Search results for 'mgmt'

“When You Die” by MGMT

17 Dec

Advertisements

MGMT – It’s Working

19 Dec

What could it be?

I call it emboginationachine,  a machine that embodies imagination.

A really cool video clip.

MGMT as Mental Mystics

29 Aug

This video speaks for itself! It features a psychedelic-style band, MGMT, discussing psychedelia in various surreal settings. Certainly one of my favorite posts I made here.

And less relatedly, when I got introduced to this excellent band it was by no other than the DPV. It was when their music video for “Time to Pretend” was published here (https://dailypsychedelicvideo.com/2010/05/07/mgmt-time-to-pretend/).

MGMT – Time to Pretend

7 May

This one has the whole trip: it begins with a group tribal hunter-gatherers dancing around a fire, shooting giraffes, beating on tribal drums and riding shamanistic power animals in the astral, the psychedelic realm. Andrew VanWyngarden shooting down his inner monsters with glowing fire arrows. Things get even more psychedelic when MGMT group members kneel down to receive a pill on the tongue in what appears to be a highly psychoactive sacrament. Then comes a homage to a scene from Alexander Jodrowsky’s avant-garde esoteric film the holy mountain, where the heroes throw stacks of money into an enflamed hole in the centre of a round table. Then Maya temples and the vision begins a new. Post-modern computer generated psychedelic aesthetics with primitivist, esoteric, and mythical themes – what more could you ask for!

Best psychedelic videos of 2017

31 Dec

As in every year, the Daily Psychedelic Video celebrates new year’s eve with a selection of the best videos that appeared on the DPV this year.

How to watch these videos

We recommend dedicating an evening to watching these videos on big, high-rez screens, with good speakers and in a receptive, psychedelic state of mind. Let these videos take you on a journey.

 

MGMT – When you Die

MGMT have been amply featured here on the DPV in the past, but their new videos, which came out published this December is to our mind their masterpiece so far. While the tone is at times rather dark, the clip more than makes up for it with a strong tune, stunning, vivid imagery and animatic prowess. (Original post).

 

Nightmares on Wax – Back To Nature ft. Kuauhtli Vasquez, Wixarika Tribe

Back to nature in a powerful music clip which breathtakingly and effectively utilizes collage techniques to bring the point home about nature and the ecological catastrophe. (Original Post).

 

Tempest – Robert Seidel

Robert Seidel takes video mapping to the next level with this video that combines abstract video projections and immersive soundscapes with choreographed fog and water fountains. (Original post).

 

History of the entire world I guess – Bill Wurtz

In 2017 Bill Wurtz created this amazing video in which he tells the history of the entire universe in less than 20 minutes, from before the big bang and until the current moment. (Original post).

 

Lichenologist – Matthew Killip

An awesome video by Matthew Killip looks at the strange weird world of lichens following lichenologist Kerry Knudsen and his psychedelically informed ideas on lichens. (Original post).

 

Lillusion de Joseph – Mr.Klesha Animation

Go on a trip with some 19th century optical illusion animations (invented in 1832, this technology was called phantasmascope) brought to life and psychedlicized by Pask D’amico from Klesha Productions. (Original post).

 

Rick and Morty – Exquisite Corpse

2017 was the year when Rick and Morty went overtly psychedelic when Morty broke Rick’s vial of LSD. (Original post).

 

Optimistic Nihilism – Kurzgesagt

Kurzgesagt finally unveil their existential philosophy of ‘optimistic nihilism’ in this stupendous video which explains why one can find immense meaning and satisfaction in life, despite our growing perception of our infinitesimal place in the universe (Original post).

 

The Gate – Björk

Björk enchants again in a video from her ninth album “Utopia” directed by the masterful Andrew Thomas Huang and exploring on the possibility of love. (Original post).

 

Vini Vici Off Limits DJ Emok Martin Vice

A face flushed with light and color explores the possibility of video mapping on human face (original post).

 

The Infinite Now – Armand Dijcks

The mesmerizing Infinite Now brings together the incredibly detailed pictures of Australian photographer Ray Collins and turns them into an immaculate, highly-detailed film of oceanscapes (Original post).

 

Disjointed season one animation reel.

