are meant to shake up the equilibrium of an urban dweller. His work is full of irony and a positive sense of humor, seeking to inspire a smile and a thought.
 
 
 
10.) Laguna
 
 
This piece by Laguna is one of the most incredible pieces I've seen. Completed in Almagro, Spain, a couple of men are seen riding a gargantuan fish, reminiscent of an epic tale. Viewers must stand in the perfect spot to see all the individual pieces connect.
 
 
 
*BONUS* 11.) Blu
 
 
Blu completed these amazing large scale murals in Europe. Using the facade of high-rise buildings as his canvas, Blu sends very relevant political messages through his works. If you look at "War" closely, you'll notice that the soldiers are being controlled by puppet strings and their badges flash dollar signs. "Global Warming" is extremely clever and features a melting iceberg in an hourglass, which is dripping water into a flooding city below.
 
 
 
If you think that street art is just a passing trend and isn't an exciting, growing movement, check out this recent article on the LA Times. The Museum of Contemporary Art will be showing "Art in the Streets," a large scale exhibition which will cover graffiti and street art from the "1970s through the present, including international street-art stars such as Banksy from London and Space Invader from Paris." As one of the LA-based curators Aaron Rose of "Beautiful Losers" says, "I don’t think MOCA has done anything on this scale. The sheer number of kids who will come to this museum will be mind-blowing.” The show is slated to open at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary in April 2011.
Published in NEWS Archives
Friday, 07 November 2014 17:01

'Fabergé Fractals' will blow your mind

Former laser physicist Tom Beddard has turned his hand to creating incredible pieces of art that celebrate the beauty and intricacy of fractals. 
 
fractals
Image: subBlue/Tom Beddard
 
A mathematical concept and natural phenomenon, fractals create never-ending patterns. These repeating patterns display at every scale - known as a self-similar pattern - starting off simple before growing progressively more complex. At their inception, they were based on pure mathematics, but now their applications are seen in physics, chemistry, earth and geological sciences, engineering, and transport physics.
 
Going by the name ‘subBlue’, Beddard, previously from the University of St Andrews in Scotland, has produced 'Fabergé Fractals'. Just like the ornate Fabergé eggs that were produced in Russia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Beddard's creations are incredibly detailed, with labyrinthine curves and lines snaking across each object's many sides. According to My Modern Met, the former physicist uses a formulaic method to create these digitally rendered three-dimensional models.
 
fractals2
      Image: subBlue/Tom Beddard
 
Beddard explains:
"The 3D fractals are generated by iterative formulas whereby the output of one iteration forms the input for the next. The formulas effectively fold, scale, rotate or flip space. They are truly fractal in the fact that more and more detail can be revealed the closer to the surface you travel.
The fascinating aspect is where combinations of parameters can combine to create structural 'resonances' of extraordinary detail and beauty—sometimes naturally organic and other times perfectly geometric. But then like a chaotic system it can completely disappear with the smallest perturbation."
Watch his mind-blowing video, we think it's pretty safe to say it'll be the coolest thing you've seen all week:
Published in NEWS Archives
Saturday, 13 September 2014 10:42

LUMINOKAYA ART EXHIBITION. MOSCOW

Дорогие друзья!
 
SHANTI GALLERY & QUANTUM TRIBE приглашает вас 19 СЕНТЯБРЯ на долгожданное аудио-визуальное мероприятие, на котором будет представлена коллекция новых работ художника LUMINOKAYA, совместные лайв анимации от ACACIA VISUALS feat Luminokaya под музыкальное сопровождение от ASTROPILOT - live. В верхнем зале для вас выступит с атмосферным диджей сетом IVGENERATE.

~VISION~

LUMINOKAYA art exhibition - выставка новых работ
www.luminokaya.com 

www.goa-freaks.com/visionary/luminokaya

ACACIA VISUALS feat Luminokaya - live animations
https://www.facebook.com/acaciavisuals 


~SOUND~

ASTROPILOT - live
http://www.mixcloud.com/astropilot/astropilot-live-at-utopia-boom-landing/

IVGENERATE - dj-set
https://soundcloud.com/ivgenerate/f


Начало мероприятия в 20:00.

Место проведения: Галерея-ресторан «Shanti»

Адрес: Москва, Мясницкий проезд, 2/1, телефон ресторана: 8(495) 783-68-68

ОРГВЗНОС - 500р


Выставка продлится до воскресенья 21 сентября.

В течении выставки у вас будет уникальная возможность лично пообщаться с создателем работ и участниками мероприятия.

По вопросам приобретения работ обращайтесь на почту This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Интересующимся мировой психоделической живописью рекомедуем свежий выпуск интерактивного журнала Sunday Freak на сайте www.goa-freaks.com , посвящённого VISIONARY ART & VISIONARY ARTISTS.
 
Published in News
Monday, 18 August 2014 11:07

A brief history of tattoos

The etymological origin of the word ‘tattoo’ is believed to have two major derivations; the first is from the Polynesian word ta which means striking something and the second is the Tahitian word tatau which means ‘to mark something’. The use of tattoos is recorded to have begun thousands of years ago and its history is as varied, colorful and diverse as the people who carry them. From a simple scientific standpoint – tattoos are created the insertion of colored materials beneath the skins’ surface or epidermis. The first tattoos were most likely created unintentionally. Someone with a small wound or gash happened to rub it with a dirty hand that was covered with soot or ash. Once the wound had healed, they realized that the skin had healed over the ash and that the mark became a permanent addition.
Our knowledge of tattooing in Europe really begins with the Ancient Greek and Roman historians. The only sources of information before this are archeological finds which are scare and, above all, open to interpretations. It is possible that tattooing cultures already existed in Europe before the last Great Ice Ace, 12,000 years ago. Bowls with traces of black and red pigments along with sharpened flint instruments were discovered in the Grotte des Fees (Fairy Grotto) in Chatelperron – France, 1867, and in caves in Portugal and Scandinavia. The shape and size of the tools suggest that they have been used for tattooing.
Images of people decorated with what appear to be four tattooed horizontal lines on both sides of their noses have been found on prehistoric stone pillars in Aveyron and Tarn, France. Clay Cucuteni figures dating from 5,000 BC showing traces of tattoos have been found in the Romanian Danube region. Drawings and figurines discovered in a Thracian burial mound near Philippopolis may depict tattooed people, but considering the complexity of the decorations it is more likely that these represent body painting or finely worked figurines.
The main reason for the disappearance of ancient traditions in many places was the ending of their almost total isolation. After centuries of living as more or less equivalent cultures indigenous populations were overwhelmed by the dominant European seafaring nations. The technological and militarily superior Europeans introduced their own value systems based on Christian beliefs. Like the Greeks and the Chinese before them the Europeans disdained the practices of the inhabitants of the newly discovered regions. It could not have escaped the notice of the natives that many of the mainly male adventurers found the permanent body decorations of the ‘otherwise so attractive’ women disdainful. Similarly, many Greenland Inuit women rejected the traditional facial tattoos, fearing that mainland men would find them unattractive.
 
 
 
Bronze Age
In 1991, ‘Otzi the Ice Man’ made the headlines of newspapers all over the world when his frozen body was discovered on a mountain between Austria and Italy. This is the best preserved corpse of that period ever found. The skin bears 57 tattoos: a cross on the inside of the left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys and numerous parallel lines on the ankles. For centuries the Berbers in mountainous regions of North Africa used this kind of therapeutic tattoo to treat rheumatic pains. Anthropologists believe a traditional healer made incisions in Otzi’s skin on the afflicted areas, placing medicinal herbs in the wound which were burnede with the point of a heated metal instrument. The charred residue was incorporated in the resulting scar. An examination of Otzi’s tattooed skin tissue revealed that the scares to contain carbon particles. Probably a shepherd or hunter, he was middle aged at the time of his death. The copper ace found with him suggests he was a man of some distinction. Otzi, named after the Oztal where he was found, lived 5,300 years ago. He was probably murdered as an arrowhead was found in his back and his body shows traces of cuts and deep bruising. Encased in ice for thousands of years, Otzi and the objext found with him are remarkably well preserved.
bronze age - tattoo history
 
Pazyryk Culture
In 1948 – just over 200 kilometers North of the borders between Russia and China – Russian archeologist Sergei Rudenko began excavating a group of tombs, or Kurgans, in the high Altai mountains. At this site mummies, that date from around 2,400 years ago, were excavated. On their bodies were a wide array of tattoos said to represent various indigenous and mythological animals. Amongst them were griffins and monsters that were thought to have a magical significance yet some of these kinds of elements are believed to be purely aesthetic, decorative or ornamental. The tattoos of these mummies, when viewed together or as a whole piece, were believed to reflect the status of the individual bearing them.
pazyrck - tattoo history
 
Egypt
Various written manuscripts, actual physical remains and works of tattoo art pertaining to the Egyptian period had mostly been ignored by earlier Egyptologyists. Today however, we know that there were numerous bodies recovered dating back to as early Xi era that exhibited tattoos. In 1891, archaeologists discovered the mummified remains of Amunet, a priestess of the goddess Hathor, at Thebes who lived some time between 2160 BCE and 1994 BCE. This female mummy displayed several lines and dots tattooed about her body. The arrangement of these dots or dashes were aligned into abstract geometric patterns. This particular art form is believed to have been restricted to females and usually these women were associated with some kind of ritualistic practice. The Egyptians then carried the practice of tattooing throughout the then known world. The pyramid-building Third and Fourth dynasties of Egypt developed international nations with Crete, Greece, Persia, and Arabia. And by 2,000 BCE the art of tattooing had been extended all the way to Southeast Asia. The Ainu (Western Asian nomads) brought the practice of tattooing with them as they moved over to Japan. It is a sad fact that many tattoos’ original meaning are lost, not least due to the new generation’s lack of interest in their own traditions, a result of the advance of Western influences.
egyptian - tattoo history
 
Japan
The earliest evidence of tattooing in Japan is found in clay figurines with painted or engraved faces representing tattoos. The oldest of these clay figurines have been recovered from tombs dated to 3,000 BCE or indeed before this time. Numerous other such figurines have been found in various tombs dating from the 2nd and 3rd millennia BCE. These figurines served as ‘stand-ins’ or substitutes for living individuals who symbolically accompanied the dead on their journey into the afterlife. It is commonly held that these tattooed marking held strong spiritual significance. The very first written record of the Japanese practicing the art of tattooing is found within a Chinese dynastic history compiled around 297 CE. The Japanese were interested in he art mostly for aesthetic or decorative uses – in contrast to their earlier spiritual significance. The Horis – the Japanese tattoo masters – were the undisputed experts of tattooing in their time. Their use of colors, perspective and imaginative designs moved the practice in a completely different direction. The classic Japanese tattoo is a full body suit.
japanese - tattoo history
 
China
From Southern China the practice spread along the silk-route. There have been a few periods in the history of the Far East when tattoos were accepted. Tattooing was mostly associated with the lower classes or the underworld. Though practiced in China for thousands of years, civilized and sophisticated Chinese showed nothing but disdain for it throughout this period. The practice become completely discredited after the Communist takeover in 1949. It was also held in contempt in Japan then greatly influenced by China in this regard.
This changed in the 18′th century when artists became interested in the art of tattooing. For a period tattoos were very fashionable particularly among workers. The Japanese tattoo style even became the international trendsetter. Prominent Westerners were attracted to the Japanese style and even traveled to Japan to receive the artwork. The introduction of the Japanese style to the west contributed greatly to the short-lived vogue of tattooing among the Western elite at the end of the 19′th century.
There are many parallels in the histories of tattooing in China and Japan. Firstly, both countries included peoples with rich tattoo traditions living beyond the direct influence of the center of power. In the 3′rd century CE, Chinese sources mentioned the Wa people who tattooed their bodies to ward off evil dragons.
Until recently, the women of the Ainu people who still live on the island of Hokkaido in northern Japan, had remarkable mouth tattoos. Tribes with their own tattoo culture have also long been a feature on the margins of the Chinese empire. Secondly, the practice of punitive tattooing, the public humiliation of offenders, occurred both in China and Japan. This punishment was essentially a life sentence as people marked in this way were condemned to a life on the margins of society. Thus a vigourous tattoo culture gradually developed within society’s underbelly. The third common factor was the boost that the art of tattooing received in both countries generated by the immense popularity of the novel Suikoden, in which the most important characters are tattooed.
In ancient China people lived according to strict Confucian moral codes. 500 years before the birth of Christ, Confucius preached that civilized people should honor and respect their parents and ancestors. Any mutilation of the body, a parental gift, conflicted with these basic tenets and brought shame upon the family and the community. Cultivated Chinese viewed tattooing, like eating raw meat and shaving body hair, as barbarous. These activities characterized wild, uncivilized tribes living beyond or on the borders of the Chinese empire. The first report of a tattooing culture appears in Chinese writings dating from around 200 BCE. It describes the Yue people who decorated themselves with mythical figures to protect themselves from dragons and sea monsters when fishing.
chinese - tattoo history
 
Polynesia
In pacific cultures tattooing has a huge historic significance. Polynesian tattooing is considered the most intricate and skillful tattooing of the ancient world. Polynesian peoples, believe that a person’s mana, their spiritual power or life force, is displayed through their tattoo. The vast majority of what we know today about these ancient arts has been passed down through legends, songs, and ritual ceremonies. Elaborate geometrical designs which were often added to, renewed, and embellished throughout the life of the individual until they covered the entire body. In Samoa, the tradition of applying tattoo, or ‘tatau’, by hand, has long been defined by rank and title, with chiefs and their assistants, descending from notable families in the proper birth order. The tattooing ceremonies for young chiefs, typically conducted at the onset of puberty, were elaborate affairs and were a key part of their ascendance to a leadership role. The permanent marks left by the tattoo artists would forever celebrate their endurance and dedication to cultural traditions. The first Europeans who set foot on Samoan soil were members of a 1787 French expedition. They got a closer look at the natives and reported that ‘the men have their thighs painted or tattooed in such a way that one would think them clothed, although they are almost naked’. the mythological origins of Samoan tattooing and the extraordinary cross-cultural history of tatau has been transported to the migrant communities of New Zealand, and later disseminated into various international subcultures from Auckland to the Netherlands. The Hawaiian people had their traditional tattoo art, known as ‘kakau’. it served them not only for ornamentation and distinction, but to guard their health and spiritual well-being. Intricate patterns, mimicking woven reeds or other natural forms, graced mens arms, legs, torso and faces. Women were generally tattooed on the hand, fingers, wrists and sometimes on their tongue. The arrival of western missionaries forced this unique art form into decline as tattooing has been discouraged or forbidden by most Christian churches throughout history.
ploynesia - tattoo history
 
New Zealand
The Maori of New Zealand had created one of the most impressive tattoo cultures of all those in Polynesia. Their distinctive style of tattooing, known as moko, reflected a refined artistry. The Maori tattoos used their woodcarving skills to transfer this craft into the carving of skin. The full-face moko was amongst the highest marks of distinction and communicated their status, lines of descent and tribal affiliations. The tattoos also recalled the wearer’s exploits in war and other major life events.
new zealand - tattoo history
 
Borneo
Borneo is a rare example of where traditional tribal tattooing is still practiced in just the same way as it has been for thousands of years. Indeed up until modern times, many of the inland tribes had little to no contact with the outside world. As a result, many aspects of their traditional way of life, including tattooing, have been exquisitely preserved. Borneo designs have seen an enormous surge in popularity – today they are most commonly referred to as ‘tribal’ and assimilated into a staggering array of tattoo designs.
indonesian - tattoo history
 
