luka

Well-known member
Staff member
thanks barti look after this thread for me till i get home please.
Shepherd it to new pastures
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
make a some big, bold leaps, think big and bigger still
accidentally invent a new art form, a new mode of being,
a new experience, as impossible as a new colour!
 

sadmanbarty

Well-known member
just to clarify your discontents:

1) art at the moment isn’t giving expression and form to psychadelia; it isn’t articulating it.

2) psychedelia isn’t informing and rewriting every facet of society in the way it did during the 60’s or the romantic period.



my initial response to which is:

1) how much of that is your own lack of porousness?

as i keep banging on about 2015-2017 has been this psychadelic utopia music wise for me albeit a fairly concentrated one. in terms of things being rewritten, new frontiers being explored, migos have invented a whole new physicality and means of motion. in 300,000 years humans have not once been compelled to move in the specific manor they are when listening to migos. not once. they hadn’t even conceived of motion before. all of that achieved through the manipulation of stimuli.

2) that’s undoubtedly true. again in terms of larger impacts you could say that rap music is redefining african-american ideas of gender identity, but that’s all a bit dry and dull. since the 60’s psychadelia has become increasingly atomised. in the 60’s it was politics, therapy, art, etc. the 90’s it was large collectives of people contained to fields listening to music; other facets of life unaffected. now it’s just me in a bedroom frustrated that migos aren’t venerated as the 2nd coming of christ.
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Why is psychedelia inherently a good thing? As that seems to be your presumption Luke? It's led to an enormous amount of terrible terrible art and music. I'm not particularly against what you're saying - but I think you need to make the case for it.

Also, surely it's about new drugs really taking off with new generations? LSD in the 60s, MDMA in the 90s - surely without any new drugs galvinising people such a movement won't get off the ground. I get the sense that today's youth don't take drugs in the same way we used to, not sure what reasons for that would be - or if it's even true. Which is weird, 'cos I'm sure that there are many more oddball psychedelic compounds around than there used to be (what the fuck even is Spice?), and many more means of distribution also.

And also - to crossover with what you were arguing with Padraig about in the other thread what about economics? The 60s and 90s were both periods of large scale economic growth. The energy of 60s consumer-capitalism seems a easy match for LSD Utopianism for one. E culture seemed to build on a DIY vibe that seemed in contrast to Thatcherism at the time, but kinda embodied it - you need to be some kind of entrepreneur to break into a warehouse with a rig and flog tickets via pirate radio. What might be the drug of choice for a stagnating decaying economy where we are already at each other's throats? Smack seems appropriate looking at the state of the world.
 
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padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
well I'll take a stab

@danny - "is it good?" is the wrong question - psychedelic is about potentiality

the art created is incidental - some is good, some is bad - which is which is taste which as established is (while fun to argue about) a dead end

the 60s and the 90s - both times of mass disillusionment - the 60s with the 50s dream of homogeneity, 90s with the end of history post-Cold War hegemony

in economic boom times, the fundamental contradictions of life in modern industrialized society come into starkest relief

i.e. is this all there is - more $ to buy more stuff - meanwhile individuals are meaningless, the world is ultimately doomed via the very culture that produces the stuff

whereas when people are struggling materially they focus in on the day-to-day and those contradictions recede into background noise

as I've said before the psychedelic exists in the space between the potential and the measured - the imagined and the real

so it is a (mostly unconscious) attempt to deal with that cognitive dissonance via opening up new potentialities
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
early-mid 20th C. modernism was also trying to deal with this fundamental cognitive dissonance
(*tho at that time they lacked fully the tools to articulate it - modernism being also the development of those tools)

via technique - liberating melody from harmony, motif from narrative, etc - as well as aesthetic-philosophical approach

in that way it was also about opening up new potentialities - what else is tonal music? what is 4'33" but an exploration into the potential of sound?

whereas - as luke says (assuming I've read him correctly) - it has now retreated into formalism, guilds of technicians plying their craft

which is a fine and honest profession but can only ever explore nuances of true innovation to the logical dead ends
 
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padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
incidentally, heavy metal was/is also an attempt to deal with that cognitive dissonance, but via nihilism and the individual (why it's often so unfortunately open to fascist tendencies)

"heavy" referring not only to sonics but to its heaviness in grappling with reality - with darkness

a counter-response to the hippie folkway of dealing with it via utopian PLUR

this is also why metal is almost always very un-psychedelic - it is a fundamentally different approach to reality
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
anyway - now is not a time of mass disillusionment

the people with $/leisure time for psychedelic exploration are already long disillusioned

9/11, financial collapse, long stupid imperial wars, financial collapse, a new irreversible climate-changed derived Migration Period, blut und boden nativism sweeping the West in response

the mass shift to precarity and gig labor - desperately grim looming future of automation and a vast UBI underclass ruled by post-human tech-bro philosopher kings

i.e. if you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot app on your smartphone stamping on the human face - forever

drugs now are for escape and pacification
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
and b4 I forget

I only hear Migos etc diagetically in the world, it's not my thing at all but I would ask sadman

what potentialities do they explore? how are they a conduit between the real/imagined, known/unknowable?