A series of short animations taken from the Netflix series ‘Disjointed’ about the life of an L.A. cannabis dispensary owner. The last minute of this clip which includes an animation by Hideaki Inaba arouses particularly stunning psychedelic ecstasy (Original post).

 

OK Go – Obsession

One cannot summarize a year in psychedelic video without the inescapable ‘OK Go’ video. This time the band performs together with an orchestra of printers to produce a great psychedelic symphony of printed bliss (Original post).

 

Populous – Azulejos – Emanuelle Kabu

Azulejo lovers will find much joy in this tribute to Lisboa’s Azulejo’s by Emanuelle Kabu (Original post).

 

The Velvet Underground, Nico – Sunday Morning

A 50th year anniversary video from for the Velvet Underground’s Sunday Morning (1967) gives a long awaited psychedelic video rendition to this classic video by the New York avant-garde group (Original post).

 

Some forgotten 2016-2013 gems

While we try our best, we can’t help but miss some of the fresh psychedelic videos out there on the web, and sometimes these get featured on the site a year or more after their release. Here are some of the best videos of 2016 (and one from 2013) which we missed in last year’s list.

 

Say Yeah – Kishi Bashi

A prefect poppy tune matched with immaculate 80’s style digital animation and a sweet story of a love that triumphs over all obstacles (original post).

 

Galantis & Hook N Sling – Love On Me

The connection between the poppy lyrics (‘girl put your love on me, Cuz I won’t let you down’) and the dancing Buddhist monks of this Thai temple seems questionable and weird, but that’s all for the better! (Original post).

 

Kingdom of Colours – Thomas Blanchard

Master of colours, Thomas Blanchard in another high-rez video which goes into the miniscule and infinitely detailed worlds of acrylic colour mixtures (Original post).

 

Pulse – Mike Oblinski

Cloud watching was always a favorite psychedelic pastime. Here you can watch some incredibly intensive storms which produce streams of flowing clouds in the sky (original post).

 

High and Low – Empire of the Sun

A Pet Shop Boys-like psychedelic trip in the shiny blue sky accompanied by Australian group Empire of the Sun. Video is by Roof Studio, and while this is all a bit tacky, the psychedelic goods keep coming. (Original post).

 

Je Suis la Montagne – Moodoïd

French psychedelia band Moodoïd in a powerful animistic song (I am the mountain!) (Original post).

 

On Psychedelic Aesthetics

26 Apr

The Roots and Future of Psychedelic Visual Media: How Psychedelic Aesthetics Took Over the World.

If one were to judge the state of the psychedelic visual style in 1980, one would probably consider it to be an obsolete fad which receded into the past. Nothing could be further from the truth. Although decades have passed since the psychedelic sixties, psychedelic elements are today deeply integrated into contemporary visual culture from Avatar to videos by Beyonce and Rihanna.

The story of psychedelic visuals did not begin in the 1960s. It is in fact an extremely long tale which stretches from mankind’s prehistorical mystical visions, through the psychedelic revolution of the sixties, to modern consumerist media society and beyond. In order to understand the appeal which the psychedelic visual style holds for our postmodern culture one must get back to the roots of psychedelic aesthetics in the visionary experience.

Huxley’s  analysis of psychedelic aesthetics

“Prenatural light and color are common to all visionary experiences” wrote Aldous Huxley in his Heaven and Hell “and along with light and color there comes in every case, a recognition of heightened significance. The self-luminous objects which we see in the mind’s antipodes possess a meaning, and this meaning is, in some sort, as intense as their colour.”[1]

The origin of intense coloring in the visionary experience. Aldous Huxley.

Visionary experiences has many possible characteristics, but the most common of which, according to Huxley, is the experience of light: “Everything seen by those who visit the mind’s antipodes is brilliantly illuminated and seems to shine from within. All colors are intensified to a pitch far beyond anything seen in the normal state, and at the same time the mind’s capacity for recognizing fine distinctions of tone and hue is notably heightened.”[2]

Huxley’s lengthy discussion about the aesthetics of the visionary and psychedelic experience in Heaven & Hell remains one the most perceptive pieces about the roots of psychedelic aesthetics. His rich background as a scholar of aesthetics, a scholar of mysticism and a pioneering practitioner of psychedelic journeys, allows him to examine the issue of the visual characteristics of psychedelia from a large historical and philosophical perspective which is essential if one is to decipher the true meaning of psychedelic aesthetics.

