[Psychedelics] That Time I Tripped Balls at an Art Gallery


Regular readers will know that I occasionally get up to some unusualpsychedelic hijinks. Each of those three words is a diff. article and you owe it to yourself to check them out…after this one of course. :^)

Gallery trips are something I strongly recommend to first timers. It’s a structured, safe environment. If you take a sick day and go during the week, they’re typically empty so there’s nobody to become suspicious when you sit and stare at the same painting for three hours. It usually will have a cafe adjacent for food and drink, and easily accessible bathrooms.

But of course the main reason is the art. There are few greater pleasures on a strong dose of acid or shrooms than getting lost in a painting. And I mean getting l o s t. They really suck you in. You’ll become a part of the world they depict, perhaps adopting the life of one of the characters, or a mountain, or a cloud.

If you’re in a hurry to explore on psychs, you won’t get to see the really interesting, severe visual distortions. Your brain mostly stays on top of keeping your surroundings coherent if you don’t look at any one thing for too long, and as a consequence you miss out on the really crazy visuals.

As I’ve said in the past, the trick to excellent OEVs (open eye visuals) is to sit still, and stare. What better place to do that than an art gallery. Talk about art coming alive! It will shift, dance and move about in ways you wouldn’t expect to look at a given painting while sober.

At times, if you choose one specific point on the painting to fix your gaze on, the edges will seem to blend with your surroundings. It will become unclear where the painting ends and reality begins. Of course being that you’re in public, regrettably you can’t do many of the things potent psychedelic doses tempt you to, like roll around on the ground or strip naked.

You’ll need to maintain a more or less normal, subdued composure. NBOMEs are great for this as they have intense OEVs but a very rational, sane headspace. I can do math problems on NBOMEs. I’ve gone through the DMV to get a license plate renewed on NBOMEs. They really don’t inhibit your higher brain functions the way a strong dose of acid or shrooms do.

The specific artist whose work was most prominently featured the last time I did this was Ryo Toyonaga, who I’ve discussed in an article before. Talk about serendipity. This is exactly the right type of artwork for the mindset I was in.

There were sculptures by him on display as well, and they exhibited the same qualities as his paintings. The same strange logic specific to the world he depicts. What is any of this made out of? At least viewing it on psychedelics supplies some answer as to how it moves.

I mean, just look at this shit. Am I right? The meat structures were moving exactly how you’d expect them to, melting, jiggling, flowing. The skyscrapers were shifting about, subtly undulating as if in a slow motion earthquake.

The paintings, even while sober, exhibit the qualities of an acid trip. Everything waves, flows, flutters gently as if everything’s underwater. Look at how all the leaves on the trees bend in the exact same way, a sort of fuzzy and vague synchronicity typical of psychedelic perception. And do you see the city in the distance? Does it look familiar?

There were comfy padded benches supplied while I availed myself of, gaping in awe at these images. One print was the size of a wall. I lived inside of it for what felt like weeks. I forgot my real life. I forgot who I am, and became different characters, objects and materials in the painting.

An acid trip lasts 11 hours, but the visuals are only very strong for about 7 or 8 of those hours. When I came down enough that I wasn’t getting disorienting, powerful visuals anymore I headed out to walk through the surrounding woods, as it’s a comforting place to be during the ideation stage of a trip.

This is where all sorts of strange and fascinating ideas occur to you. It’s a stage which is very mental, not so visual. The really cool stuff is happening conceptually, inside your headspace at this point. This is where some of my most compelling ideas for stories come from.

Though I made sure to stay hydrated throughout the trip, I now got something to eat, and marveled at the strangeness of it. The sandwich I ate was made out of all the same atomic elements as my own body. Chemically speaking, extremely similar. Where do I end and the sandwich begins, I thought.

As I ate it, the textures and flavors were totally different than when sober. It didn’t even taste or feel like food, it was more like eating a soft object. Mashing it up with my teeth and swallowing it, then feeling the nutrients in the sandwich becoming part of my body and brain. Like I was assimilating the molecules it’s made out of and incorporating them into myself, which I suppose I was.

Although I recommended this as a beginner trip, you should definitely have a sober buddy along to trip sit you if you don’t know your limits. They’ll be able to shepherd you from one part of the exhibit to the next and help defuse any suspicion that may arise.

If you don’t know how psychedelics affect you emotionally yet, trip sitters are also an invaluable source of comfort and reassurance. For example, that none of what you’re seeing is real, that you won’t in fact be like this forever, that nobody else can tell you’re high despite your paranoid concern that they can, and so on.

The other downside to a trip in public is that there’s no much opportunity to scope out CEVs (closed eye visuals). You can cheat a little if you wear sunglasses. This way you can stand still with your eyes closed and pretend to be looking at a painting, so far as anybody can tell, while you’re actually checking out the dancing colorful patterns on the inside of your eyelids.

Ideally you should show up right when the gallery opens, since you’re gonna be stuck there a while. You need to commit beforehand not to drive, no matter how capable you seem to yourself. That feeling is of course an illusion. This is less of a problem with a trip sitter who can do the driving for you.

It’s also a poor idea to dose on the way. You could get stuck in traffic unexpectedly, such that the dose kicks in while you’re still behind the wheel. Psychedelic safety is no joke, and it’s not only your own safety that you have the potential to compromise if you use psychedelics in an irresponsible way.

That’s all for now, go check out those other articles I mentioned at the beginning for more insane baboozery like this.

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