” Lucifer Rising is a short film by director Kenneth Anger. The film was completed in 1972 but was only widely distributed in 1980. Anger began filming around 1966, hiring a young musician named Bobby Beausoleil to act and compose the soundtrack. The film was abandoned in 1967 because Anger claimed the film footage had been stolen by Beausoleil. (Beausoleil and others said that Anger had simply spent all the money for the film). Anger then used some of the existing footage in another short film, Invocation of My Demon Brother. Beausoleil was convicted of killing Gary Hinman under the orders of Charles Manson in 1970. Anger began filming again several years later, with British singer Marianne Faithfull appearing in the film. Jimmy Page was brought in to record the soundtrack, but after he had a falling out with Anger, he was replaced by Beausoleil, who wrote and recorded the music in prison.
Legendary 1970s acid animator Vince Collins with his garish modern style still manages to trip out.
And here we are again at year’s end. With more than 400 videos published on the DPV during 2014, we had more than a handful of psychedelic video material to watch in order to prepare this list. Luckily, this turned out to be a lot of fun. Psychedelic video just keeps getting better and better from year to year, and the psychedelic produce of 2014 was especially stunning. We’ve collected some 20 amazing psychedelic videos which were produced in 2014, as well as a number of extraordinary psychedelic oldies which first appeared on the DPV in 2014. Enjoy!
Psychedelic Music Clips
Dye ft. Egyptian Lover – She’s Bad
DYE’s “She’s bad” is one of the most alluring and terrifying portrayals of the femme fatale that we saw in a long time. The mixing of the sex, blood, and the animal world of attacker and prey is made even more potent by the creative use of multi-layered visuals. (Original post).
Tune Yards – Water Fountain
“Water Fountain”, by the Tune Yards, a musical project led by New England musician Merril Garbus, is a refreshing burst of psychedelic energy. Without too much fancy effects, the Tune Yards create a playful and wacky universe which makes you want to jump into the screen and join the party. (Original post).
Chance via Circuito ft. Miriam Garcia – Coplita
The music clip for “Coplita” by Argentinean musican Chanca via Circuito, featuring Miriam Gracia, is an hypnotic montage with powerful shamanistic imagery with some Mexican influence. Beautiful animation by Paula Duró. (Original post).
Dmitry Zakharov – Inside me
Based on a 3D scan of the artist’s body, as well as his internal organs, Dmitry Zakharov’s “Inside me” takes us through a beautiful and contemplative journey through the curves and bends of the human body. (Original post).
Murat Sayginer – Volans
A powerful and effective journey in the galaxy of consciousness, with plenty of psychedelic delicatessen along the way, courtesy of Murat Sayginer. (Original post).
Rollin’ Wang – Chick Chick
“Chick Chick” by Chinese singer Rollin’ Wang is probably the most shockingly preposterous video clip to come from the far east since Gangnam Style hit the web. The chicken song lashes the viewer relentlessly with bright scintillating colors and animal sounds. We loved it! (Original post).
Sebodah – State of Mine
Directed by Geoff Hoskinson, this superb video to the song “State of mine” by American indie-rock band Sebodah frets on middle-class anxieties of family, children and white-collar slavery, utilizing 1950s style imagery. (Original post).
Gnucci – Work
In 2013 Britney Spears taught us that in order to get anything in this world “you gotta’ to work bitch” in what seemed at times like a hymn written in honor of the work ethics of late capitalism. A year later, Gnucci’s “Work” takes a distinctly different approach, sticking sharp needles in the modern institution of work, with some hallucinatory nightmarish renditions of the contemporary world of work. (Original post).
Irma – Save Me
Irma’s “Save me” is an impressive example of how video projections can be used smartly to combine live performance with pre-coded visual effects, reinvening the whole genre of music videos. The song might be a bit tacky, but the result is altogether remarkable. (Original post).
Liquid Stranger – The Gargon
This video to Liquid Stranger’s “The Jargon” was created by Australian artist Andy Thomas, whose fascination with the fusion of nature and technology is spectacularly evident here. Thomas has spent the last years “taking photos of plants, insects and machines and compositing them with artificially created form (…) corrupting nature with technology, by sampling sounds of the forest and running them through various computer programs.” A breathtaking video. And for those of you who want some more, here is another spectacular Andy Thomas video which was published on the DPV this year. (Original post).