All psychedelic visions are unique, claimed Huxley, yet they all “recognizably belong to the same species”.[3] What they have in common are the preternatural light, the preternatural color and the preternatural significance, as well as more specific architectures, landscapes and patterns which tend to reoccur across psychedelic and visionary experiences. For Huxley this intense color and light was one of the primary and most indelible characteristics of what he called the mind’s antipodes, the unknown territories to which the psychedelic voyager is transported.

Looking at the traditions of various cultures, past and present, Huxley found a common ground between their accounts of the heavens or the fairylands of folklore and  the lands of the antipodes. He noted the existence of Other Worlds, mythological landscapes of fantastic beauty in many of the world’s cultural traditions. In the Greco-Roman tradition there were the Garden of Hesperides, the Elysian Plain and the Fair Island of Leuke. The Celts had Avalon, while the Japanese had Horaisan and the Hindu Uttrarakuru. These other worldly paradises, noted Huxley, abound with intensely colored and luminescent objects which bring to mind the psychedelic visionary experience. “Every paradise abounds in gems, or at least in gemlike objects resembling as Weir Mitchell puts it, ‘transparent fruit.’”[4] Wrote Huxley. Ezikel’s version of the Garden of Eden notes the many various stones in the garden, while “The Buddhist paradises are adorned with similar ‘stones of fire’”. The New Jerusalem is constructed in glimmering buildings of shimmering stone. Plato’s world of the ideals is described as a reality where “colors are much purer and much more brilliant than they are down here”.[5]

Mystical paradises were always glowing with color and light. Avatar.

Huxley introduces many more examples of ancient cultures which establish the import and centrality of glimmering gems and precious stones in various mythologies. The implication he draws from this consistency is that the “otherwise inexplicable passion for gems”[6] must have had its roots in “the psychological Other World of visionary experience”.[7] In other words, “precious stones are precious because they bear a faint resemblance to the glowing marvels seen with the inner eye of the visionary.”[8]

Moreover, Huxley notes, “among people who have no knowledge of precious stones or of glass, heaven is adorned not with minerals but with flowers”. Many more examples follow for the various intensely colored, shiny and often luminescent objects in which man had sought the semblance of the Other Worlds, among them candles, works of jewelry, crowns, silks and velvets, medals, glassware, the vision inducing stained glass windows of churches and even ceramics and porcelain ware.  All these, argued Huxley, act to transport human beings into higher realities: “contemplating them, men find themselves (as the phrase goes) transported –carried away toward that Other Earth of the Platonic Dialogue, that magical place where every pebble is a precious stone.”  Shiny objects, argued Huxley, remind the unconscious of the mind’s antipodes and so allow us to experience a taste of visionary consciousness.

The human urge to be transported into the numinous realm has found its expression in mythologies and religion, but also in art. Huxley notes a number of artists who used colors in transporting ways such as Caravaggio, Geroges de Latour, and Rembrandt. Indeed, he notes:

“Plato and, during a later flowering of religious art, St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that pure bright colors were of the very essence of artistic beauty”.

Although Huxley argues that this categorical equation of beauty with bright colors leads to absurdity, he also finds this doctrine to be not altogether devoid of truth. “Bright pure colors are the essence, not of beauty in general, but only of a special kind of beauty”: the beauty of works of art which can transport the beholder’s mind in the direction of its antipodes.

Modern taste is often reserved about using intensely bright colors, and prefers the more restrained and undemonstrative palette of minimalism and modernist design. The reason, argued Huxley, is that “we have become too familiar with bright pure pigments to be greatly moved by them”.[9] In the past, pigments and colors were costly and rare. The richly colored velvet and brocades of princely wardrobes, and the painted hangings of medieval and early modern houses were a rarity reserved for a privileged minority, while the majority of the population lived a drab and colorless existence. This all changed with the modern chemical industry and its endless variety of dyes and colors. “In our modern world there is enough bright color to guarantee the production of billions of flags, and comic strips, millions of stop signs and taillights, fire engines and Coca-Cola containers”, and all those objects which in the past might have possessed a transporting numinous quality were reduced by the new industrial consumer market into ordinary banality.