India / Thailand
Hanuman in India was a popular symbol of strength on arms and legs. The mythical monk is still today one of the most popular creations in Thailand and Myanmar. They are put on the human body by monks who incorporate magical powers to the design while tattooing. Women are excluded because monks are not allowed to be touched by them and because Thais believe women do not need the extra boost as they are already strong enough on their own.
thai-indian - tattoo history
 
Africa
In Africa, where people have dark skin, it is difficult to make coloured tattoos as we know them. But they want to be tattooed anyway, so they have developed another technique – they make scarifications (this is not really tattooing, but it is related to tattooing) made by lifting the skin a little, and making a cut with a knife or some other sharp thing special sands or ashes were rubbed in to make raised scars in patterns on the body, it can be felt like braille lettering… These patterns often follow local traditions.
african - tattoo history
 
Ancient Greece & Rome
The Roman tattoo culture derived from that of the Greeks, a pattern common to many aspects of Roman culture. Despite the widespread decorative tattooing among neighboring peoples, the Greeks did not adopt the practice. They viewed their neighbors as barbarians whose customs were to be eschewed. However the Persians introduced the Greeks to an alternative use for tattoos. In 512 BCE King Darius led the Persians into Thrace. Herodotus informs us that the Persians marked their slaves, convicts and prisoners of war by tattooing letters onto their foreheads. We can assume that the Greeks adopted this practice from them since they also tattooed their slaves’ faces, making it impossible for a runaway to go unnoticed. In his dialogue on Greek law, Plato refers to the marking of desecrators caught plundering treasure from the temples. In their writings, the Greeks use the word stigma for tattoos.
Roman writers such as Virgil, Seneca, and Galenus reported that many slaves and criminals were tattooed. Tattooing specific groups with clearly visible signs made monitoring their movements easier. A legal inscription from Ephesus indicates that during the early Roman empire all slaves exported to Asia were tattooed with the words ‘tax paid’. Greeks and Romans also used tattooing as a punishment. Early in the fourth century, when Constantine became roman emperor and rescinded the prohibition on Christianity, he also banned tattooing on face, which was common for convicts, soldiers, and gladiators. Constantine believed that the human face was a representation of the image of god and should not be disfigured or defiled.
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The Celts
Were a tribal people who moved across Western Europe in times around 1200 and 700 B.C. They reached the British Isles around 400 B.C. and most of what has survived from their culture is in the areas now known as Ireland, Wales and Scotland. Celtic culture had a long history of body art. Permanent body painting was done with woad, which left a blue design on the skin. spirals are very common, and they can be single, doubled or tripled. Knotwork is probably the most recognized form of Celtic art, with lines forming complex braids which then weave across themselves. These symbolize the connection of all life. Step or key patterns, like those found in early labyrinth designs, are seen both in simple borders and full complex mazes. Much in the way that labyrinths are walked, these designs are symbolic of the various paths that life’s journey can take.
When Julias Caesar invaded southern Britannia in 55 BCE he wrote that the Britons colored their bodies blue in order to appear more fearsome on the battlefield. Based on this story, the 19′th century Irish historian William Betham has concluded that the name Britannia was actually derived from an ancient Celtic word meaning ‘land of the painted people’.
After Caeser landed on British soil the Romans conducted many campaigns against the northern tribes that raided their empire in the ensuing centuries.
With ancient roots, tattooing in Europe has a fascinating history. It is a tale of uneven development. The continent was repeatedly affected by influences that washed like waves over the land and then retreated, sometimes leaving pools behind. From a social perspective the meaning of tattoos has varied. At times a decorative tattoo was a status symbol of the upper classes while at others, it was a stigma associated with convicts and deserters.
Christianity deplored the decorative tattoo as bodily mutilation and prohibited it. Yet the Middle Ages saw the emergence of the pilgrim tattoo that proudly proclaimed the completion of a pilgrimage. These polarized reactions are doubtlessly related to the severity of the act of tattooing itself. Europe has always been influenced by cultures beyond its borders.
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Central & South America
In Peru, tattooed Inca mummies dating to the 11th century have been found. 16th century Spanish accounts of Mayan tattooing in Mexico and Central America reveal tattoos to be a sign of courage. When Cortez and his conquistadors arrived on the coast of Mexico in 1519 they were horrified to discover that the natives not only worshipped devils in the form of statues and idols, but had somehow managed to imprint indelible images of these idols on their skin. The Spaniards, who had never heard of tattooing, recognized it at once as the work of satan. The sixteenth century Spanish historians who chronicled the adventures of Cortez and his conquistadors reported that tattooing was widely practiced by the natives of Central America.
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North America
Early Jesuit accounts testify to the widespread practice of tattooing among Native Americans. Among the Chickasaw, outstanding warriors were recognised by their tattoos. among the Ontario Iroquoians, elaborate tattoos reflected high status. In North-West America, Inuit women’s chins were tattooed to indicate marital status and group identity. The first permanent tattoo shop in new york city was settled up in 1846 and began a tradition by tattooing military servicemen from both sides of the civil war. Samuel O’reilly invented the electric tattooing machine in 1891.
north american - tattoo history
 
Middle East
During the time of the old testament, much of the Pagan world was practicing the art of tattooing as a means of deity worship. A passage in Leviticus reads: ‘ye shall not make any cuttings on your flesh for the dead nor print any marks upon you’. (19:28) This has been cited as biblical authority to support the church’s position. Biblical scholar M.W. Thomson suggests, however, that Moses favored tattoos. Moses introduced tattoos as a way to commemorate the deliverance of the jews from slavery in Egypt.
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Vikings
It is very likely that the vikings were tattooed. At around year 1100 the Arab Ibn Fadlan described a meeting with some vikings. He thought them very rude, dirty – and covered with pictures.
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England
Explorers returned home with tattooed Polynesians to exhibit at fairs, in lecture halls and in dime museums, to demonstrate the height of European civilization compared to the ‘primitive natives’. After Captain Cook returned from his voyage to Polynesia tattooing became a tradition in the British navy. By the middle of the 18th century most British ports had at least one professional tattoo artist in residence. In 1862, the Prince of Wales, later to become King Edward VII, received his first tattoo – a Jerusalem cross – on his arm. He started a tattoo fad among the aristocracy when he was tattooed before ascending to the throne. In 1882, his sons, the Duke of Clarence and the Duke of York were tattooed by the Japanese Master tattooist, Hori Chiyo.
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France
In the 18′th century, many French sailors returning from travels to the South Pacific often arrived back in port tattooed. By 1861 a French naval surgeon, Maurice Berchon, published a study on the medical / health complications said to arise from the receipt of a tattoo. After this paper, the navy and army temporarily banned tattooing.
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Stereotypical and Sensationalized Association of Tattoo Design:
sailor
Sailors often returned to port with tattoos they received during their voyage. These usually consisted of a extremely basic or primitive styles that used minimum amounts of detail thus making the tattoos look 2 dimensional or ‘flat’. These flat tattoos, today known as ‘flash tattoos’ often give a cartoon feel. The typical motifs would consist of flowers, hearts, mermaids, ships, anchors, snakes, birds, and names or script
sailors - tattoo history
 
criminality
For hundreds of years the practice of tattooing was believed to be reserved for sailors, cultural outcasts, the marginalized and criminals. Prison tattoos can be quite professionally done with homemade or improvised materials. These convey an inmates autonomy and, in many cases, identity. A commonly known symbol for gang members are their tattoos. Receiving permanent markings on the body is a sign of absolute loyalty. These gang tattoos often speak volumes about the wearer, what gang they are in, what their ideologies or beliefs might be, what they have done, where they have been incarcerated or lived as well as details up to and including how many individuals the member is said to have killed. Known Western gang tattoo symbols include teardrops under the eye as well as spider webs on the elbows – these are said to symbolize that the wearer has killed. Japanese yakuza tattoos often have a body suit with varied iconography being used. Whereas the Chinese triads use a specific set of archetypal images in varying arrangements.
criminals - tattoo history
 
circus
The prevalence of tattooing during the late 19′th and early 20′th century owed much to the once popular circus. When these traveling carnivals were prevalent tattooing, in turn, prospered. For nearly 100 years all major circus acts hired numerous individuals who were completely covered in tattoos. Some of these tattooed men and women were exhibited in ‘sideshows’ whilst others performed in traditional circus acts like juggling and sword-swallowing.
circus - tattoo history
 
tattoo flash
As with other artistic mediums and cultural developments, vocabulary continually evolves. The term ‘tattoo flash’ is commonly used to juxtapose it’s position against tattoo art. This comparison is reflective if the depth and potential of body art as well as the contemporary imagination. In recent years tattooing has emerged to the forefront of popular consciousness. Today tattoo ‘flash’, is a folder of tattoo designs completed by tattoo artists. For those who receive a tattoo based on flash it is much like the selection of a sticker from an album. The individual simply chooses a pre-made design from a book of stencils and has a tattooist trace it onto their body. Tattoo art today is defined as the commissioning of a tattoo artist for the creation of a unique, single use piece.
Published in NEWS Archives
Thursday, 14 August 2014 18:51

Abandoned Buildings by Matthias Haker

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Matthias Haker from Dresden, Germany is truly a multi-talented artist excelling in architectural, interior photography, people, portrait, fashion and wedding photography. Here is a unique collection of Abandoned Buildings photography.

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Read more: http://indulgd.com/abandoned-buildings-by-matthias-haker/#ixzz3AOUWpBdN

Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 17:15

Psychedelic Underwater Sculptures

Jason de Caires Taylor's Underwater Sculpture Garden
It's a rare case when a piece of sculpture means as much to the surrounding wildlife as it does to the humans who come to admire it. Such is the situation of Jason de Caires Taylor's underwater sculpture garden. Constructed out of concrete and steel, and bolted to the ocean substrate, the works here act as artificial reefs that provide "an ideal habitat for filter feeding organisms."
Located between two and eight meters underwater, the collection of over 65 sculptures is home to a number of species, including peacock flounder, juvenile striped parrot fish, banded coral shrimp, and fire worms. The sculptures are in clear, shallow waters and can be easily seen by divers, snorkelers, and those in glass-bottomed boats.
Despite the fact that some of the pieces weigh as much as 15 tons, they are not impervious to the powers of the ocean. Taylor's first work, Grace Reef, was torn to pieces by a hurricane. But such destruction is part of the point of Taylor's work. As the sculptures interact with their underwater environment in unpredictable ways, the art becomes more interesting and more complex. Eventually they may disappear completely into the expansive blue gallery they inhabit.
 
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Jason deCaires Taylor’s underwater sculptures create a unique, absorbing and expansive visual seascape. Highlighting natural ecological processes, Taylor’s interventions explore the intricate relationships that exist between art and environment. His works become artificial reefs, attracting marine life, while offering the viewer privileged temporal encounters, as the shifting sand of the ocean floor, and the works change from moment to moment.
Below you will find a small collection of his work. For more pictures and extensive details on each project, the Sifter highly recommends Jason deCaires official site. Enjoy!

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JASON DECAIRES TAYLOR: ARTIST BIO
Jason deCaires Taylor is a man of many identities, whose work resonates with the influences of his eclectic life. Growing up in Europe and Asia with his English father and Guyanese mother nurtured his passion for exploration and discovery. Much of his childhood was spent on the coral reefs of Malaysia where he developed a profound love of the sea and a fascination with the natural world.
This would later lead him to spend several years working as a scuba diving instructor in various parts of the globe, developing a strong interest in conservation, underwater naturalism and photography. His bond with the sea remains a constant throughout Taylor’s life though other key influences are found far from the oceans. During his teenage years, work as a graffiti artist fired his interest in the relationship between art and the environment, fostering an ambition to produce art in public spaces and directing the focus of his formal art training.

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He graduated in 1998 from the London Institute of Arts, with a B.A. Honours in Sculpture and Ceramics. Later, experience in Canterbury Cathedral taught him traditional stone carving techniques whilst five years working in set design and concert installations exposed him to cranes, lifting, logistics and completing projects on a grand scale.
With this range of experiences he was equipping himself with the skills required to execute the ambitious underwater projects that have made his name. Carving cement instead of stone and supervising cranes while in full scuba gear to create artificial reefs submerged below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, the various strands of his diverse life resolve themselves convincingly in the development of his underwater sculptures. These ambitious, public works have a practical, functional aspect, facilitating positive interactions between people and fragile underwater habitats.

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Jason deCaires Taylor has gained significant interest and recognition for his unique work, with features in over 1000 publications around the world, including National Geographic, Vogue, USA today, the BBC, and CNN and he has made several TV appearances.
His international reputation was established in May 2006, when he created the world’s first underwater sculpture park in Grenada, West Indies, leading to both private and public commissions. Taylor is currently founder and Artistic Director of the Museo Subacuático del Arte (MUSA) in Cancun, Mexico.

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JASON DECAIRES TAYLOR’S ‘VICISSITUDES’
Vicissitudes depicts a circle of figures, all linked through holding hands. These are life-size casts taken from a group of children of diverse ethnic background. Circular in structure and located five meters below the surface, the work both withstands strong currents and replicates one of the primary geometric shapes, evoking ideas of unity and continuum.

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The underwater environment is much like that of the outdoors. An object is subject to changes in light and prevailing weather conditions. The cement finish and chemical composition of Vicissitudes actively promotes the colonisation of coral and marine life. The figures are transformed over time by their environment, and conversely as this happens so they change the shape of their habitat. This natural process echoes the changes exacted through growing up. Social interchange shapes this process, while conversely as the product of a particular society we in turn invoke change on the workings and dynamics of that environment.

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The sculpture proposes growth, chance, and natural transformation. It shows how time and environment impact on and shape the physical body. Children by nature are adaptive to their surroundings. Their use within the work highlights the importance of creating a sustainable and well-managed environment, a space for future generations. Taylor notes that close to forty percent of coral reefs worldwide has been destroyed and that this figure is set to increase. His work reminds us that the marine environment is in a constant state of flux, and that this in turn reflects poignantly the vicissitudes, changing landscapes, of our own lives.

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JASON DECAIRES TAYLOR’S ‘THE LOST CORRESPONDENT’
The Lost Correspondent depicts a man sitting at a desk with a typewriter. The desk is covered with a collection of newspaper articles and cuttings that date back to the 1970s. Many of these have political significance, a number detail Grenada’s alignment with Cuba in the period immediately prior to the revolution. The work informs the rapid changes in communication between generations. Taking the form of a traditional correspondent, the lone figure becomes little more than a relic, a fossil in a lost world.

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JASON DECAIRES TAYLOR’S ‘GARDENER OF HOPE’
La Jardinera de la Esperanza (the gardener of hope), depicts a young girl lying on garden patio steps, cultivating a variety of plant pots. The sculpture is sited four metres beneath the surface Punta Nizuc, Cancun. The pots are propagated with live coral cuttings rescued from areas of the reef system damaged by storms and human activity. This technique, a well-established procedure in reef conservation, rescues damaged coral fragments by providing a suitable new substrate.

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The sculpture, a synthesis between art and science, conveys a message of hope and prosperity, portraying human intervention as positive and regenerating. The young Girl symbolizes a new, revitalized kinship with the environment, a role model for future generations.
The interaction between the inanimate and living forms highlights a potential symbiotic relationship with the life systems of the underwater world. Over the past few decades we have lost over 40% of our natural coral reefs. Scientists predict a permanent demise of 80% by 2050. The Gardner of Hope is designed to focus attention on this important, often forgotten, ecological issue. Built into the base of the sculpture are specialized habitat spaces designed to encourage individual types of marine creatures such as moray eels, juvenile fish and lobsters.

