“Stoned” is one way of describing the effect of heavy drug use (alcohol, cannabis, etc…) . Although it overlaps with the geologic notion of rock, the term “stone” can also refer to crystals and gems. Dealing with the relations between geology and altered states of perception, Stoned is a series of exhibitions in development.
In drug culture, “stoned” is used in contrast to “high”: The two terms seem to describe opposite polarities of the ways in which perception is altered. We argue here that such a distinction is superfluous, since nearly all mind-altering compounds enable human beings to reach out of the limitations of their consciousness. Mind-altering substances are not the only means of attaining radically different mental perspectives. Obviously, concentration, repetition, sensory deprivation, fasting and physical exercise are potent mind-opening processes. Yet, oftentimes mind-altering substances have been found useful in enabling individuals to break out of their daily psychological routine. From the most ancient ritual use of psychoactive compounds to the hallucinogenic function of video games from Moses’ drunkenness to the mind-numbing virtues of television and cinema, from Djalal Al Din Rûmi’s use of wine as metaphor of spiritual intoxication to archaïc meditation techniques, something rather important seems to take place when the mind is taken beyond its limits.
Stones are often described as small rocks. Rock, on the other hand, is made of stone and other mineral materials. Stones represent individuality at all scales: an individual being, an individual thought. By assembling stones one doesn’t create mere misshapen rocks, but rather complex sets of individual objects. This is the way imaginary hybrids and artworks are created. During temporary lapses of reason, the body and the mind can coexist in peace and output pure intuition. Stones are simple representations of complex thought processes.
Stoned 0.1 is the first in a series of exhibitions addressing the semantic intersection of the fields of geology and philosophy of perception. The project echoes the novel concept of Psychedelic Pragmatism, which aims at regrouping various artistic endeavours dealing with the complementarity of intuition and intellect, perception and ignorance, imagination and reality.
Psychedelic Pragmatism is a field of experience rather than a dogma. It reduces all pre-established differences between the many types of mind-altering substances. By focusing on representations inspired by the practical knowledge humans have been extracting from their use of psychoactive plants, fermented beverages and synthesized compounds, Stoned 0.1 offers a special type of exhibition concept.
The visitor is invited to experience the art and interactions in a comfortable mindset. Mind-altering substances can virtually always benefit the user in reflecting upon the nature of the self and of reality, provided that the context of preparation and consumption are adequate.
Stoned 0.2 is the second exhibition of the series. It is the fruit of the collaboration of Benjamin Efrati and Shu Isaka, and the first manifestation of their collaboration around the theme of CyberShamanism. Subtitled Intersection of the Universes, this piece is based on the same technical approach as Stoned 0.1. Using a FPE (First Person Explorer) perspective, viewers are invited to roam freely within a maze of sorts, in which they get aquainted with the themes of the project. As a 3D installation, Stoned 0.2 is simpler than the previous iteration of the project, but it revolves around a very specific semantic space: the encounter of digital technology and spirituality in the context of an anthropological approach of practices.
Stoned 0.3 will follow shortly in 2021, and will be announced as soon as it is planned. Using other technical solutions, the next exhibition will also be more flexible and less greedy than Mozilla Hubs in terms of computer processing power, making it more fluid and open-ended.