I'm not saying they're not - it doesn't seem like it at all to me but again I am inexpert

rap in general is like metal very unpsychdelic - i.e. CNN of the streets, "getting you stuck off the realness"

granted it often enough crosses into hyperreal surreality but I would distinguish that from the psychedelic

granted idk what young people are up to so maybe there is truly psychedelic rap now it just seems antithetical from the projec

regardless - how exactly have migos invented a "whole new physicality and means of motion" - again not saying they haven't, but it is, you'll admit, a rather fantastic claim
 

DannyL

Wild Horses
Good point - I think if you look at Migos on the level of the lyrical (not where the interest lies at all, I know) they're profoundly banal, and offer no new possibilities at all. The most interesting thing about them lyrically is that they've reduced rap to a set of formal cliches that have to be worked through. (Incidentally, I played "T-shirt" to a class this morning - the strongest response was from a student who said "that's straight TRASH" - the conservatism of youth speaking? idk).
 
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blissblogger

Well-known member
just to clarify your discontents:

now it’s just me in a bedroom frustrated that migos aren’t venerated as the 2nd coming of christ.


i can't tell if you are taking the piss, or self-mocking your own enthusiasm for Migos

but i had decided a few months ago that Culture II is trap's White Album

without knowing that "Migos = Beatles" was already a cliche back in 2017!

amusingly rap nerds think they were last any good at all in 2013 (cf similar opinion that Future was only good on Pluto and it's been downhill ever since) which is like saying the Beatles should have just kept on doing "She Loves You" forever and ever

but then rap nerds are always attached to the old forms, what reminds them of what got them into the area originally

they are not well placed to recognise the New taking shape
 
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version

Who loves ya, baby?
Also, surely it's about new drugs really taking off with new generations? LSD in the 60s, MDMA in the 90s - surely without any new drugs galvinising people such a movement won't get off the ground.
You could say the same of instruments. The 60s had the electric guitar, the 90s had samplers and various other bits of hardware and nothing's really come along since. All that's happened is the hardware's been developed into software, it doesn't really do anything new. The newest thing available is probably Max/MSP but even that's old now and only a handful of people can really get into it anyway due to the commitment required and the learning curve.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
good posts padraig. yes, to answer your question Danny I do think that consciousness raising, expanding the sphere of awareness, is fundamentally a good thing.

i don't mean psychedelia as a set of signifiers i mean the mysteries.
 

blissblogger

Well-known member
but to stick to Luka's concept

or something close to it

there is an art critic I like called Donald Kuspit, whose whole thing is to do with how modernism and the avant-garde was primarily about healing - art as therapeutics, psychic reintegration, a cure for modern alienation / the human condition

he is very caustic about everything that follows after Warhol (and I guess also Duchamp), i.e. postmodernism, concept art, Koons, appropriation art, Sherrie Levine, probably Damien Hirst type stuff - ie. everything that is evading this primal function for art, and instead playing games with references, offering meta-commentary on art itself. so not unrelated to some of the things critiqued in Retromania - music about music, pastiche pop, etc.

From Kuspit's point of view all this is just prattle, empty games with signifiers, ignoring what people desperately need from art, which i guess he also sees in quasi-religious terms

Anyway although psychedelia is about something else - something more shattering - it still has a relation to the idea of art having spiritual purpose and serving as a remedy

i always remember a comment at the end of this book Leaving the 20th Century, the collection of Situationist texts and graphics and cartoons, the editor Christopher Gray says in his conclusion, the masses don't need to be told what the score is by Guy Debord and his pals, they know everything is fucked, they know they are alienated, this way of life is not right... and he says the Situationists were too theoretical, not attentive to the emotions or the body, and that the missing part of their politics was a mass program of psychotherapy

i wonder where the connection is between psychedelia and psychotherapy / psychoanalysis ... the first is breaking down, the latter building up again?

there was all that radical psychiatry in the Sixties

i guess this is something Mark would have explored in his Acid Communism book
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
the connection is huuuuge. let me see if ive got the mental energy to answer the question properly.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
in both cases you are dredging up contents from the unconscious and integrating them. that is the fundamental identity between the two worlds. psychoanalysis is psychedelic.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
it's becoming aware, viscerally aware, of self as system. it's becoming aware of cosmic plumbing. the flows and blockages. of how that affects the way you experience the world and how the world responds to you.
i'ts about locating trauma, replaying it and thereby neutralising it. it's becoming aware of how your present is conditioned by your past, by what you are holding onto, and it is about learning to let that go.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
the masses don't need to be told what the score is by Guy Debord and his pals, they know everything is fucked
of course. existential despair exists whether it's articulated or not.

it's still very important to articulate b/c without that you wind up with people flailing around blindly for the source of their discontent, and that generally doesn't end well

it's a good critique - the problem is, how could they functionally have accomplished such a thing?

that kind of mass therapeutic experience is impossible in modern industrialized society, which is founded on that very alienation and could not exist without it

why else are we/people forever chasing its shades, glimpses of it in the ether

art therefore as ersatz mass psychotherapy is interesting - it's the only thing with sufficient cathartic-existential potential - but it's too ambiguous and subjective I think to function in that way

therapy is a directed process between therapist and patient (something something Foucault "madness" power dynamics, but still)
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
also in the case of radical psychiatry/anti-psychiatry, even small scale efforts often went badly. I say that as a big RD Laing fan.
 
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