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JASON DECAIRES TAYLOR’S ‘ARCHIVE OF LOST DREAMS’
The Archive of Lost Dreams depicts an underwater archive, maintained by a male registrar. The archive is a collection of hundreds of messages in bottles brought together by the natural forces of the ocean. The registrar is collating the individual bottles and categorising the contents according to the nature of each message – fear, hope, loss, or belonging.

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Various communities from a broad spectrum of ethnic, religious and cultural backgrounds have been invited to provide the messages, which, it is hoped, will document current values and aspirations for future generations to discover.

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The sculpture is placed within an area of the national marine park, which had been previously damaged, by hurricanes and tropical storms. The choice of location aims to draw the high number of visitors to the region away from other sections of pristine reef allowing them space to develop naturally.

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ARTIFICIAL REEFS
Oceans teem with microscopic organisms that are constantly drifting down towards the sea bed, attaching to and colonising on the way any hard secure surface, such as rock outcrops, and thereby creating the basis of a natural reef. Coral reefs attract an array of marine life (such as colourful fish, turtles, sea urchins, sponges, and sharks) and also provide enclosed spaces for sea creatures to breed or take refuge.

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Only about 10 – 15% of the sea bed has a solid enough substratum to allow reefs to form naturally. In order to increase the number of reefs in these areas artificial reefs have recently been created from materials that are durable, secure and environmentally sensitive. These reefs appear to have been successful in that they have attracted coral growth which, in turn, can support an entire marine ecosystem.

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One of the greatest benefits of artificial reefs is that they have lifted the pressure off natural reefs which, over the past few decades, have been over-fished and over-visited. By diverting attention to artificial reefs, natural reefs have now been given a greater chance to repair and to regenerate.

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Biography
Jason deCaires Taylor
Born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother, Taylor grew up in Europe and Asia, where he spent much of his early childhood exploring the coral reefs of Malaysia. Educated in the South East of England, Taylor graduated from the London Institute of Arts in 1998 with a BA Honours in Sculpture and went on to become a fully qualified diving instructor and underwater naturalist. With over 18 years diving experience under his belt, Taylor is also an award winning underwater photographer, famous for his dramatic images, which capture the metamorphosing effects of the ocean on his evolving sculptures.
In 2006, Taylor founded and created the world’s first underwater sculpture park. Situated off the coast of Grenada in the West Indies it is now listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. His latest creation is MUSA (Museo Subacuatico de Arte), a monumental museum with a collection of over 500 of his sculptural works, submerged off the coast of Cancun, Mexico; described by Forbes as one of the world’s most unique travel destinations. Both these ambitious, permanent public works have a practical, functional aspect, facilitating positive interactions between people and fragile underwater habitats while at the same relieving pressure on natural resources.
Taylor’s art is like no other, a paradox of creation, constructed to be assimilated by the ocean and transformed from inert objects into living breathing coral reefs, portraying human intervention as both positive and life-encouraging. Numerous publications and documentaries have featured his extraordinary work, including the BBC, CNN, USA Today, the Guardian, Vogue, New Scientist and the Discovery Channel, yet nothing can quite do justice to the ephemeral nature of his art; for each actual visit to his sites is both unique and subject to the dynamic, fluctuating environment of the ocean.
 
His pioneering public art projects are not only examples of successful marine conservation, but inspirational works of art that seek to encourage environmental awareness, instigate social change and lead us to appreciate the breathtaking natural beauty of the underwater world.
Taylor’s studio is currently based in Lanzarote part of the Canary Islands.
 
ALL INFORMATION AND PHOTOGRAPHY VIA UNDERWATERSCULPTURE.COM

 

Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 13:26

Top Expensive Concert Tour Designs

Top Expensive Concert Tour Designs
There are concerts, and there are mind-blowing performances, the kind that break records and enter history. Big bands hire only the best designers to build their stages and only go for brand new concepts, taking their equipment on the road with them when touring in order to set up the same identical concert stage wherever and whenever they play. Many artists go all out when it comes to their stage because it is a direct representation of who they as an artist and what they are trying to portray with that specific concert.
 
5. Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball: $1 Million Per Set-up
 
Between 2012 and 2013, infamous American singer Lady Gaga performed 98 concerts as part of her notorious Born This Way Ball. The concert stage was designed using the sketches made by the artist herself and became the largest touring scenic structure, five stories tall, with three dimensions, all revolving around a gigantic Gothic castle. The castle itself weighed 30 tons and broke new grounds in terms of technology and innovation, as it could be assembled in less than six hours. It also featured 400 square feet of built in LED lighting and cost more than $2 million to create. It took 15 tractors just to move the castle from one setting to the other.
Lady Gaga’s show was divided into five acts, each requiring different props. Lady Gaga made her entrance through a huge zipped vagina, she dangled from a meat rack, danced with knights, and even rode a human horse, which is enough to raise controversy and break the bank. Reaching $181 million in earnings, the Born This Way Ball is the fifth highest grossing tour by a female solo artist. The brilliant stage cost approximately $1 million to put together each time.
 
4. The Rolling Stones’ A Bigger Bang Tour: $1.6 Million Per Set-up
Between 2005 and 2007, famous rock band The Rolling Stones held a worldwide concert tour to launch their album A Bigger Bang. It immediately became the second grossing tour in history after U2′s 360° Tour, with sales reaching $558 million. The 85 foot tall and 200 foot wide structure featured firework shows and computer generated graphics, with two 60 foot stage towers with balconies for fans with a generous wallet. The stage was the size of two basketball courts and weighed around 80,000 pounds, making it the largest portable set ever created. More than 100 tractor trailers were required to transport the stage and a permanent crew of 150 workers to put together.
Designed by Mark Fisher, the man behind Pink Floyd’s spectacular The Wall stage, the A Bigger Bang stage featured a gigantic video screen in the middle and cost an estimated $1.6 million to put up during each one of the 147 shows The Rolling Stones performed during their A Bigger Bang Tour.
 
3. Madonna’s Sticky and Sweet Tour: $2 Million Per Show
 
Madonna is all about extravagance and she never seizes to impress her fans. The Queen of Pop deserves only the best and no expense was spared during her Sticky and Sweet Tour. The tour cost an estimated jaw-dropping $261 million to stage, which translates into an average $2 million per show. The glamorous stage was flanked by two large sparkling M’s encrusted with diamonds which cost over $1 million each. Madonna made her grand entrance on a white Rolls Royce and played on the T-shaped catwalk stage accompanied by virtual Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Pharrell Williams, and Kanye West, all present on a giant screen.
Between 2008 and 2009, the Sticky and Sweet Tour saw a total of 85 shows which gathered more than 3.5 million fans who came to see their idol perform. Madonna’s tour grossed $408.6 million, making it the highest-grossing tour by a solo female artist.
 
2. Roger Waters’ The Wall Tour: $10 Million Per Set-up
 
One of the most notable concerts in history, an incredible experience that marked generations, Roger Waters‘ The Wall Tour is inspired by the original Pink Floyd’s The Wall album and tours. Not just a concert, but a complex show in the true sense of the word, with impressive stage theatrics, design, and symbolism, Roger Water’s The Wall Tour was held between 2010 and 2013 and cost an estimated $60 million just for the props.
With a total of 219 concerts throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Oceania, all featuring the biggest on-stage video screen ever, a giant video screen running more than 500 feet in length and more than 80 feet in height, it cost an average $10 million to put up the stage in each new location. With an anti-war message, Roger Waters used the pictures his fans sent him of their loved ones who died during war and projected them on the gigantic wall. The huge structure conceived in the shape of the famous wall from the Pink Floyd album was designed by Mark Fisher. The wall and the inflatable pig cost a total of $16 million. The wall is demolished piece by piece at the end of the show by the symbolic pig. The other puppets alone cost $2 million. Throughout the tour, it cost $200,000 a day just to keep the show on the road. Roger Waters’ The Wall Tour grossed over $89 million in North America alone, making the tour the second grossing concert in North America and the third grossing in the world
 
1. U2′s 360° Tour: $23-31 Million Per Set-up
 
U2′s 360° Tour concert stage goes straight to number one on our list as the most technologically innovative, the biggest, and of course, the most expensive concert stage in history. It also featured the loudest sound system ever assembled. Between 2009 and 2012, the famous rock band U2 concerted no less than 110 times under a gigantic 200-ton arachnid suggestively called The Claw. The structure weighed 200 tons and its central pylon reached 151 feet in height.
During the 360° Tour, the band traveled throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia, each time putting up the same gigantic 360 degrees stage that allowed each and every fan to have a good look at their idols. The other major attraction on the stage was a huge video wall worth no less than $1 million. With a crew of 300 workers and a budget of $750,000 a day, the entire stage weighed over 400 tons and cost between $23 and $31 million to put up each time. U2′s 360° Tour became the highest grossing tour in history, with sales reaching $730 million.
 
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 12:31

Beautiful EDM Stage Designs

Beautiful EDM Stage Designs
From mind-blowing laser shows to breathtaking prop elements, creative stage designs help transform us to another world — a place where real-world problems seem to wash away with every light sweep. A place where we can simply live in that moment of pure bliss.
 
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Avicii at Coachella 2012. Photo by Rukes.

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Bassnectar’s 360 degree stage at NYE 2012 in Nashville. Photo by Rukes.

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Sahara tent at Coachella 2013. Photo by Rukes.
 
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Kinetic Field at EDC Las Vegas 2014. Photo by Kent Otto/Electronic Midwest.

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Kinetic Field at EDC Las Vegas 2014. Photo by Kent Otto/Electronic Midwest.

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Basscon Stage at EDC Las Vegas 2014. Photo by Kent Otto/Electronic Midwest.

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Kinetic Field stage at EDC Las Vegas 2012. Photo by Erik Kabik/Insomniac.

EDM stage design - excision executioner club nokia 2013
Excision at Club Nokia with Executioner set (2013). Photo by Rukes.

EDM stage design - skrillex spaceship mexico 2012
Skrillex’s spaceship. Photo by Rukes.

EDM stage design - ultra main stage 2013
Ultra Music Festival Miami main stage 2013. Photo by Rukes.

EDM stage design - ultra mega structure 2013
Calvin Harris at Ultra Music Festival 2013. Photo by Rukes.

EDM stage design - defqon.1 2011
Defqon 1 2011. Photo by Rutger Geerling.

EDM stage design - defqon.1 2012 australia
Defqon 1 2012. Photo by Rutger Geerling.

EDM stage design - defqon.1 2013
Defqon 1 2013. Photo by Rutger Geerling.

EDM stage design - sensation source of light amsterdam 2012
Sensation “Source of Light” Amsterdam 2012. Photo by Rutger Geerling.

EDM stage design - sensation white innerspace belgium 2012 rudgr
Sensation White Innerspace Belgium 2012. Photo by Rutger Geerling.

EDM stage design - tomorrowland 2010
Tomorrowland main stage 2010. Photo by Rutger Geerling.

EDM stage design - tomorrowland 2011
Tomorrowland main stage 2011. Photo by Rutger Geerling.

EDM stage design - tomorrowland 2012
Tomorrowland main stage 2012. Photo by Rutger Geerling.
 
EDM stage design - tomorrowland 2013 night
Tomorrowland main stage 2013. Photo by Rutger Geerling.
 
EDM stage design - Tomorrowland 2013 daytime
Tomorrowland main stage 2013. Photo by Maxime Byttebier.

EDM stage design - WiSH Outdoor Fest 2
WiSH Outdoor Festival main stage 2013. Photo by Kevin Verkruijssen.

EDM stage design - WiSH Outdoor Fest
WiSH Outdoor Festival main stage 2013. Photo by Kevin Verkruijssen.

EDM stage design - decibel outdoor festival 1 heidiefocus
Decibel Outdoor Festival. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - defqon.1 2013 heidiefocus
Defqon 1 2013. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - Intents Festival
Intents Festival. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - master of hardcore
Master of Hardcore. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - qapital qdance 2
Qdance Qapital. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - qapital qdance
Qdance Qapital. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - qdance at tomorowland 2013
Qdance stage at Tomorrowland 2013.

EDM stage design - qlimax 2010 netherlands
Qlimax Netherlands 2010. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - qlimax fate or fortune 1
Qlimax Fate or Fortune. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - qlimax fate or fortune
Qlimax Fate or Fortune. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - sensation innerspace new york 2012
Sensation White Innerspace NYC 2012.

EDM stage design - sensation into the wild
Sensation Into the Wild. Photo by Heidiefocus.

EDM stage design - sensation ocean of white
Sensation Ocean of White.

EDM stage design - sensation unkown
Sensation.

EDM stage design - tomorrowland 2010 2
Tomorrowland 2012. Photo by Rutger Geerling.

EDM stage design - EDC Vegas 2013 Life After Dusk_for_Insomniac_2
EDC Las Vegas 2013. Photo by Life After Dusk/Insomniac.

Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas 2013 Day 1 in Las Vegas, NV
Basscon stage at EDC Las Vegas 2013. Photo by Erik Kabik/Insomniac.

EDM stage design - edc-vegas-mainstage-2013
EDC Las Vegas main stage 2013. Photo by Kent Otto/Electronic Midwest.

EDM stage design - mysteryland 2013 holland
Mysteryland Holland 2013.

EDM stage design - paradiso festival 2012 dejawood
Paradiso Festival 2012. Photo by Jason Woo.

EDM stage design - qdance at mysterland 2013
Qdance stage at Mysteryland Holland 2013.

EDM stage design - qdance-at-edc-2012
Qdance at EDC Las Vegas 2012.

EDM stage design - Markus Schulz - Spiritual Gateway Wallpaper
Markus Schulz at Transmission Prague. Photo by Petr Klapper.
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:50

Pigment-Matching Pen

This Pigment-Matching Pen Captures All the Beautiful Colors in the World
If you’ve ever wanted to capture the exact color of something, now you can. The amazing Scribble pen makes it possible to match any pigment you see by using an RGB sensor and a five-color ink cartridge, and it will allow you to translate the beautiful hues of real life onto paper or your digital device.
 
The top of the Scribble pen has a scanner that will save any consistent color it’s pointed at, and then uses its combination of inks to match what it sees. According to Scribble’s manufacturers, it’s capable of storing 100,000 colors in its internal memory and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

 
If you’re strictly a digital illustrator, have no fear. Scribble also makes a stylus with the same capabilities. In addition, there will be an app available for both models that instantly syncs every color that you scan with your mobile device.
The pen is not yet for sale, but is expected to launch on July 7th of this year. You’ll be able to pre-order it via their Kickstarter campaign.
 
 
 
Left: Ink Pen Right: Stylus Pen
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:44

CreoPop - The 3D Pen

CreoPop 3D Pen Allows You to Draw in the Air Using Light instead of Heat
Drawing is even more fun when you’re working with another dimension. The CreoPop is a 3D drawing pen that allows you to make imaginative and colorful sculptures without the use of melting plastics or heat. Instead, the device creates a chemical reaction with light-sensitive photopolymers. A tiny motor inside of the pen forces gel through a nozzle, and three blue UV lights harden the gel once it reaches the tip. This means that there’s no smelly plastic or a risk of burning yourself - you can even use CreoPop on your skin!
 
There are a ton of playful possibilities with this pen which makes it fun for artists and non-artists alike. The gel adheres to itself, so you’re able to draw on top of hardened lines or create flat shapes that you can later piece together. It takes approximately 40 minutes to charge the device for two hours of drawing.
 