The evolution of psychedelic aesthetics in modern times

The potential of psychedelics to act as powerful catalysts for creativity in general and for visual artists specifically was  noted by researchers of psychedelics already in the 1950s. Oscar Janiger who administered psychedelics to artists was immediately flooded with artists enthusiastic to explore their creativity through the use of psychedelics. “Ninety-nine precent expressed the notion that this was an extraordinary, valuable tool for learning about art”[10]. Ron Sandison noted a patient whose style changed completely after a psychedelic experience “and she began to paint in the style she wanted to, which was imaginative”.[11]

Many more anecdotal accounts of the artistic merit of psychedelics appear during these years. However, the great aesthetic shift ushered by psychedelics would only come as a result of their popularization in the mid-1960s. The psychedelic revolution has brought the visionary aesthetic which stood at the center of many works of art and religion back to the foreground of western culture, but now through the prism of the emerging pop culture of the 1960s.

San Francisco psychedelic poster artists such as Rick Griffin, Victor Moscoso, Wes Wilson, Stanely Mouse & Alton Kelley redefined the boundaries of numinous aesthetics by integrating it into commercial psychedelic posters which advertised bands and  rock concert. These psychedelic artist, who experimented with colors and forms  were inspired to a great extent by the Art Noveau movement of early 20th century and it’s emphasis on organic forms and lines, as well as in the idea of life as art. The aesthetic of these  posters would define a new artistic style that would be widely distributed and collected.  Meanwhile, psychedelic art flourished outside the poster genre. Visual artists such as Mati Klarwein, Robert Fraser and Milton Glaser designed psychedelic album covers for the likes of Miles Davis, the Beatles and Bob Dylan.

Mati Klarwein’s psychedlic cover to Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew.

Other forms of psychedelic aesthetics have emerged in various cultural domains. Psychedelic fashion was popularized by rock artists and countercultural figures and even introduced into couture by designers such as Emilio Pucci, Paco Rabanne and Pierre Cardin. Psychedelic light shows by psychedelic light show artists and groups such as Marc Boyle, Mike Leonard and The brotherhood of light became a popular trend in music concerts. (Here one should also note an extremely popular form of  psychedelic aesthetics, which is the luminescent culture of Burning Man Festival, whose fascination with glowing colors  have turned it over the years into a distinct form of light-worship, a spiritual fest ordered around the heavenly glow Huxley referred to in his work). Psychedelic architectural and inner designs flourished in the communes and were experimented with by a variety of architects and designers as thoroughly documented in the book “Spaced Out”.

What these various genres of psychedelic aesthetics had in common was the use of intensive coloring, extensive use  of natural lines, extensive use of op-art as well as of elaborate patterns and designs that sought to transport the viewer into a different state of consciousness. Like the other forms of psychedelic culture, psychedelic aesthetic was a new artistic genre which was rooted in the psychedelic experience and at the same time a cultural artifact which attempted to recreate some of the elements of the psychedelic experiences within the domain of culture.

A distinct form of light worship. Burning Man.

Yet, by the late sixties psychedelic aesthetics have already left the realms of the counterculture, and started being absorbed by the larger culture, as their commercial potential began being tapped into by various enterprises from Pepsi and McDonalds to Campbell and General Electric so that by the mid-1970s, the psychedelic visual style had been largely absorbed into the mainstream consumer culture which the hippies sought to change.

The evolution and reemergence of psychedelic video

Psychedelic art, fashion, design and architecture were all contributed greatly to the creation of a psychedelic culture expressed in various artistic forms. Yet when it comes to reproducing the psychedelic experience, it seems that film and video had an altogether different potential. Psychedelic visions are after all not not static, buy dynamic and related to sound. An effective use of moving pictures and a soundtrack can powerfully recreate elements of the psychedelic experience. This would appear to be part of the reason, why psychedelic film and video would achieve an even greater popularity than did the more static reproductions of the psychedelic experience such as art, fashion, design and architecture.