Micah Buzan – Mixed Up
Micah Buzan is an extraordinarily gifted musician and animator who hand-draws his material with an “acid pencil” as my DPV colleague Holographic Elf aptly called it. There is something intensely hallucinatory about both the spacey music created by Buzan, as well as the by weirdly transforming figures he brings to life. Buzan’s work has been amply featured on the DPV the past year. You can check out some more of his work here. (Original post).
Wild Child – Rillo Talk
This 360 degrees video by American Indie pop group Wild Child offers an impeccably chilly and laid back experience from the landscapes of Austin, Texas. A great video to trip out and chill off with. (Original post).
Psychedelic nature films – Daniel Stoupin – Slow Life
Marine life forms such as coral and sponges live on a different time scale than we humans. To us they seem static and unmoving, yet these animals build coral reefs and are incredibly dynamic if viewed in the right time scale. This groundbreaking video by Daniel Stoupin uses pioneering and experimental methods to allow us to enter the slow time scale of these marine animals and watch them in action. Prepare to be awed. (Original post).
Psychedelic Cinema – Darren Aaronofsky – Noah Creation Scene
Darren Aaronofsky’s Noah has been one of the most controversial films of 2014. Regarded by some to be a work of genius, and by others as a massive flop. Noah nevertheless supplied some of the most psychedelic cinematic scenes of 2014, even without taking into consideration the scene in which Noah (Russell Crowe) imbibes a cup of Ayahuasca in order to get a vision of the coming flood. One of these mesmerizing scenes, which is presented below, recapitulates the whole biblical story of creation and immortal sin in under 4 minutes of stunning cinematic spectacle at the center of which stand god, man and creation. (Original post).
Psychedelic Web Shows – Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 2
Don’t Hug me I’m Scared is probably our favorite psychedelic puppet show ever! For those who don’t know it, Don’t hug me I’m scared is a kind of sesame street parody which mixes in some psychedelic concepts and disturbing imagery. The show is created by the two British artists Becky Sloan and Joseph Pellingan. So far three episodes of the show have been released since 2011, but lately the couple has raised some money on Headstart so we can expect more videos in the future. The video above takes us on an incredible journey in the weird land of time and all its mind staggering landscapes. (Original post).
Psychedelic Art – Liferaft on a death trip – Android Jones and Tipper
Digital artist Android Jones is a usually better known for his art work than for his video output. Nevertheless, this time lapse video breaks the boundary between the static image and the moving image as it takes us on a unique journey through the artist’s creative process while he was creating the piece “Liferaft on a death trip” inspired by the forward escape album by tipper. (Original post).
Psychedelic short films
A Unified Approach to Grown Structures
One of the recurring motives of psychedelic visuals is the way mathematical patterns reveal themselves to us as beauty: be it the golden ration, the Fibonacci numbers or a certain kind of fractal. A Unified Approach to Grown Structures, created in cooperation with the MIT Media Lab, shows the natural forms that emerge and develop through computational growth processes that once again brings the point home: nature is data, and it’s beautiful. (Original post).
PES – Submarine Sandwich
Adam Pepsane, better know as PES, is an American film director and a master of the stop motion genre who was already nominated for an academy award for his “Fresh Guacamole” video. In his newest video, “Submarine Sandwich” PES continues to challenge our perceptions and concepts in a way that reminds me of how Timothy Leary used to paint the milk or the eggs in strange colors in order to challenge the perception of the visitors of his Millbrook commune. (Original post).
Guy Trefler – Not Mine
Comprised entirely of recycled imagery from our culture’s collective mind, Guy Trefler’s “Not Mine” is the ultimate mix of the symbols and logos that make up civilization’s subconscious. A colorful and post-modern pastiche of signifiers without a signification which demonstrates the replicated character of present day simulacra culture. (Original post).
Cyriak – Malfunction
Bizarre video effects master Cyriak comes back with another perturbing piece which mixes the idyllic utopia of the 1950s American housewife together with the unsettling and sinister presence of an “unheimlich” creature who penetrates the fabric of reality and disturbs the order of things. Brilliant. (Original post).