 
 
Watch the video below to see it in action. CreoPop is currently raising funds via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 11:11

Stunning Art Installations in 2013

Stunning Art Installations in 2013
Out of all the different types of art forms we write about on a daily basis, there's one that clearly stands apart from the rest - installation. According to Merriam-Webster, an installation is defined as "a work of art that usually consists of multiple components often in mixed media and that is exhibited in a usually large space in an arrangement specified by the artist."
Why do we love installation art? For many reasons. First, it's oftentimes immersive, providing visitors with a multi-sensory experience. Next, it's site-specific, meaning that piece of art was built for that particular time and space. Finally, it's highly imaginative in that it brings several different materials together to create something original and unexpected.
Today, we take a look at the most stunning installations that were shown around the world in 2013. If you were one of the lucky ones, you experienced one or a few of these artworks first-hand yourself.
 
10. Colorful Canopies of Umbrellas by Sextafeira Produções
 
In July, the city of Agueda, Portugal came alive as a colorful canopies of umbrellas hung over its streets. Photographer Patrícia Almeida took great shots of a similar installation last year, which went viral. This was part of an art festival called Agitagueda. Production company Sextafeira Produções had created the cheery installation to turn traditional shopping streets into an engaging visual experience. See more, here.
 
9. From the Knees of My Nose to the Belly of My Toes by Alex Chinneck
 
From the Knees of My Nose to the Belly of My Toes is a surreal display by British designer Alex Chinneck that makes it look like the brick facade is sliding right off the front of a building in Margate, England. The eye-catching installation, which took Chinneck approximately one year to bring to fruition, took a four-story residence that had been abandoned for eleven years and replaced the old frontage with a new one that slumped down and curved outward. See more, here.
 
8. The Fallen by Andy Moss and Jamie Wardley
 
British artists Andy Moss and Jamie Wardley, of Sand In Your Eye, produced this incredibly powerful visual display at the D-Day landing beach of Arromanche in France. The two developed this concept, entitled The Fallen, in honor of International Peace Day (September 21) and as a way to remember what happens in the absence of that peace. See more, here.
 
7. Unwoven Light by Soo Sunny Park

 
At the Rice University Art Gallery at Houston, Texas, visitors were immersed in a shimmering world of light, shadow and color. Called Unwoven Light, the hovering sculpture, by artist Soo Sunny Park, was made of chain link fencing and Plexiglas. Visitors were invited to enter the space to see how natural and artificial light change when viewed at a certain angle or at different times of the day. See more, here.
 
6. Sirens of the Lambs by Banksy
 
Leave it to Banksy to mix the cute and the cuddly with the totally disturbing. In the 11th work of his Better Out Than In exhibit that happened on the streets of New York, the British artist took over a delivery truck turning it into a slaughterhouse installation carrying 60 stuffed animals (or puppets) - cows, chickens, pigs, lambs - who were seen moving their heads through wooden slats. See more, here.
 
5. Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home by Do Ho Suh
 
At the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul, you could find Home Within Home Within Home Within Home Within Home, a 1:1 scale replica of two houses the artist had previously lived in, one inside the other. Created in purple fabric, his traditional Korean home, where he lived in when he was a child, was enveloped and suspended within a more modern building, his first apartment building when he came to the United States, located in Providence, Rhode Island. See more, here.
 
4. In Orbit by Tomas Saraceno
 
His largest and most ambitious work to date, In Orbit by Argentinian artist Tomas Saraceno was a huge mesh construction that suspended over 25 meters above the piazza of the K21 Standehaus museum in Dusseldorf, Germany. Visitors were able to climb on the gigantic steel wire construction that spanned three levels. The mesh net alone weighed three tons and there were a half a dozen "spheres" or inflated PVC balloons positioned within it. See more, here.
 
3. Forever Bicycles by Ai Weiwei
 
This year, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei presented a new version of his incredible Forever Bicycles installation in Toronto. As the centerpiece of this year's Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, the all-night contemporary art event that takes over city streets, 3,144 bicycles, the most Weiwei has used of this work to date, were stacked 100 feet in length and 30 feet in height and depth in Toronto's Nathan Phillips Square. See more, here.
 
2. Rain Room by Random International
 
Rain Room, by London and Berlin-based collective Random International, allowed you to experience the rain without getting wet! First shown at Barbican Centre from October 2012 to this March, it came to New York, housed in a temporary gallery next door to the MoMA museum. This was the monumental installation's US debut. See more, here.
 
1. Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away by Yayoi Kusama
 
In Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, hundreds of multicolored LED lights, suspended at different heights and dangling from floor to ceiling, transformed a room into what feels like eternity. The cube-shaped, mirror-paneled room had a shallow reflecting pool as its floor and the lights flickered on and off in a strobe-like effect. Though similar to the ones Yayoi Kusama has shown previously - Infinity Mirror Room at the Tate Modern and Fireflies on the Water at the Whitney Museum of Art - this one was made especially for the exhibition at David Zwirner gallery and still promised the viewer a wonderfully surreal experience. See more, here.
Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:52

Burning Man art installations part2

The coolest Burning Man art installations (part2)
Art has become the defining feature of Burning Man, as the festival continues to be a testing ground for a growing circle of artists seeking engaged audiences. Burning Man art installations are guided by the themes chosen by the festival organizers each year. The most compelling works are large-scale constructions that are burned at the end of this extraordinary event.
Whether you’ve missed the boat on a ticket or don’t have the funds for this year’s event, hopefully this gallery will offer you a window into what goes down each year at Black Rock City. However, if you are one of the lucky people reading this in your disco sunnies about to head out to the desert — get inspired, get pumped, and enjoy.

 

Published in NEWS Archives
Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:31

Burning Man art installations part1

The coolest Burning Man art installations (part1)
Art has become the defining feature of Burning Man, as the festival continues to be a testing ground for a growing circle of artists seeking engaged audiences. Burning Man art installations are guided by the themes chosen by the festival organizers each year. The most compelling works are large-scale constructions that are burned at the end of this extraordinary event.
Whether you’ve missed the boat on a ticket or don’t have the funds for this year’s event, hopefully this gallery will offer you a window into what goes down each year at Black Rock City. However, if you are one of the lucky people reading this in your disco sunnies about to head out to the desert — get inspired, get pumped, and enjoy.

Bliss Dance by Marco Cochrane, 2010

 

Published in NEWS Archives
Ernst Haeckel Draws a Psychedelic World
 
Ernst Haeckel was a 19th century artist, philosopher and professor who had a deep interest in the natural world. His beautifully detailed illustrations of sea creatures, insects, plants and animals have survived over a century of change and are still hailed as among the best nature illustrations that exist to this day.

Photography vs Psychedelic Illustrations
The art of photography has existed for centuries, though not as we know it today. As early as the 4th and 5th centuries BC, Chinese and Greek philosophers and mathematicians described pinhole cameras. By the late 19th century, more sophisticated cameras were in use. These cameras often produced blurry images that were either over- or under-exposed, so up until the early 20th century, illustrations were the best way for scientists to share images of their findings with other biologists. These illustrations were used to identify and differentiate species of animals. Ernst Haeckel earned a name for himself for his highly detailed, intricately constructed illustrations of the natural world.

 
 
Above: Ernst Haeckel often colored his illustrations, a technique that allowed other naturalists to imagine not just the shape and texture of the creature, but its color patterns too. During the 19th century, photographs were produced in black and white, which meant that color illustrations were valued over monotone photographs. [source]
 
 
Above: Orchidae, depicting several orchid flower species. Haeckel often drew collections of animals or plants of the same species, showcasing both the similarities and differences between the different breeds. [source]
 
Above: Ernst Haeckel's illustrations were highly prized for their level of detail. Many nature artists of the time would simply have drawn a rough sketch of this sea creature, unlike Haeckel who has drawn every tiny detail. [source]
 
Natural Psychedelic Design
It's unlikely that Haeckel's intention was to create psychedelic art works. As a biologist and naturalist, Haeckel simply wanted to record the world as he saw it, as a collection of intricate patterns and subtle shades. But repetitive patterns create the basis of psychedelic art, so Haeckel's illustrations have unintentionally become mind-boggling art works.
 
 
Above: Many of Haeckel's drawings are of sea creatures such as anemones. With their repetitive patterns and intricate details, these creatures are the perfect subjects for psychedelic, alienish art works. [source]
 
 
Above: Ernst Haeckel's illustrations often have an otherworldly feel. The creature in the picture above could easily feel at home on an alien planet, yet unusually enough, it calls Earth its home. [source]
 
 
 
Above: Another of Haeckel's illustrations that shows several different breeds of the same specie. In all of his art works, Haeckel included as much detail as he possibly could, making his drawings the first truly accurate recordings of many creatures.

Ernst Haeckel died on August 9, 1919, leaving behind hundreds of nature illustrations. Nearly a century after his death, his drawings are still celebrated as being some of the most detailed and attractive biological illustrations in the world.
Published in NEWS Archives
This is a special area of top secret information from the Past, Present and Future of Goa Freaks World.
 
 
GRAPHIC DESIGN HISTORY - SIXTIES’ PSYCHEDELIA.
 
The establishment of psychedelic culture in the World during 60s-70s was obvious tendency after massive immersion of young progressive people of those times with global Hippies movement, Woodstock, Summer of Love, Rock, Indian Spiritualism and LSD.
 
Free minds of the planet- in different cities, countries and continents, were united through the Noosphere of the Earth to give to humanity new creative ideas and design decisions that travelled via neurons of their brains connected in Astral.
 
Otherwise how can we explain the following article:
 
 
 
This is a special area of top secret information from the Past, Present and Future of Goa Freaks World.

 
Today we decided to make a deep search to find the roots and try to highlight the future of Psychedelic Visual Media. So, lets see:
 
How Psychedelic Aesthetics Took Over the World.
If one were to judge the state of the psychedelic visual style in 1980, one would probably consider it to be an obsolete fad which receded into the past. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although decades have passed since the psychedelic sixties, psychedelic elements are today deeply integrated into contemporary visual culture from Avatar to videos by Beyonce and Rihanna.
The story of psychedelic visuals did not begin in the 1960s. It is in fact an extremely long tale which stretches from mankind’s prehistorical mystical visions, through the psychedelic revolution of the sixties, to modern consumerist media society and beyond. In order to understand the appeal which the psychedelic visual style holds for our postmodern culture one must get back to the roots of psychedelic aesthetics in the visionary experience.
 
Huxley’s  analysis of psychedelic aesthetics
“Prenatural light and color are common to all visionary experiences” wrote Aldous Huxley in his Heaven and Hell “and along with light and color there comes in every case, a recognition of heightened significance. The self-luminous objects which we see in the mind’s antipodes possess a meaning, and this meaning is, in some sort, as intense as their colour.”
 
The origin of intense coloring in the visionary experience. Aldous Huxley.
Visionary experiences has many possible characteristics, but the most common of which, according to Huxley, is the experience of light: “Everything seen by those who visit the mind’s antipodes is brilliantly illuminated and seems to shine from within. All colors are intensified to a pitch far beyond anything seen in the normal state, and at the same time the mind’s capacity for recognizing fine distinctions of tone and hue is notably heightened.”
 
Huxley’s lengthy discussion about the aesthetics of the visionary and psychedelic experience in Heaven & Hell remains one the most perceptive pieces about the roots of psychedelic aesthetics. His rich background as a scholar of aesthetics, a scholar of mysticism and a pioneering practitioner of psychedelic journeys, allows him to examine the issue of the visual characteristics of psychedelia from a large historical and philosophical perspective which is essential if one is to decipher the true meaning of psychedelic aesthetics.
 
All psychedelic visions are unique, claimed Huxley, yet they all “recognizably belong to the same species”. What they have in common are the preternatural light, the preternatural color and the preternatural significance, as well as more specific architectures, landscapes and patterns which tend to reoccur a
 
cross psychedelic and visionary experiences. For Huxley this intense color and light was one of the primary and most indelible characteristics of what he called the mind’s antipodes, the unknown territories to which the psychedelic voyager is transported.
Looking at the traditions of various cultures, past and present, Huxley found a common ground between their accounts of the heavens or the fairylands of folklore and  the lands of the antipodes. He noted the existence of Other Worlds, mythological landscapes of fantastic beauty in many of the world’s cultural traditions. In the Greco-Roman tradition there were the Garden of Hesperides, the Elysian Plain and the Fair Island of Leuke. The Celts had Avalon, while the Japanese had Horaisan and the Hindu Uttrarakuru. These other worldly paradises, noted Huxley, abound with intensely colored and luminescent objects which bring to mind the psychedelic visionary experience. “Every paradise abounds in gems, or at least in gemlike objects resembling as Weir Mitchell puts it, ‘transparent fruit.’” Wrote Huxley. Ezikel’s version of the Garden of Eden notes the many various stones in the garden, while “The Buddhist paradises are adorned with similar ‘stones of fire’”. The New Jerusalem is constructed in glimmering buildings of shimmering stone. Plato’s world of the ideals is described as a reality where “colors are much purer and much more brilliant than they are down here”.
 
 
Mystical paradises were always glowing with color and light.Avatar.
Huxley introduces many more examples of ancient cultures which establish the import and centrality of glimmering gems and precious stones in various mythologies. The implication he draws from this consistency is that the “otherwise inexplicable passion for gems”must have had its roots in “the psychological Other World of visionary experience”. In other words, “precious stones are precious because they bear a faint resemblance to the glowing marvels seen with the inner eye of the visionary.”
Moreover, Huxley notes, “among people who have no knowledge of precious stones or of glass, heaven is adorned not with minerals but with flowers”. Many more examples follow for the various intensely colored, shiny and often luminescent objects in which man had sought the semblance of the Other Worlds, among them candles, works of jewelry, crowns, silks and velvets, medals, glassware, the vision inducing stained glass windows of churches and even ceramics and porcelain ware.  All these, argued Huxley, act to transport human beings into higher realities: “contemplating them, men find themselves (as the phrase goes) transported –carried away toward that Other Earth of the Platonic Dialogue, that magical place where every pebble is a precious stone.”  Shiny objects, argued Huxley, remind the unconscious of the mind’s antipodes and so allow us to experience a taste of visionary consciousness.
The human urge to be transported into the numinous realm has found its expression in mythologies and religion, but also in art. Huxley notes a number of artists who used colors in transporting ways such as Caravaggio, Geroges de Latour, and Rembrandt. Indeed, he notes:
“Plato and, during a later flowering of religious art, St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that pure bright colors were of the very essence of artistic beauty”.
Although Huxley argues that this categorical equation of beauty with bright colors leads to absurdity, he also finds this doctrine to be not altogether devoid of truth. “Bright pure colors are the essence, not of beauty in general, but only of a special kind of beauty”: the beauty of works of art which can transport the beholder’s mind in the direction of its antipodes.
Modern taste is often reserved about using intensely bright colors, and prefers the more restrained and undemonstrative palette of minimalism and modernist design. The reason, argued Huxley, is that “we have become too familiar with bright pure pigments to be greatly moved by them”. In the past, pigments and colors were costly and rare. The richly colored velvet and brocades of princely wardrobes, and the painted hangings of medieval and early modern houses were a rarity reserved for a privileged minority, while the majority of the population lived a drab and colorless existence. This all changed with the modern chemical industry and its endless variety of dyes and colors. “In our modern world there is enough bright color to guarantee the production of billions of flags, and comic strips, millions of stop signs and taillights, fire engines and Coca-Cola containers”, and all those objects which in the past might have possessed a transporting numinous quality were reduced by the new industrial consumer market into ordinary banality.
 