Already Huxley noted in his Heaven and Hell  that the equivalent of the magic-lantern show of earlier times is the colored movie. “In the huge, expensive ‘spectacular’, the soul of the masque goes marching along” wrote Huxley. He was fascinated by various films with visionary properties, such as Disney’s The Living Desert and claimed that film has the power to create a “vision inducing phantasy”. Psychedelic elements have actually emerged on film already as early as the 1920s as could be seen in this short silent animation film from 1926 as well on Disney’s 1940s films Fantasia and Dumbo the Flying Elephant, which both contained elaborate psychedelic sequences, and whose chief visualist is reputed to have participated in Kurt Beringer’s mescaline experiments in 1920s Berlin.

The 1960s psychedelic genre of film distinguished itself through such films as “Psych-Out” (1968), “The Trip”, (1967), “Easy Rider” (1969) and of course the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” (1968) and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey  which was frequented in cinema by numerous tripping hippies who immensely enjoyed the closing hyper-psychedelic 30 minutes sequence.

And while the attraction and novelty of the psychedelic style seemed to diminish in the beginning of the 1970s, the attempts to recreate the psychedelic visual aesthetic on film kept evolving. Experimental movie makers such as Vince Collins and Toshio Matsumoto explored psychedelic aesthetics throughout the 1970s, while new motion pictures introduced movie-goers to more elaborate and sophisticated cinematic renditions of the psychedelic experience, created about with the help of new production techniques and technologies in films such as Ken Russel’s 1980’s Altered States  and Terry Gilliam’s 1998 version of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

But while these might seem as solitary examples, a far deeper cultural momentum was at work, advancing the integration of psychedelic aesthetic into popular culture. As I showed above, Huxley already noted the visionary aspect of commercial designs such as colorful printed advertisements or neon lights. As technology and media evolved side by side with late capitalism, psychedelic aesthetic and consumer society would find a common field of resonance. Electronic media, which media theorist Marshall McLuhan described as humanity’s nervous system, and which Erik Davis called a technology of the self, would become a new and most effective form of consciousness altering medium. The visual properties of psychedelics, which expressed themselves not only through color but also through a new and more dynamic approach to video editing, would become integrated into the popular culture, while better, bigger screens and higher resolutions created a distinctly psychedelic hyper-real quality in many of the new clips and videos.

And so, while it might have earlier seemed that psychedelic aesthetic became a thing of the past, a quick examination of today’s popular culture would teach us something radically different. Psychedelic visual style is to be found in the music clips of the many of today’s leading music artists, and not only alternative groups such as MGMT, Chemical Brothers or Birdy Nam Nam but also in the music clips of many of today’s leading pop artists from Beyonce to Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kesha and Nicki Minaj. Psychedelic visionary aesthetic also became an integral part of today’s commercial world from Takashi Murakami’s impeccable Louis Vitton’s commercials to commercials by SonyHyundai and Yoplait. Psychedelic videos are being created today, by web users, as well as by commercial firms and popular artists at a higher rate than ever before.

This does not mean that all these videos are psychedelic in the same way. One could distinguish between more superficial use of psychedelic motives characterized mostly by psychedelic coloring, design and editing, which can be found in more mainstream oriented productions, and more distinctly and explicitly psychedelic videos which include more hardcore psychedelic motives such as multi-perspectivism, multi-dimensionality, figure transformation, mandalas and fractalic imagery. In this way one could distinguish between soft-psychedelia and hard-psychedelia.

“the self-luminous objects which we see in the mind’s antipodes possess a meaning, and this meaning is, in some sort, as intense as their color” wrote Huxley. “Significance is here identical with being”. In this, Huxley wished to point out that in contrast to surrealism, for instance, the psychedelic aesthetic is not symbolic of anything else. It is the thing itself. Its beauty needs no explanation, for it is self-evident in its color, richness and harmony. The meaning of the psychedelic visuals is “precisely in this, that they are intensely themselves”.

And this is perhaps what makes psychedelic aesthetics so appealing to today’s popular culture. The psychedelic aesthetic style, which is rooted in the visionary Other Worlds described by the mystics of humanity, is so successful precisely because it is distinguished first and foremost by its “suchness”; because it does not symbolize anything concrete, and can hence be seen as arguably indifferent to content and used for a wide variety of purposes. At the same time the powerful responses it evokes, a result of mankind’s age old fascination with the colors and light which characterized the psychedelic visions of the Other Worlds, turn it into such a powerful mind-altering tool for media.

