Saturday 23 May at 2pm at the CAC Cinema

With participation of Vadim Grigorian, Gintautas Mažeikis, Till Mycha/Fungiculture journal, Audrius Pocius, Eglė Rindzevičiūtė (with Arūnas Kuras), Kristupas Sabolius, Yann Tytelman, and Lars Bang Larsen

Organised in the context of the exhibition t:h:e: r:e:a:l:, The First Psychedelic Synod, like the church summits from which it derives it name, will be devoted to the discussion of significant problems – though in this case these are related to art and theory, not religion.

Specifically, the first Synod will take the status or possibility of a psychedelic thinking as its subject matter. ‘Psychedelic thinking’ is a self-contradictory notion, perhaps, seeing that the implications of a turned-on cognition is a kind of thinking that isn’t one at all. Exacerbating this ambiguity, The First Psychedelic Synod turns away from the two modalities that have dominated the reception of psychedelia, namely countercultural history and visuality. Instead the term psychedelia is proposed as an anachronistic mover of critique, theory and methodology.

What happens to psychedelia, when we on the one hand remove it from the social togetherness of the counterculture, and when there on the other hand is no overarching cultural rationality left to destroy, and no social decorum to dissolve anymore? In an age of neuro-marketing and pervasive digital transmissions of capital and desire, a mere insurrection of the senses is insufficient.

In this way, psychedelia is proposed as a malleable yet dialectical concept that promises becoming through continuities but also through rifts and breaks. In the 1960s counter-culture hallucinogenic experiences were valorised in terms of ‘mind expansion’, and the presumed social and cultural scandal of drug-taking defended with holistic metaphors. Our point of departure is instead to view intoxication a-socially and technologically, that is, independently of political and moral judgment, in an attempt at keeping alive an ambition of planetary dis-identification, while preventing the psychedelic from turning into a totalising concept.

Programme of the event:

14:00 – 14:15 Lars Bang Larsen: Introduction
14:15 – 14:50 Gintautas Mažeikis: Experience of self-othering: between altered state of consciousness and replaced thinking
14:50 – 15:25 Yann Tytelman: A Theory of Waves
15:25 – 15:40 Break
15:40 – 16:00 Audrius Pocius: The Psychedelic Game
16:00 – 16:35 Kristupas Sabolius: Realities and Imaginations
16:35 – 17:00 Till Mycha / Fungiculture Journal: *Presentation*
17:00 – 17:15 Break
17:15 – 17:50 Vadim Grigorian: A Place to Boost Inspiration
17:50 – 18:20 Eglė Rindzevičiūtė: Mind Experiments: Cybernetics and Psychiatry across the Iron Curtain
18:20 – 19:00 Eglė Rindzevičiūtė and Arunas Kuras in conversation
19:00 Final remarks and end of synod

Altered states of consciousness: by way of using various stimulants, depressants, neuroleptics and hallucinogens. Banned and sought after as a possible introduction to anthropology of the West. Altered thinking by way of propaganda, information, cognitive temptation and seduction. Violence and mancipation (not to be confused with emancipation): conscious acts of self-othering that use the experience of altered states of consciousness and of altered thinking. Gintautas Mažeikis

Keywords: asterochrony, compound eyes, crystal, dust, linguistics, machine, magma, navigation, non-vision, xenochrony. Yann Tytelman

Reality is an ambiguous concept and quite a modern invention. The term itself appears only in the period of High Middle Ages. John Duns Scotus used realitas to indicate the totality of extra-mental universal, encompassing both the essence as “common nature” and the principle of individuation. The reality of res then acquires a double sense. It is both its essence and its actuality.
On the other hand, although imagination is traditionally understood either as a reproduction of passed experience or the duplicate of perception, it has constantly revealed its dynamic power of change and metamorphosis. In this light, the link between reality and imagination appears as a scene of kinesthetic interaction. By lifting the anchors of stability, one enters an intermediary zone, a land of indetermination. This is how the Proteus’s mode of disorientation provokes the game of self-transformation.
Kristupas Sabolius

For the first psychedelic Synod, we move one step further in our methodological research, generating via text five hypothetical images drawn from our first manifesto. These texts run parallel to a set of actual pictures produced by Jennifer Evans. As we will not be able to be there to present this work ourselves, our writing practice will turn into a practice of long-distance ventriloquy. We will miss you dearly. Till Mycha

About a house in the country and a flower clock. Vadim Grigorian

What was the impact of cybernetics, a science of information and control in the animal and the machine, on the understanding of human brain and, moreover, mind? How did the trajectories of cybernetics, a scientific approach that relied on the computer technology, intertwine with the psychedelic culture of the 1960s? How was cybernetic mind understood in liberal democratic and communist regimes? Addressing these questions, this workshop will probe into a transnational and transdisciplinary history of cybernetic control, discussing examples of East and West. Eglė Rindzevičiūtė

The event will be held in English.
Admission is free.

Image: courtesy Dave Hullfish Bailey