The evolution of psychedelic aesthetics in modern times
The potential of psychedelics to act as powerful catalysts for creativity in general and for visual artists specifically was  noted by researchers of psychedelics already in the 1950s. Oscar Janiger who administered psychedelics to artists was immediately flooded with artists enthusiastic to explore their creativity through the use of psychedelics. “Ninety-nine precent expressed the notion that this was an extraordinary, valuable tool for learning about art”. Ron Sandison noted a patient whose style changed completely after a psychedelic experience “and she began to paint in the style she wanted to, which was imaginative”.
Many more anecdotal accounts of the artistic merit of psychedelics appear during these years. However, the great aesthetic shift ushered by psychedelics would only come as a result of their popularization in the mid-1960s. The psychedelic revolution has brought the visionary aesthetic which stood at the center of many works of art and religion back to the foreground of western culture, but now through the prism of the emerging pop culture of the 1960s.
San Francisco psychedelic poster artists such as Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Wes Wilson, Stanely Mouse & Alton Kelley redefined the boundaries of numinous aesthetics by integrating it into commercial psychedelic posters which advertised bands and  rock concert. These psychedelic artist, who experimented with colors and forms  were inspired to a great extent by the Art Noveau movement of early 20th century and it’s emphasis on organic forms and lines, as well as in the idea of life as art. The aesthetic of these  posters would define a new artistic style that would be widely distributed and collected.  Meanwhile, psychedelic art flourished outside the poster genre. Visual artists such as Mati Klarwein, Robert Fraser and Milton Glaser designed psychedelic album covers for the likes of Miles Davis, the Beatles and Bob Dylan.
 
 
Mati Klarwein’s psychedlic cover to Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.
Other forms of psychedelic aesthetics have emerged in various cultural domains. Psychedelic fashion was popularized by rock artists and countercultural figures and even introduced into couture by designers such as Emilio Pucci, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin. Psychedelic light shows by psychedelic light show artists and groups such as Marc Boyle, Mike Leonard and The brotherhood of light became a popular trend in music concerts. (Here one should also note an extremely popular form of  psychedelic aesthetics, which is the luminescent culture of Burning Man Festival, whose fascination with glowing colors  have turned it over the years into a distinct form of light-worship, a spiritual fest ordered around the heavenly glow Huxley referred to in his work). Psychedelic architectural and inner designs flourished in the communes and were experimented with by a variety of architects and designers as thoroughly documented in the book “Spaced Out”.
What these various genres of psychedelic aesthetics had in common was the use of intensive coloring, extensive use  of natural lines, extensive use of op-art as well as of elaborate patterns and designs that sought to transport the viewer into a different state of consciousness. 
 
Like the other forms of psychedelic culture, psychedelic aesthetic was a new artistic genre which was rooted in the psychedelic experience and at the same time a cultural artifact which attempted to recreate some of the elements of the psychedelic experiences within the domain of culture.
 
 
A distinct form of light worship. Burning Man.
Yet, by the late sixties psychedelic aesthetics have already left the realms of the counterculture, and started being absorbed by the larger culture, as their commercial potential began being tapped into by various enterprises from Pepsi and McDonalds to Campbell and General Electric so that by the mid-1970s, the psychedelic visual style had been largely absorbed into the mainstream consumer culture which the hippies sought to change.
The evolution and reemergence of psychedelic video
Psychedelic art, fashion, design and architecture were all contributed greatly to the creation of a psychedelic culture expressed in various artistic forms. Yet when it comes to reproducing the psychedelic experience, it seems that film and video had an altogether different potential. Psychedelic visions are after all not not static, buy dynamic and related to sound. An effective use of moving pictures and a soundtrack can powerfully recreate elements of the psychedelic experience. This would appear to be part of the reason, why psychedelic film and video would achieve an even greater popularity than did the more static reproductions of the psychedelic experience such as art, fashion, design and architecture.
Already Huxley noted in his Heaven and Hell  that the equivalent of the magic-lantern show of earlier times is the colored movie. “In the huge, expensive ‘spectacular’, the soul of the masque goes marching along” wrote Huxley. He was fascinated by various films with visionary properties, such as Disney’s The Living Desert and claimed that film has the power to create a “vision inducing phantasy”. Psychedelic elements have actually emerged on film already as early as the 1920s as could be seen in this short silent animation film from 1926 as well on Disney’s 1940s films Fantasia and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which both contained elaborate psychedelic sequences, and whose chief visualist is reputed to have participated in Kurt Beringer’s mescaline experiments in 1920s Berlin.
 
The 1960s psychedelic genre of film distinguished itself through such films as “Psych-Out” (1968), “The Trip ”, (1967), “Easy Rider ” (1969) and of course the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” (1968) and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey  which was frequented in cinema by numerous tripping hippies who immensely enjoyed the closing hyper-psychedelic 30 minutes sequence.
And while the attraction and novelty of the psychedelic style seemed to diminish in the beginning of the 1970s, the attempts to recreate the psychedelic visual aesthetic on film kept evolving. Experimental movie makers such as Vince Collins and Toshio Matsumoto explored psychedelic aesthetics throughout the 1970s, while new motion pictures introduced movie-goers to more elaborate and sophisticated cinematic renditions of the psychedelic experience, created about with the help of new production techniques and technologies in films such as Ken Russel’s 1980’s Altered States  and Terry Gilliam’s 1998 version of  Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.
But while these might seem as solitary examples, a far deeper cultural momentum was at work, advancing the integration of psychedelic aesthetic into popular culture. As I showed above, Huxley already noted the visionary aspect of commercial designs such as colorful printed advertisements or neon lights. As technology and media evolved side by side with late capitalism, psychedelic aesthetic and consumer society would find a common field of resonance. Electronic media, which media theorist Marshall McLuhan described as humanity’s nervous system, and which Erik Davis called a technology of the self, would become a new and most effective form of consciousness altering medium. The visual properties of psychedelics, which expressed themselves not only through color but also through a new and more dynamic approach to video editing, would become integrated into the popular culture, while better, bigger screens and higher resolutions created a distinctly psychedelic hyper-real quality in many of the new clips and videos.
And so, while it might have earlier seemed that psychedelic aesthetic became a thing of the past, a quick examination of today’s popular culture would teach us something radically different. Psychedelic visual style is to be found in the music clips of the many of today’s leading music artists, and not only alternative groups such as MGMTChemical Brothers or Birdy Nam Nam but also in the music clips of many of today’s leading pop artists from Beyonce to Lady GagaRihannaKesha and Nicki Minaj . Psychedelic visionary aesthetic also became an integral part of today’s commercial world from Takashi Murakami’s impeccable Louis Vitton’s commercials to commercials by SonyHyundai and Yoplait. Psychedelic videos are being created today, by web users, as well as by commercial firms and popular artists at a higher rate than ever before.
This does not mean that all these videos are psychedelic in the same way. One could distinguish between more superficial use of psychedelic motives characterized mostly by psychedelic coloring, design and editing, which can be found in more mainstream oriented productions, and more distinctly and explicitly psychedelic videos which include more hardcore psychedelic motives such as multi-perspectivism SaveFrom.netmulti-dimensionalityfigure transformationmandalas and fractalic imagery. In this way one could distinguish between soft-psychedelia and hard-psychedelia.
“the self-luminous objects which we see in the mind’s antipodes possess a meaning, and this meaning is, in some sort, as intense as their color” wrote Huxley. “Significance is here identical with being”. In this, Huxley wished to point out that in contrast to surrealism, for instance, the psychedelic aesthetic is not symbolic of anything else. It is the thing itself. Its beauty needs no explanation, for it is self-evident in its color, richness and harmony. The meaning of the psychedelic visuals is “precisely in this, that they are intensely themselves”.
And this is perhaps what makes psychedelic aesthetics so appealing to today’s popular culture. The psychedelic aesthetic style, which is rooted in the visionary Other Worlds described by the mystics of humanity, is so successful precisely because it is distinguished first and foremost by its “suchness”; because it does not symbolize anything concrete, and can hence be seen as arguably indifferent to content and used for a wide variety of purposes. At the same time the powerful responses it evokes, a result of mankind’s age old fascination with the colors and light which characterized the psychedelic visions of the Other Worlds, turn it into such a powerful mind-altering tool for media.
 
The future of psychedelic media
One might ask whether the use visionary elements in consumer culture still holds and delievers  the deeper psychedelic values, or whether psychedelic visual style has become abused by other purposes. One thing should be clear, however: psychedelic aesthetics in media are here to stay. They are integrated into the cultural production system, and new technologies such as 3D screens and video glasses are about to make them ever more effective and powerful.
The advent of 3D screens, which are making their way into the consumer electronics market these days are one factor which is bound to make psychedelia an even more prominent force in our visual culture. The psychedelic experience has always been about perceiving new and unimagined dimensions, and the addition of a new dimension to media, has an inherently psychedelic quality to it. As a genre which is based on bending our perception and creating rich media environments to inspire awe, psychedelic visuals can benefit greatly from the new possibilities unleashed by the new dimensions. Indeed, Avatar, the most successful 3D film up to date, is distinguished by its extensive use of psychedelic aesthetics. Meanwhile Independent psychedelic video makers have already started to integrate the 3rd dimension into their works with mesmerizing results. The first examples of 3D psychedelic videos are so much more psychedelic and transporting than 2D psychedelic videos that this suggest that psychedelic videos will profit from the integration of the 3rd dimension into media more than any other genre of video.
Meanwhile, augmented reality projects such as the “Google Glasses” suggest that in the not so remote future one might perceive the world through high-resolution 3D screens. This in turn raises the possibility that the augmented reality glasses will be used not only to present useful data, but also to produce visual filter effects (such as changing colors or patterns) which will be screened on reality and allow us to see reality through altered senses, much in the same way that Instagram allows us to manipulate still pictures today. Rich augmented reality environments would repackage our surroundings, freeing us from the visual constraints of the real world and transporting us into other more magical realities which will present themselves from within our glasses. Thus a new market for virtual psychedelic environments and landscapes might emerge.
Psychedelics and electronic media are both powerful mind-altering tools capable at producing awe-inspiring transformational visual experiences. Psychedelic visual culture has had an appetite for using new media to enhance and recreate psychedelic experience since the invention of the strobe light and the days of Stewart Brand’s “Trips Festival”. New developments in technology and media suggest that the wedding of the psychedelic visual culture and electronic media will only become stronger in the years to come.

 

This is a special area of top secret information from the Past, Present and Future of Goa Freaks World.
Today we will make a deep dive into the world of psychedelic art
 
The world of psychedelic art has been around for as long as people have been getting high and picking up paintbrushes. Many believe it reached it's popular peak in the late 60's when the hippy movement and flower power was all the go. I guess that is a fair argument. That's not to say that psychedelic and visionary art isn't popular anymore. Far from it - there are thousands of psychedelic and visionary artists around the globe who are creating amazing images using a whole range of interesting techniques.
 
Here I would like to present what I believe are some  of the leading psychedelic and visionary artists working in the field today. Some of these artists are so technically brilliant in their usage of digital processes that it makes my mind boggle as to how they do it. A number of these names will be instantly familiar to some of you such as artists Alex Grey and Martina Hoffmann while others might be lesser well known so take the time to follow up on them and visit their websites for some amazing visions of the inner mind. 
 
This list is in no particular order and I'll add more details about other artists listed soon so check back again sometime.
 
1. Andrew ( Android ) Jones
 
 
Currently one of the leading digital psychedelic visionary artists in the world today. Andrew works in the field of visual concept art, creating images for film, fashion and gaming. More recently he has been working on designs for music festivals and bands. His artwork has been featured on album covers of several electronic and psybient music artists such as Bluetech, Beats Antique, Sporeganic, and Phutureprimitive.
 
2. Justin Guse
 
 
 
 
Justin is a highly skilled digital artist who creates stunning fantasy visionary hybrids. He is also very active in creating vector art, logo designs, promo material and user interfaces. His work has a leading edge look to it that combines patterns and shapes from a digital world with the more organic feel of spiritual practices.
 
3. Tokio Aoyama
 
 
An artist who paints with a combination of metaphysical, spiritual, and music themes, Tokio Aoyama hails from a tiny town in the north of Japan. Tokio has painted murals and has done commission work for clients all over the world. He has designed art for record labels Epistrophik Peach Sound, Mello Music, Moamoo, and Jazzy Sport. Presently he is looking to share insight into Japanese culture, history, and tradition such as tattooing and art trends of present day Japan.
 
4. Andy Thomas
 
 
 
Andy Thomas' work creates a visual fusion between Nature and Technology. By taking photos of plants, insects and machines and compositing them with artificially created forms in various 3D programs. The very process of the art he creates is symbolic of mankind’s continuing corruption of the natural world. His photographic endeavours have led him to such exotic locations as Borneo, Laos and the rainforests of Tasmania and the Daintree River.
 
5. Carey Thompson
 
 
 
Carey creates wildly colorful psychedelic vision that include concepts of spirituality, molecular biology, environmentalism and global peace. In recent years he has worked on large scale sculptures and bio-constructions for music festivals and spiritual gatherings.
 
6. Justin Bonnet
 
 
Justin is a new artist on the scene who is really pushing the envelope with what can be achieved using digital techniques. His understanding of color and composition is as good as I've ever seen. Truly remarkable work and he deserves more attention from the art world that's for sure. He is currently busy working full time to support his love of art so let's hope he can one day get enough fans to support his artwork full time.
 
7. George Atherton
 
 
 
Another huge young talent in the field of artistic psychedelic visions. George works primarily in the digital medium. After drawing concepts in his sketchbooks and dream-journals, he fully realizes those concepts using an electronic drawing pad and digital ink. He draws inspiration from a variety of related subjects, including meditation & Yoga, martial artistry, lucid dreaming, comparative mythology, culture jamming, and permaculture. Superb artist.
 
8. Luke Brown
 
 
Luke is well known in the psychedelic community for being one of the first artist to create complex, vividly colorful psychedelic art that combines traditional and digital techniques. His art has been shown internationally with such visionary heavyweights such as Alex Grey, HR Giger, Robert Venosa and Ernst Fuchs. His art is highly sought after - so much so that his has had the misfortune of seeing a great deal of his art work, including digital files and full sculptures , stolen by thieves over the past few years !
 
9. Mario Martinez 
 
 
Mario, a.k.a MARS-1, paints from a penetrating perspective of great depth. Viewers are drawn into his imaginative compositions, overflowing with colorful geometric and organic shapes, layered to form unique patterns and textures. The artist signature style of vast, abstracted, quasi-extraterrestrial looking landscapes feature imagery of surreal distortions, contained within spherically convex transparent bubbles.
 
10. Fabien Jimenez
 
 
Fabian draws inspiration from nature, mainly from the architecture of insects and plants. He is deeply obsessed with the tiny micro patterns nature is capable of bringing everywhere; their intricate shapes reveal grids of sacred geometry, and it is there where he take his pencil and attempts to channel them. Although he is a highly skilled traditional artists I think it is his recent digital work with ZBrush and Painter where he really shines.
 