While we try our best, we can’t help but miss some of the fresh psychedelic videos on the web. It is thus that some of the best psychedelic videos of 2013 were published on the DPV only this year. Here are some of those.
Mikhail Sadovnikov – Dance on the Circle
If we didn’t know this is real we wouldn’t have believed it. A spectacularly psychedelic technique of creating beautiful, captivating shapes with a clay wheel and water. Awesome! (Original post).
Urumadelvi – Psychedelic Afternoon
Who wouldn’t want a psychedelic grandfather like this. This is the ultimate psychedelic lullaby for all kids suffering from bad dreams. (Original post).
Klaus Obermaier & ARS Electronica Futurelab ft. Rob Tannion – Apparition Grand Finale
This fantastic final part of the interactive real-time generated dance performance APPARITION shows the amazing, indeed almost incredible, potential of using video projections on the stage. (Original post).
Senaka & Gal – Car Wash
Senaka and Gal take us on a trip to the car wash and show us how even a mundane chore like washing your car can be a pretty psychedelic experience. A brilliant video. (Original post).
Lady Gaga – Fame Commercial
This one is actually originally from 2012 but seems to belong here. A hyper-hallucinatory perfume commercial by Lady Gaga. (Original post).
Sanctuaryasia – She’s alive, beautiful, finite, hurting, worth dying for
This one is actually originally from 2011, but we also felt this needs to be part of this list. A powerful and poignant message to save our planet now before it’s too late. It was never as easy to see Gaia, planet earth, as one collective living being, of which we are part of. (Original post).
Historical psychedelic gems
Finally, here are some older gems we’ve uncovered on the DPV on 2014
The Altered State of Drugachusetts
Daniel J. Sandin – Spiral 5 PTL
It is almost hard to believe that this video and its stunning visuals was created in 1979, in an era when computer generated animation was still making its first steps. Spiral PTL was one of the first pieces included in the video art collection of the Modern Art Museum in New York, and a part of its inauguration. An impressive historical exemplar from the then nascent field of computer graphics. (Original post).
An American Hippie in Israel – Amos Sefer
The Bugaloos – Senses of Our World
This video clip from the early 1970s brothers Krofft psychedelic children show “The Bugaloos” is charmingly sweet and innocent, with a positive and beautiful hippie vibe. Too bad they don’t make children shows like this anymore. (Original post).
1950s Italian Motorbike Display
Back in the 1950s, the motorcycle squad of the Rome police force performed a riding demonstration that probably remains the most impressively psychedelic biking display till this very day. (Original post).
That’s it for now folks. Hope to see you around on the DPV where the good psychedelic stuff is always coming. We’ll be back again in exactly one year with the best psychedelic videos of 2015! 🙂
The video that accompanied the “Can You Feel It” single by The Jacksons was simply called “The Triumph”. It was directed by Bruce Gowers and Robert Abel and praised for its advanced use of special effects.
A little bonus:
This is a beautiful fractal interpretation of universal patterns, appropriating sacred geometry in a sort of cosmic creation mythos. The video strikes me as a primordial stars journey in a process of fractal proliferation across the universe. Created by Minghao Xu at Void Visuals, his work wants to remind of the universal essence within us all.
This animation by artist Allison Schulnik transports viewers to an open and magical space. The ethereal slow movements of the clay characters are lovely and haunting.
Eager Copyright Allison Schulnik 2014 (8:30min)
Traditional clay-mation and stop-motion animated film.
Nearly everyone I’ve shown this video has said they wished they understood the lyrics. I haven’t been able to find the article for some time, but I remember years ago reading an interview in which the artist said that the video was supposed to be about people’s tendency to shape their identities according to their profession, trying to make themselves more closely resemble some kind of ideal prototype of a master of this occupation. If there are any Russian-speakers out there, maybe you can confirm or refute this?
Regardless of the meaning, there is something I find oh so visually satisfying in the marching sequence and the clay homunculus that accompanies each profession. The rap might be a bit abrasive, but now that this one’s a staple of my collection, I always find myself trying to mumble along despite not speaking a word of Russian.
And if you dig the featured artist, maybe search our archives for Lyapis Trubetskoy…
(Thank you, Warren, for showing me this years ago.)