11. David Normal

David began his art journey by making posters for punk band when he was 16 years old and then moved onto theater and party production, 3d animation work and film. These days he is focused on oil painting where he is able to express his varied interests in psychedelia and psychedelic culture on canvas in large full of spiraling visions that mix sexuality, religion, spirituality and death.
12. Amanda Sage

Amanda Sage's art is well known to psychedelic trance and psychill listeners here at the psyamb podcast because he were is often on display at international dance parties around the world. Born 1978 in Denver, Colorado; her adventurous spirit carried her to Bali, then on to Vienna, Austria to study classical painting with Michael Fuchs, resulting in becoming a long time painting assistant to Ernst Fuchs.
13. Alex Grey

Ask anyone who their favorite psychedelic artist is and Alex Grey will no doubt be a very popular answer. Alex has an amazing ability to go beyond this world, into the world of the psychedelic experience, bring back what he see there and directly translate it onto canvas. Much like Salvador Dali, what sets Alex's work apart is not just his vivid imagination but also his technical ability. Every inch of his paintings are meticulously worked on as applies decades of training to create the ultimate visionary masterpieces. 
14. Martina Hoffmann

Martina Hoffmann is a world renown psychedelic visionary artist with a long history in creating amazing surreal and dreamlike images that are inspired by her own inner journeys. Her technical skill increases year after year to a point now where here works are considered true masterpiece paintings. 
 
15. Chris Dyer

Chris is a young Canadian based Peruvian artist who has a created a instantly recognizable individual style of psychedelic art that appeals to a wide range of visionary art fans. His work has a graffiti street style art feel about it that could well be a result of his upbringing in Peru. His is very active in getting his work known around the world through his excellent website PositiveCreations where he has a shop that sells his original works, prints, clothing and more. 
16. Adam Pinson ( a.k.a RedEyeArt )
 
I first ran across Adam's work as a member of the DeviantArt collective where we both regularly posted our own psychedelic pencil artwork over the past 10 years or so. I was always and still am astounded by just how crisp Adam's colorful pencil drawings appeared to be and I would sometimes ask him for tips for which he was always more than helpful. Much like Chris above, Adam too has defined his own unique and distinctive style that has won many fans worldwide.
17. Daniel Mirante
 
Daniel is an artist and author especially focused upon a revival of a sense of the sacred in the creative process and the natural world. His paintings have evolved over the years to a point now where he his work displays a real sense of confidence and sublime technique. I can see hints of Venossa, Dali and Fuchs in his work. For someone so young the sky is the limit.
18. Michael Garfield
Hooo Do You Love? main photo

Michael makes use of paint markers to create bright, detailed psychedelic art which he completes in front of live audiences at festivals and art shows around the world. He comes from a background in scientific illustration which you can definitely see influences of in his amazing work. He is also an accomplished musician. You can see and hear all about Michael's talents at his blog michaelgarfield.blogspot.com .
19. Johnathan Solter


Jonathan Solter is an artist living and working in the Bay Area. He dedicates his time to art, life and love. Illustration, stage design, live painting and murals are his main artistic focuses. He loves the creative community in the Bay Area and is busy co-creating his dreams with other like-minded artists. His art has been created and shown internationally as well as across the West. You can view more of Johnathan stunning psychedelic art at a number of psytrance and music festivals were he does live paintings or view online at his website.
20. Cameron Gray

Cameron Gray is an award winning Australian visionary graphic artist and photographer. Cameron’s work is regularly displayed in live music venues across Australia, the Museum of Computer Art in Brooklyn, New York, and his body of work has been selected for preservation by the National Library of Australia as one of the countries artists of the 21st century. More of Cameron's trippy art backgrounds can be viewed online here at his Parable Visions website.
21. Keerych Luminokaya

Russian artist Luminokaya creates extremely detailed and complex psychedelic digital art. Your eyes can get lost for hours poring over the details while your brain tries to process all the little details within. He is also an accomplished airbrush artist having produces a number of trippy blacklight posters for various festivals and events.  
22. Matei Apostolescu
picture of a psychedelic cat

Matei Apostolescu (aka Beaucoupzero), is a freelance illustrator living in Romania. Even if you haven't heard the name before you have probably seen some of his unique psychedelic paintings. His trippy lion, cat and psychedelic skull paintings have spread all over the internet and social networks. He make use of all kinds of tools ranging from rotring pencils, markers, spray paint to Wacom tablet, Photoshop and Illustrator.
23. Josip Csoor

Josip Csoor is a Serbian visionary artist who has found a new fan base on the internet after struggling for many years with trying to get his art appreciated in his home country. His art speaks the language of the cosmos and is filled with the light of creation. Having mastered just about every form of painting technique he now passes on his knowledge of 30 years of painting to younger generations. 
 
24. Skee Goedhart
 
25. Eric Nez
 
26. Jess Noemind
 
27. Hana Alisa Omer
 
28. Neil Gibson
 
29. Pouyan Khosravi
 
30. Dennis Konstantin
 
31. Shawn Hocking
 
32. Roman Villagrana
 
33. Seth McMahon
 
34. Ted Wallace
 
35. Simon Haiduk
 
36. Isaac Mills
 
37. David Heskin
 
38. Adam Scott Miller
 
39. Kelsey Brookes
 
40. Patricia van Lubeck
  
41. Michael Divine
 
42. Randal Roberts
The story of psychedelic visuals did not begin in the 1960s. It is in fact an extremely long tale which stretches from mankindís prehistorical mystical visions, through the psychedelic revolution of the sixties, to modern consumerist media society and beyond. In order to understand the appeal which the psychedelic visual style holds for our postmodern culture one must get back to the roots of psychedelic aesthetics in the visionary experience.

Pre-natural light and colour are common to all visionary experiencesî wrote Aldous Huxley in his Heaven and Hell ìand along with light and colour there comes in every case, recognition of heightened significance. The self-luminous objects which we see in the mindís antipodes possess a meaning, and this meaning is, in some sort, as intense as their colour.î
Visionary experiences has many possible characteristics, but the most common of which, according to Huxley, is the experience of light: ìEverything seen by those who visit the mindís antipodes is brilliantly illuminated and seems to shine from within. All colours are intensified to a pitch far beyond anything seen in the normal state, and at the same time the mindís capacity for recognizing fine distinctions of tone and hue is notably heightened.
Huxley ís lengthy discussion about the aesthetics of the visionary and psychedelic experience in Heaven & Hell remains one the most perceptive pieces about the roots of psychedelic aesthetics. His rich background as a scholar of aesthetics, a scholar of mysticism and a pioneering practitioner of psychedelic journeys, allows him to examine the issue of the visual characteristics of psychedelia from a large historical and philosophical perspective which is essential if one is to decipher the true meaning of psychedelic aesthetics.
All psychedelic visions are unique, claimed Huxley, yet they all ìrecognizably belong to the same speciesî. What they have in common are the preternatural light, the preternatural colour and the preternatural significance, as well as more specific architectures, landscapes and patterns which tend to reoccur across psychedelic and visionary experiences. For Huxley this intense colour and light was one of the primary and most indelible characteristics of what he called the mindís antipodes, the unknown territories to which the psychedelic voyager is transported.
 
Looking at the traditions of various cultures, past and present, Huxley found a common ground between their accounts of the heavens or the fairylands of folklore and the lands of the antipodes. He noted the existence of Other Worlds, mythological landscapes of fantastic beauty in many of the worldís cultural traditions. In the Greco-Roman tradition there were the Garden of Hesperides, the Elysian Plain and the Fair Island of Leuke. The Celts had Avalon, while the Japanese had Horaisan and the Hindu Uttrarakuru. These other worldly paradises, noted Huxley, abound with intensely coloured and luminescent objects which bring to mind the psychedelic visionary experience. ìEvery paradise abounds in gems, or at least in gemlike objects resembling as Weir Mitchell puts it, ëtransparent fruit. Wrote Huxley. Ezikelís version of the Garden of Eden notes the many various stones in the garden, while ìThe Buddhist paradises are adorned with similar ëstones of fireíî. The New Jerusalem is constructed in glimmering buildings of shimmering stone. Platoís world of the ideals is described as a reality where ìcolours are much purer and much more brilliant than they are down hereî.

Huxley introduces many more examples of ancient cultures which establish the import and centrality of glimmering gems and precious stones in various mythologies. The implication he draws from this consistency is that the ìotherwise inexplicable passion for gems ìmust have had its roots in ìthe psychological Other World of visionary experienceî. In other words, ìprecious stones are precious because they bear a faint resemblance to the glowing marvels seen with the inner eye of the visionary.î
Moreover, Huxley notes, ìamong people who have no knowledge of precious stones or of glass, heaven is adorned not with minerals but with flowersî. Many more examples follow for the various intensely coloured, shiny and often luminescent objects in which man had sought the semblance of the Other Worlds, among them candles, works of jewellery, crowns, silks and velvets, medals, glassware, the vision inducing stained glass windows of churches and even ceramics and porcelain ware. All these, argued Huxley, act to transport human beings into higher realities: ìcontemplating them, men find themselves (as the phrase goes) transported ñcarried away toward that Other Earth of the Platonic Dialogue, that magical place where every pebble is a precious stone.î Shiny objects, argued Huxley, remind the unconscious of the mindís antipodes and so allow us to experience a taste of visionary consciousness.
The human urge to be transported into the numinous realm has found its expression in mythologies and religion, but also in art. Huxley notes a number of artists who used colours in transporting ways such as Caravaggio, Geroges de Latour, and Rembrandt. Indeed, he notes:
ìPlato and, during a later flowering of religious art, St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that pure bright colors were of the very essence of artistic beauty


Psychedelic Art
Although Huxley argues that this categorical equation of beauty with bright colors leads to absurdity, he also finds this doctrine to be not altogether devoid of truth. ìBright pure colors are the essence, not of beauty in general, but only of a special kind of beautyî: the beauty of works of art which can transport the beholderís mind in the direction of its antipodes.
Modern taste is often reserved about using intensely bright colors, and prefers the more restrained and undemonstrative palette of minimalism and modernist design. The reason, argued Huxley, is that ìwe have become too familiar with bright pure pigments to be greatly moved by themî. In the past, pigments and colors were costly and rare. The richly colored velvet and brocades of princely wardrobes, and the painted hangings of medieval and early modern houses were a rarity reserved for a privileged minority, while the majority of the population lived a drab and colorless existence. This all changed with the modern chemical industry and its endless variety of dyes and colors. ìIn our modern world there is enough bright color to guarantee the production of billions of flags, and comic strips, millions of stop signs and taillights, fire engines and Coca-Cola containersî, and all those objects which in the past might have possessed a transporting numinous quality were reduced by the new industrial consumer market into ordinary banality.

The evolution of psychedelic aesthetics in modern times.
The potential of psychedelics to act as powerful catalysts for creativity in general and for visual artists specifically was  noted by researchers of psychedelics already in the 1950s. Oscar Janiger who administered psychedelics to artists was immediately flooded with artists enthusiastic to explore their creativity through the use of psychedelics. ìNinety-nine precent expressed the notion that this was an extraordinary, valuable tool for learning about artî. Ron Sandison noted a patient whose style changed completely after a psychedelic experience ìand she began to paint in the style she wanted to, which was imaginativeî.
Many more anecdotal accounts of the artistic merit of psychedelics appear during these years. However, the great aesthetic shift ushered by psychedelics would only come as a result of their popularization in the mid-1960s. The psychedelic revolution has brought the visionary aesthetic which stood at the center of many works of art and religion back to the foreground of western culture, but now through the prism of the emerging pop culture of the 1960s.
San Francisco psychedelic poster artists such as Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Wes Wilson, Stanely Mouse & Alton Kelley redefined the boundaries of numinous aesthetics by integrating it into commercial psychedelic posters which advertised bands and  rock concert.
 
These psychedelic artist, who experimented with colors and forms  were inspired to a great extent by the Art Nouveau movement of early 20th century and itís emphasis on organic forms and lines, as well as in the idea of life as art. The aesthetic of these posters would define a new artistic style that would be widely distributed and collected.  Meanwhile, psychedelic art flourished outside the poster genre. Visual artists such as Mati Klarwein, Robert Fraser and Milton Glaser designed psychedelic album covers for the likes of Miles Davis, the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

Other forms of psychedelic aesthetics have emerged in various cultural domains. Psychedelic fashion was popularized by rock artists and countercultural figures and even introduced into couture by designers such as Emilio Pucci, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin. Psychedelic light shows by psychedelic light show artists and groups such as Marc Boyle, Mike Leonard and The brotherhood of light became a popular trend in music concerts. (Here one should also note an extremely popular form of  psychedelic aesthetics, which is the luminescent culture of Burning Man Festival, whose fascination with glowing colors  have turned it over the years into a distinct form of light-worship, a spiritual fest ordered around the heavenly glow Huxley referred to in his work). Psychedelic architectural and inner designs flourished in the communes and were experimented with by a variety of architects and designers as thoroughly documented in the book ìSpaced Outî.
What these various genres of psychedelic aesthetics had in common was the use of intensive coloring, extensive use of natural lines, extensive use of op-art as well as of elaborate patterns and designs that sought to transport the viewer into a different state of consciousness. Like the other forms of psychedelic culture, psychedelic aesthetic was a new artistic genre which was rooted in the psychedelic experience and at the same time a cultural artifact which attempted to recreate some of the elements of the psychedelic experiences within the domain of culture.

Yet, by the late sixties psychedelic aesthetics have already left the realms of the counterculture, and started being absorbed by the larger culture, as their commercial potential began being tapped into by various enterprises from Pepsi and McDonalds to Campbell and General Electric so that by the mid-1970s, the psychedelic visual style had been largely absorbed into the mainstream consumer culture which the hippies sought to change.
Saturday, 28 December 2013 11:09

Luminokaya

Welcome!
Art-project Luminokaya lab. appeared as a result of a huge amount of data coming from the great field of energy and information in forms of light and energy waves, visions, images, dream-state objects, trans personal visions and visions beyond personality, and also symbols, signs and channeling. The vast amount of information offered by The Space didn’t allow to ignore this exciting and rich experience.

My input was minimized to pressing the keyboard keys, and the awareness of infinity and abundance of the info-energy continuum can let me speak only about being a channel, or a medium. So, there can’t be any question of authorship.

Let this art-information be a little contribution to the process of uniting people of light and realizing our light-carrying potential!

For the benefit of all beings.

Арт-проект Luminokaya lab. возник как следствие того, что из общего энерго-информационного поля стало поступать огромное количество данных в виде волн энергии и света, видений, образов, объектов сновидения, трансперсональных и надличностных прозрений, а также символов, знаков и ченнелинга. Обширность предлагаемой пространством информации не позволила игнорировать этот крайне увлекательный и познавательный процесс.

Моё участие свелось к нажатию клавиш компьютера, а осознание бесконечности и богатства проявлений энерго-информационного континиума позволяет говорить лишь о посредничестве… Так что, вопрос авторства отпадает сам собой.

Пусть эта арт-информация будет небольшим вкладом в дело объединения людей света, и служит раскрытию нашего светоносного потенциала!

Да пребудет благо для всех живых существ !

Keerych
 
Published in Art
Sunday, 21 July 2013 07:50

Visionary Art: essay by Alex Grey

What Is Visionary Art? essay by Alex Grey
 The artist's mission is to make the soul perceptible. Our scientific, materialist culture trains us to develop the eyes of outer perception. Visionary art encourages the development of our inner sight. To find the visionary realm, we use the intuitive inner eye:  The eye of contemplation; the eye of the soul. All the inspiring ideas we have as artists originate here.
 
The visionary realm embraces the entire spectrum of imaginal spaces – from heaven to hell, from the infinitude of forms to formless voids. The psychologist James Hillman calls it the imaginal realm. Poet William Blake called it the divine imagination. The aborigines call it the dreamtime; and Sufis call it alam al-mithal. To Plato, this was the realm of the ideal archetypes. The Tibetans call it the sambhogakaya – the dimension of inner richness. Theosophists refer to the astral, mental, and nirvanic planes of consciousness. Carl Jung knew this realm as the collective symbolic unconscious. Whatever we choose to call it, the visionary realm is the space we visit during dreams and altered or heightened states of consciousness.

 Every sacred art tradition begins with the visionary. "Divine canons of proportion," mystic syllables, and sacred writing were all realized when the early wisdom masters and artists received the original archetypes through visionary contact with the divine ground. After a sacred archetype has been given form as a work of art, it can act as a focal point of devotional energy. The artwork becomes a way for viewers to access or worship the associated transcendental domain. In sacred art, from calligraphy to icons, the work itself is a medium: a point of contact between the spiritual and material realms.

The Role of Art
Our inner world – the life of our imagination with its intense feelings, fears, and loves – guides our intentions and actions in the world. Our inner world is the only true source of meaning and purpose we have. Art is the song of this inner life. Art’s key role in the human drama is that of a "great convincer." The artist posits one myth, religion, or ideology over another, yet also always expresses the raw passion and evolutionary force of the inner world itself.

The artist attempts to make inner truths visible, audible, or sensible in some way, by manifesting them in the external, material world (through drawing, painting, song, etc.). To produce their finest works, artists lose themselves in the flow of creation from their inner worlds. The visionary artist creatively expresses her or his personal glimpses of the Divine Imagination.

Every work of art embodies the vision of its creator and simultaneously reveals a facet of the collective mind. Art history shows each successive wave of vision flowing through the world's artists. Artists offer the world the pain and beauty of their souls as a gift to open the eyes of the collective and heal it. Our exposure to technological innovations and diverse forms of sacred art gives artists at the dawn of the twenty-first century a unique opportunity to create more integrative and universal spiritual art than ever before.

The Visionary Tradition
A complete historical account of the global visionary art tradition would fill volumes. The sixteen thousand-year-old cave paintings of human/animal hybrids, such as the Sorcerer of Trois Freres, are a good starting point. Much ancient shamanic art, such as African ritual masks and aboriginal rock and bark paintings, clearly depict visionary dreamtime wanderings and encounters in the lower and upper worlds. A visionary art history lesson would include representations of mythic deities and demons: the Mayan feathered serpent; Egyptian and Greek sphinxes; and Indian, Balinese, and Thai portrayals of many-limbed, many-headed beings housed in complex mandalas.

One of the earliest known Western mystic visionary artists was Hildegard of Bingen, a twelfth-century German abbess. While enveloped by a fiery inner light, she was told to "speak and write not according to human speech or human inventiveness, but to the extent that you see and hear those things in the heavens above in the marvelousness of God." The icons created from her visions are direct and authentic gifts of spirit.

Perhaps the most famous visionary artist was the fifteenth-century painter Hieronymous Bosch, who portrayed an extraordinary array of grotesque beings, tortured souls in hell, and angels guiding the saved to the light of heaven. His Garden of Delights is one of the strangest paintings in the world – an encyclopedia of metamorphic plant/animal/human symbolism. Pieter Bruegel was touched with the same visionary madness when he created Fall of the Rebel Angels and Triumph of Death – an amazing landscape featuring a coffin go-kart and armies of skeletons herding the struggling masses. Northern and Italian Renaissance artists like Grunewald, Durer, and Michelangelo delineated the revelations of Christian mysticism with searing, Gothic realism.

Our historical sketch of visionary art would have to include the seventeenth-century alchemical engravings of Johann Daniel Mylius and mystics like Jacob Boehme and Robert Fludd, who detailed complex mandalic philosophical maps pointing to union with the divine.

William Blake, the nineteenth-century mystic artist and poet, conversed with angels and received painting instructions from discarnate entities. Blake published his own books of art and poetry, which revealed an idiosyncratic mysticism arising from his inner perception of religious subjects. He resisted conventional religious dogma, proclaiming that "all religions are one." The characters in Blake's paintings and engravings seem akin to those of Renaissance masters Michelangelo, Raphael, and Durer – yet are softened with a peculiar magic. His artwork exalts an ideal realm of inspiration that he termed the "divine imagination." Blake's work laid the foundations for the nineteenth-century Symbolist movement that included such artists as Gustav Moreau, Odilon Redon, Jean Delville, and Frantisek Kupka.

The realm of visionary art also embraces Modernist Abstraction like the works of Kupka, Klee, and Kandinsky; Surrealist or Fantastic Realist art; and Idealist work like Blake's. The twentieth-century Surrealists operated in a territory without clear moral order: a dreamship adrift on the ocean of the unconscious. Artists like Max Ernst, Salvador Dali, Hans Arp, Hans Bellmer, Stanislav Szukalski, Juan Miro, Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, and Frida Kahlo mixed images from childhood memories, adult desires and fears, sex and violence – wherever the creative currents led them. The visions of the Surrealists help to define a dream realm where any bizarre juxtaposition is possible. A profound truth resides in such strangeness, for these visions can shock us into deepening our acknowledgement and appreciation of the Great Mystery.

The Russian painter Pavel Tchelitchew was one of the great visionary artists of the twentieth century (his obsession with anatomy and mysticism relates to my own work). Tchelitchew's paintings evolved through metamorphic symbolism to x-ray anatomical figures glowing with inner light, and eventually progressed to luminous, abstract networks.

Perhaps the most widely respected visionary painter of the twentieth century is Ernst Fuchs, whose highly detailed and symbolic works are often based on biblical and mythological subjects. Fuchs combines the technical mastery of Durer and Van Eyck with the imagination of Bosch and Blake in a completely personal fantastic realism. Fuchs has had a widespread and profound influence on many of the greatest contemporary visionary artists. The masterful Mati Klarwein, Robert Venosa, De Es Schwertberger, Olga Spiegel, Philip Rubinov-Jacobson, and many others count him a key teacher or inspirational force.

The post-World War II Vienna school of Fantastic Realism included artist friends of Ernst Fuchs, like Arik Brauer, Anton Lehmdon, Wolfgang Hutter, and Rudolph Hausner. In 1940s America, the artists Ivan Albright, George Tooker, Paul Cadmus, Peter Blume, and Hyman Bloom were known as Magic Realist painters.

The psychedelic sixties spawned a new kind of poster art, leading many painters in a visionary direction. In the 1960s and 70s, a loosely associated group of California visionary paintersJoseph Parker, Cliff McReynolds, Clayton Anderson, Gage Taylor, Nick Hyde, Thomas Akawie, Bill Martin, and Sheila Rose – were published by Pomegranate Art Books. Pomegranate has also featured the shamanically inspired work of Susan Seddon Boulet. A more visually aggressive psychedelic pop surrealism energizes the work of Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and Robert Williams.

Paul Laffoley, a painter and architect, is one of the most encyclopedic of visionary geniuses. Dystopic visions of contemporary hell worlds are stunningly portrayed in the paintings of Joe Coleman, H.R. Giger, Manuel Ocampo, and Odd Nerdrum. Visionary abstraction is articulated in beautiful infinities in the works of Allyson Grey, Bernie Maisner, and Suzanne Williams.

Some of the most promising new visionary painting is by A. Andrew Gonzalez, Erial, and Guy Aichison. The archetypal mindscapes of Francesco Clemente and Ann McCoy enjoy the rare distinction of visibility and success in the contemporary art marketplace. The word "visionary" has also come to be associated with "outsider, naive, insane, and self-taught" artists, who include Adolph Wolfli, Reverend Finster, and Minnie Evans.

What unites these various groups of artists is the driving force and source of their art: their unconventionally intense imaginations. Their gift to the world is to reveal "in minute particulars," as Blake would say, the full spectrum of the vast visionary dimensions of the mind.
 
Published in NEWS Archives
Sunday, 21 July 2013 06:42

Visionary Artist: Romio Shrestha

Romio Bahadur Shrestha

Romio Bahadur Shrestha was born into a Newar family in Katmandu in Nepal. When he was five years old, two Tibetan Buddhist monks arrived at the door. They said that Romio was the seventeenth reincarnation of the master Tibetan T’angka painter Arniko and they gave to him a stock of valuable art materials, explaining that he would, one day, form his own school of painting.

Romio Shrestha is a modern master of the Indo-Nepali-Tibetan Buddhist traditions of enlightenment art. Romio Shrestha’s T’angka’s can be found in many of the great collections of the world including the British Museum, The Victoria Albert Museum, The Buchheim Museum, American Museum of Natural History New York, Newark Museum New Jersey, National Museum Moscow, The Chester Beatty Library Dublin, The Voelkerkunde Museum Zurich as well as many private collections around the globe.

Preserving and innovating the ancient wisdom and traditional craftsmanship, Romio founded a school in Nepal in 1968 and now into the 21st century he continues to bring the world of T’angka on into the future.

Published in NEWS Archives
Sunday, 21 July 2013 05:20

Visionary Artist: Alex Grey

Alex Grey: Cosmic Vision
Alex Grey was born in Columbus, Ohio on November 29, 1953 (Sagittarius), the middle child of a gentle middle-class couple. His father was a graphic designer and encouraged his son’s drawing ability. Young Alex would collect insects and dead animals from the suburban neighborhood and bury them in the back yard. The themes of death and transcendence weave throughout his artworks, from the earliest drawings to later performances, paintings and sculpture. Alex went to the Columbus College of Art and Design on full scholarship from 1971-3. Grey dropped out of art school and painted billboards for Columbus Outdoor Advertising, 1973-4. Grey then moved to Boston to study with and work as studio assistant for conceptual artist, Jay Jaroslav, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1974-5.
At the Museum School, Alex met his life-long partner, the artist, Allyson Rymland Grey. At their meeting in 1975, an entheogenically induced mystical experience transformed his agnostic existentialism to a radical transcendentalism. The Grey couple continued to take “sacramental journeys” on LSD. For five years, Alex worked in the Anatomy department at Harvard Medical School preparing cadavers for dissection while he studied the body on his own. He later worked for Dr. Herbert Benson and Dr. Joan Borysenko as a research technologist at Harvard’s department of Mind/Body Medicine, conducting scientific experiments to investigate subtle healing energies. Alex’s anatomical training prepared him for painting the Sacred Mirrors (see below) and for working as a medical illustrator. Doctors at Harvard saw images of his Sacred Mirrors, and hired Alex for illustration work.

Grey instructed Artistic Anatomy and Figure Sculpture for ten years at New York University, and has taught the Visionary Art Intensive and other art workshops with Allyson at The New York Open Center, Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado, the California Institute of Integral Studies and Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. The couple now teach MAGI workshops (Mystic Artists Guild International) at CoSM in Wappinger, New York.

In 1972 Grey began a series of art actions that bear resemblance to rites of passage, in that they present stages of a developing psyche. The approximately fifty performance rites, conducted over the last thirty years move through transformations from an egocentric to more sociocentric and increasingly worldcentric and theocentric identity. In a major performance entitled WorldSpirit, spoken word poetry in musical collaboration with Kenji Williams was released in 2004 as a DVD.

Grey’s unique series of 21 life-sized paintings, the Sacred Mirrors, take the viewer on a journey toward their own divine nature by examining, in detail, the body, mind, and spirit. The Sacred Mirrors, present the physical and subtle anatomy of an individual in the context of cosmic, biological and technological evolution. Begun in 1979, the series took a period of ten years to complete. It was during this period that Alex developed depictions of the human body that “x-ray” the multiple layers of reality, and reveal the interplay of anatomical and spiritual forces. After painting the Sacred Mirrors, he applied this multidimensional perspective to such archetypal human experiences as praying, meditation, kissing, copulating, pregnancy, birth, nursing and dying. Grey’s recent work explores the subject of consciousness from the perspective of “universal beings” whose bodies are grids of fire, eyes and infinite galactic swirls.

Renowned healers Olga Worral and Rosalyn Bruyere express appreciation for the skillful portrayal of clairvoyant vision his paintings of translucent glowing bodies. Countless teachers and spiritual leaders, including Deepak Choprah, incorporate Alex’s art in their power point presentations. Grey’s paintings have been featured in venues as diverse as the album art of TOOL, SCI, the Beastie Boys and Nirvana, Time and Newsweek magazines, the Discovery Channel, rave flyers and sheets of blotter acid. Exhibited worldwide, Alex’s art has been honored with solo exhibitions at Feature Inc., Tibet House, Stux Gallery, P.S. 1, The NYC Outsider Art Fair, The New Museum in NYC, the Grand Palais in Paris, the Sao Paulo Biennial in Brazil. Alex’s art has been featured in several year long exhibitions at the American Visionary Art Museum including a room installation he created with Allyson entitled “Heart Net” (1998-99). A mid-career retrospective of Grey’s works at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego in 1999. A keynote speaker at conferences all over the world including Tokyo, Amsterdam, Basel, Barcelona and Manaus, the international psychedelic community has embraced Grey as an important mapmaker and spokesman for the visionary realm.

 

For 2011 an 2012, the Watkins Review named Alex Grey one of the top twenty spiritual leaders alive today, in the company of such towering luminaries as His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Eckhardt Tolle, and Oprah Winfrey. The Temple of Understanding awarded and sighted both the Grey’s as two of the world’s top fifty Interfaith leaders.
Grey’s first monograph, the large format art book entitled, Sacred Mirrors: The Visionary Art of Alex Grey, has been translated into five languages with well over one hundred thousand copies. His inspirational book, The Mission of Art, traces the evolution of human consciousness through art history, exploring the role of an artist’s intention and conscience, and reflecting on the creative process as a spiritual path.

Transfigurations, Alex’s second monograph, contains over 300 color and black & white plates of his artwork. The Visionary Artist, a CD of Grey’s reflections published by Sounds True, leads the listener on a journey of art as a spiritual practice. The video, ARTmind incorporates Alex’s images in an exploration of the healing potential of Sacred Art. Grey co-edited the book, Zig Zag Zen: Buddhism and Psychedelics (Chronicle Books, 2002). In 2004, the VISIONS boxed set contains both earlier monographs of Grey’s artwork plus a portfolio of new works.

Alex Grey’s upcoming book Net of Being, to be released in late November 2012, shows how Alex’s visionary art is evolving the cultural body through icons of interconnectedness. Grey’s latest monograph includes over 200 reproductions of Grey’s artwork, contains spectacular photos of Grey’s collaboration with the cult band TOOL plus his worldwide live-painting performances, and offers Grey’s reflections on how art evolves consciousness with a new symbology of the “networked self.” Alex’s painting “Net of Being”—inspired by a blazing vision of an infinite grid of Godheads during an ayahuasca journey—has reached millions as the stage set and the cover and interior of the band TOOL’s Grammy award–winning triple-platinum album,10,000 Days. Net of Being is one of many images Grey has created that have resulted in a chain reaction of uses—from apparel and jewelry to tattoos and music videos—embedding these iconic works into our culture’s living Net of Being.

A five-year installation of Grey’s best loved artworks were exhibited at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, CoSM, in New York City from 2004-9. Alex and Allyson have collaborated on performance art, live-painting on stage throughout the world, and the “social sculpture” called CoSM, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, that the Grey’s cofounded in 1996. The Grey’s live at CoSM in Wappinger, New York and in Brooklyn since 1984. Their daughter, Zena Grey, born in 1988, is an accomplished actress and artist living in Los Angeles
Published in NEWS Archives
Saturday, 20 July 2013 17:05

Visionary Artist: Pablo Amaringo

Ayahuasca Vision by Pablo Amaringo:
This interview is about Pablo Amaringo and his beautiful art that were inspired through Ayahuasca. Howard G. Charing gives us insight on his life and paintings in this interview in a unique perspective that only he could provide. As well as detailed descriptions of the ceremonies and experiences revolving around Ayahuasca. This interview is a walk between worlds and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have. Presenting.
 

1. Could you please tell us how you got involved with Pablo and the creation of this wonderful book The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo?

HC: My colleague and co-author Peter Cloudsley and I had known Pablo for many years, and it was always a special thrill to visit Pablo at his home in Pucallpa and look in wonder at his beautiful work. We did some ad-hoc interviews with him which were published, and we made notes about his about his paintings but the actual inspiration to work with Pablo on a major project such as this book came out of the blue - it came suddenly during an Ayahuasca ceremony at Mishana in the Peruvian Amazon. My visions that night were of the vivid creations, motifs, and forms of Pablo’s paintings. The ceremony culminated in what I can only describe as a lightning flash and a powerful message from the Ayahuasca to work with Pablo on a book of his new paintings. The Ayahuasca Visions of Pablo Amaringo

The following day, I discussed the idea with Peter—he and I had worked together, since the 1990s, organizing ayahuasca and plant diet retreats in the Amazon, and we decided to visit Pablo in Pucallpa at the earliest opportunity, which was in February 2007, to discuss the idea of doing a book with him. When we told him about the idea, Pablo’s face immediately lit up with enthusiasm and there and then, we agreed to collaborate on this book.

All in all, this was a complex project. We formed a detailed plan, the first step of which was to catalogue and have all of Pablo’s available paintings and sketches professionally photographed and later digitally scanned. Pablo gave us hundreds of pages of his notes and journals, which he had kept in his house. We had many meetings with Pablo to discuss and explore the multifaceted qualities of his paintings. Each session generated new questions, which necessitated further trips to Pucallpa before we were in a position to complete the narratives that accompany the paintings themselves.

2. With written contributions by Graham Hancock, Jeremy Narby, Robert Venosa, Dennis McKenna, Stephan Beyer, and Jan Kounen. Would you tell us about some of the content added by these fellow journeymen and women and the central theme they outline about Pablo's life and vision?

HC: We were really delighted and honoured by their contribution to the book. Each of them had a different perspective about the importance and influence of Pablo’s work, as well as some personal anecdotes. When we approached them to write a contribution, they were all happy to do this despite their busy work schedules. Dennis McKenna’s contribution covered his early encounters in the 1980’s with Pablo that ultimately led to Pablo’s book ‘Ayahuasca Visions – The Religious Iconography of a Peruvian Shaman’ in collaboration with Eduardo Luna. That book had an enormous impact when it was published in 1991. Pablo’s stunning visual portrayal of the magical domain of Ayahuasca generated a huge interest in the hitherto little known mythological, spiritual, and shamanic world of the Amazon. It opened this mysterious world to the West, and it had an incredible influence both from an ‘art’ and an anthropological perspective. Talking about Pablo’s art depicting the amazingly rich mythological texture and content of the Amazonian peoples, reminds me that some years back I was on a bus in Iquitos with a group of young missionaries wearing their uniform white shirts and ties and I started to talk to them about what they were doing and so on, and one of them replied ‘We are here to teach the local people beliefs as they don’t have any’. It was an arrogant and ignorant statement bordering on the ludicrous, but clearly they were not acquainted with Pablo’s work, as if they had maybe they would have to adjust their view.

The interest generated by this book also paved the way for the founding of Pablo’s school for art ‘Usko Ayar’ that created a distinct style that we know as Neo-Amazonian Art, reaching a global audience and into the commercial art market through international exhibitions.

Both Graham Hancock and Jeremy Narby included paintings and illustrations by Pablo in their respective books ‘Supernatural’, and ‘The Cosmic Serpent’. Both of these books introduced novel concepts and in my view are in the vanguard of the literature on evolving human consciousness. Pablo’s work was a tremendous inspiration to them both. It was great to have the late Robert Venosa’s contribution to the book. Robert was one of the most celebrated visionary artists in the world, and he offered a wonderful contribution and view point from an artist’s perspective. Jan Kounen’s cinematic work in Blueberry aka Renegade was inspired to a great extent by Pablo’s art. Anybody who has seen the visual effects in that movie (and has drunk Ayahuasca) will understand what I’m talking about. Steve Beyer’s blog ‘Singing to the Plants’ and the subsequent book of the same name has to be one of the most detailed, well researched and authoritative works on Amazonian Shamanism. Also I found Steve’s work to be an important reference source whilst writing the book. Steve wrote an informative and insightful piece for the book which was wonderful.

3. What else can you tell us about Pablo Amaringo's life and his spiritual perspective and was he what you would consider a shaman?

HC: Pablo had an extraordinary life, and in the book Peter worked extensively with Pablo in documenting some of his amazing stories and experiences. Pablo was so incredibly talented as an artist that he could paint freehand an exact replica of a banknote. That particular skill actually led him into certain problems with the authorities as you can imagine, and many of these stories are included in the book. So I’ll focus more on Pablo’s spiritual perspective. The first thing that comes to mind is his eclectic knowledge of so many mystical traditions, and a vast wisdom. Pablo defined knowledge in two categories, firstly gnosis (knowledge), and epignosis (above knowledge). He would illustrate this by an example – you can read all the research papers, and literature about Ayahuasca, understand its chemical composition and so on, this is gnosis; but only when you drink Ayahuasca is there the possibility of realisation of this knowledge, or epignosis. Love for him was an example of epignosis.

One of the most gratifying aspects of working with Pablo on the book was that many of the narratives contained not only descriptions, mythological insights of the paintings etc but also an explicit spiritual teaching. He was a practising shaman of a senior grade until the mid 1970’s when he retired due to the sorcery from angry brujos attacking him for healing the people they were harming! I know sorcery is a difficult notion for Westerners to comprehend, but it is real and effective, and in fact is a part of the fabric of life in the Amazon. In his paintings and accompanying narratives in the book Pablo shines light on these practices.

4. Describe his art for his and some of the themes he embraced he literally through Ayahuasca was getting a glimpse of the otherside and sharing it with us on canvas right?

HC: Pablo was drinking Ayahuasca for many years, and he had perfect recall of his visions, which he painted in meticulous detail. His work is characterised by botanically accurate (and identifiable) depictions of plants and the elements of his visions, the spirit beings, sub-aquatic and subterranean realms, celestial palaces, animals and birds of the rainforest, extra-terrestrial vessels, angels, and the Ayahuasca ceremony often with the shaman engaged in healing their patients. Paintings such as ‘Barco Fantasma’ are a perfect representation of the magical reality present in the Amazonian world.

There are a multitude of themes, for example there was a powerful ecological theme present throughout his work. He said that nature provided all the medicines that we need, and that the destruction of the rainforest would be totally detrimental to humanity. An important part of this is the descriptions of the plants, their medicinal, their ritual and shamanic usage. The ecological theme also included the natural cycles of rain, fertility of plants and the inter-relationship of animals, plants, and humans in a finely tuned balance, sometimes this was expressed allegorically or in mythological terms.

Also the substance of creation, of matter itself, in effect Pablo was describing the Higgs-Boson particles, although he called them espirtones. His work reveals a cosmos constituted of varying densities of vibration from the Earth to the highest celestial realms. In essence Pablo described through his art a vast cosmic plan, in this cosmic vision life exists throughout the universe, there are universes nested within universes and an incalculable number of smaller worlds like the Earth. For Pablo the Supreme Being or God is a term for the totality of the dynamic energy that has always existed, and always will, it is eternal. Pablo was able to access this cosmic vision through drinking Ayahuasca, and this was what he was ultimately embodying through his art.

5. Please tell us about Ayahuasca and its history and the rituals surrounding it and its purpose in your perspective. I have never done it but would love to. I live in Florida in the United States and they still think Marijuana is crack here or something amidst their madness and ignorance. So I am not sure if I will ever have the chance to do it. But I would. Smile.

HC: Ayahuasca is made from the ayahuasca vine (Banisteriopsis Caapi) and the leaf of the Chacruna plant (Psychotria Viridis). The combination (by brewing for hours) of these two plants produces a potent medicine that has the potential to heal our deepest emotional wounds. We can fully relive our painful life experiences and release or purge (a gentler term than vomiting) them from our body and psyche, and in a sense be purified. So essentially I would say that ayahuasca is a medicine that works through our physical and spiritual bodies. Of course having said that, ayahuasca is much more than a medicine, it is an encounter with an ‘other’ and greater consciousness, and has the potential to open a gateway to other realities that co-exist with our physical reality where one can experience the unity, totality, and the sublime nature of creation. It is a formidable and awe-inspiring experience and I need to add the caveat that due to its potency is not suitable for everybody. It is important to follow the rules for example avoiding certain foods, sexual activity, and libidinous thoughts, and to drink in a ceremony with a capable and trusted shaman without any shred of doubt. Historically there is evidence that ayahuasca has been a central part of the spiritual and cultural life of the Amazonian peoples for many hundreds of years. In fact the oldest known object related to ayahuasca is a ceremonial cup hewn from stone found in the Ecuadorian Amazon dated 500 BC to 50 AD. It is in the collection of the Ethnological Museum of the Central University in Quito. This indicates that ayahuasca potions were known and used at least 2,000 years ago.

The origins of this brew are only in legend, but you still have to consider how the indigenous peoples discovered how to prepare the ayahuasca brew by the combination of just two distinct plants (amongst the many thousands of plants in the rainforest). It is a mystery how they knew this, the vine acts as an inhibitor preventing the body enzymes from neutralising the alkaloids present in the chacruna leaves, this chemistry is identical to the MAOI effect that was discovered by Western science in the 1950’s, kind of makes you think.....

6. Experiences with Amazonian people and folklore are shared through out the book. Can you tell us about their life and spiritual belief system?

HC: As I mentioned earlier, there is a rich textural mythological fabric, in the same way that we in the West have. Our fairy tales are a faint echo of a whisper of this, we have stories of enchanting perfumes, of magical flowers and beanstalks; animals that talk with humans such as Little Red Riding Hood, Goldilocks and the Bears and so on. If you look under the ‘hood’ of many of our fairy tales there is a body of knowledge about powerful plants that can transport you to another dimension, even if the form has been attenuated and domesticated for consumption. The difference is that in the Amazon these legends have not been domesticated, and seen only as a fantasy. I know shamans who swear that they have encountered magical creatures such as the chullachaqui (the enigmatic hairy jungle dwarf) or the pucabufeo (Amazonian Pink dolphin) taking human form, these magical creatures are depicted by Pablo in the book, and in one of the most fascinating anecdotes by Pablo described in the book, is his encounter with the yacuruna when he was a boy of seven years old (the yacuruna are primordial beings that inhabit the sub-aquatic realms). Also Pablo talks about the awesome exploits of his grandfather and great-uncle both powerful paleros (a specialised and powerful shaman who primarily works with hardwood trees, the resins, the roots, and the barks). These are stories that are described as real, Pablo said about the encounter with the yacuruna, ‘I saw this with my own eyes’.

Many of Pablo’s paintings described the traditions, beliefs and way of life of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon. One painting in particular ‘Auca Yachai’ conveys the diverse knowledge of plants, their medicinal properties, and value as a food resource. There is a huge volume of information, ranging from the use of the fibre of the plant tamshi to clean their teeth and prevent decay, plants to heal wounds, and customs surrounding death and burial rites. In fact when I was working on the narrative of this painting, there was so much material I realised that I could write a book just about this painting.

7. Pablo Amaringo was a healer since the age of 10 and a curandero. What is a curandero and what else do we know about Pablo's childhood?

HC: Curandero means healer which is the main role of a shaman. Nomenclature is complex in these respects; the term “shaman,” or in Peru chaman, is a recent Western import into the Amazon in the past thirty years. In the Amazonian tradition there are many specializations and categories. The traditional generic term would be vegetalista, which denotes they have received their power from the plant kingdom. There are many sub-specialisations of the vegetalista, for example: Palero – a curandero who works with the bark, roots, and resins of trees; Perfumero - specialist in the perfumes of plants and flowers; Ayahuasquero – a Specialist in ayahuasca; Chontero – a curandero who works with chonta (magical darts). And there are many more categories of a curandero / shaman.

In the book we have documented Pablo’s life story in detail - a fascinating story and we included many early photos of him. It is clear that Pablo always had close connection to spirit and experienced life as magical. Conventional religion per se never had meaning for him; he could access the soul of the world directly through nature where he came to understand that there was a divine creative consciousness that permeated and held the world in place. Many of his paintings illustrate this theme. Pablo drank ayahuasca for the first time when he was ten with his grandfather. His first vision was of mermaids in the water under a renaco tree, he still painted this vision well into his later years.

8. Please tell us about the art shared in the book of Pablo's illustrations and how many and what else we can see represented there of his creations?

HC: In the book we have forty eight colour plates of Pablo’s work that richly illustrate the mythological, mystical, and spiritual world of the Amazon. His paintings have evolved in texture and detail since his earlier work as per his first book. In the new book Pablo explains in his introduction that he felt much freer to express himself now and be open about his experiences, as before he was concerned about being misinterpreted and criticised for being heretical by the Catholic Church.

It’s important to mention that Pablo’s paintings are imbued with power and are far more than two-dimensional images, and are also intended for meditation and contemplation. Whilst he painted he would also chant his icaros, and he would say “If you concentrate and meditate on the paintings you will receive this spiritual energy”. Pablo discusses the purpose of his work in his introduction.

9. What can you tell us about you being the director of the Eagle’s Wing Centre for Contemporary Shamanism and what exactly this organization represents?

HC: That’s kind of an old chapter in my life; I worked closely with Leo Rutherford who established Eagle’s Wing in the 1980’s in the UK. He saw that the revival of interest in ancient and indigenous cultures reflected the movement started in the 1960’s towards self-development, an awakening spiritual awareness and a more communal way of living. The work of Eagle’s Wing is to introduce that knowledge and awareness to people as a way to heal ourselves and by extension the world so to speak, to quote the Dalai Lama ‘World Peace begins with Inner Peace’ which is absolutely valid. For the past 5 years I’ve been nomadic but have recently settled in the beautiful city of Brasov set in the Carpathian Mountains in the Transylvanian region of Romania. I continue to work holding shamanic workshops, individual healing sessions and gatherings here.

10. Would you tell us about Pablo's passing in death and his legacy before you depart and what else are you up to in the future and do you have any links you can share with us and any other parting words? Thank you.

HC: Peter and I were very aware and concerned about Pablo’s declining health, in 2008 he twice suffered acute dengue fever that seriously debilitated him, and in 2009 he became visibly frail. I knew deep down that he might not make it through to the publication of the book. I also think that he knew that too, as he said to me in March 2009 “I fear that I will go before I paint all that I have seen, but this is no problem...I will finish painting them the next time when I come back”. We knew that this book would be his testament as a visionary, sage, and artist. Pablo died in November 2009, I attended the wake and funeral in Pucallpa, it was a sad time, but also at the wake many people came together to speak about their memories of him, how he influenced them, graced their lives and to celebrate his work and life.

His legacy lives with his art, his visions, the Usko Ayar School, and the many young people that he has helped over the years. The school was not only about art, but also included spiritual and ecological teachings, the school was very important to Pablo to share his wisdom and knowledge with children and young people, to help them perceive the world through different eyes.
Pablo’s work has been on exhibition worldwide, the last major exhibition was at the ACA Galleries in New York in 2011. Peter and I have put together a website with has all the paintings featured in the book, as well as interviews, features, and photo galleries of Pablo through the years. You can also order high quality reproductions of Pablo’s paintings through the website :
www.ayahuascavisions.com
Published in NEWS Archives
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