The future of psychedelic media

One might ask whether the use visionary elements in consumer culture still holds and delievers  the deeper psychedelic values, or whether psychedelic visual style has become abused by other purposes. One thing should be clear, however: psychedelic aesthetics in media are here to stay. They are integrated into the cultural production system, and new technologies such as 3D screens and video glasses are about to make them ever more effective and powerful.

The advent of 3D screens, which are making their way into the consumer electronics market these days are one factor which is bound to make psychedelia an even more prominent force in our visual culture. The psychedelic experience has always been about perceiving new and unimagined dimensions, and the addition of a new dimension to media, has an inherently psychedelic quality to it. As a genre which is based on bending our perception and creating rich media environments to inspire awe, psychedelic visuals can benefit greatly from the new possibilities unleashed by the new dimensions. Indeed, Avatar, the most successful 3D film up to date, is distinguished by its extensive use of psychedelic aesthetics. Meanwhile Independent psychedelic video makers have already started to integrate the 3rd dimension into their works with mesmerizing results. The first examples of 3D psychedelic videos are so much more psychedelic and transporting than 2D psychedelic videos that this suggest that psychedelic videos will profit from the integration of the 3rd dimension into media more than any other genre of video.

Meanwhile, augmented reality projects such as the “Google Glasses” suggest that in the not so remote future one might perceive the world through high-resolution 3D screens. This in turn raises the possibility that the augmented reality glasses will be used not only to present useful data, but also to produce visual filter effects (such as changing colors or patterns) which will be screened on reality and allow us to see reality through altered senses, much in the same way that Instagram allows us to manipulate still pictures today. Rich augmented reality environments would repackage our surroundings, freeing us from the visual constraints of the real world and transporting us into other more magical realities which will present themselves from within our glasses. Thus a new market for virtual psychedelic environments and landscapes might emerge.

Psychedelics and electronic media are both powerful mind-altering tools capable at producing awe-inspiring transformational visual experiences. Psychedelic visual culture has had an appetite for using new media to enhance and recreate psychedelic experience since the invention of the strobe light and the days of Stewart Brand’s “Trips Festival”. New developments in technology and media suggest that the wedding of the psychedelic visual culture and electronic media will only become stronger in the years to come.

(26.4.2012)


[1] Huxley, The Doors Of Perception, 48.

[2] Ibid., 45.

[3] Ibid., 49.

[4] Ibid., 51.

[5] Ibid., 52.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Ibid.

 [9] Ibid. 57.

[10] Doblin, Beck, and Chapman, “Dr. Oscar Janiger’s Pioneering LSD Research: A Forty Year Follow-up” Available at: http://www.maps.org/news-letters/v09n1/09107jan.html.

[11] Abramson, The Use of LSD in Psychotherapy, 83.

The Greatest 50 Psychedelic Videos – No. 50-26

25 Apr

To see the top 25 videos of the DPV’s Greatest 50 Psychedelic Videos

2 years ago, when the idea was born to set up a website dedicated to curating one psychedelic video every day, we were still skeptical about how long one could continue, and afraid that after a month or two we’d run out of psychedelic videos to post.

Today, in the second year anniversary of daily psychedelic video posts, with more than 700 psychedelic videos on the site, it seems clear that there are many more psychedelic videos out there than any of us would have dared to imagine. Psychedelic videos are not a thing of the past. In fact it is clear that more psychedelic videos are being produced these days than ever before by professional workers and independent artists alike, aided by ever improving computer technology and by the increased ability to share these videos on the web. While we have a number of classic 1960s videos on the list, most of the psychedelic videos that appear on it are from the past 10 years.

Now, with the advent of 3D screen technology and augmented reality glasses, one can only imagine what these might mean for the future of psychedelic video and media. From our first impressions of psychedelic media art created for these new types of media it seems that psychedelic media is one of the artistic genres which will benefit the most from the incorporation of a 3rd dimension into media as well as from the immersive media environments which will be created by augmented reality glasses.

After 700 videos we felt that we now have a preliminary basis to create a pioneering list of the greatest psychedelic videos of all time. To our knowledge, this is the first list of its kind. While there have been some lists of greatest psychedelic films, we haven’t been able to find any list for the greatest psychedelic short videos (If you know of one, please tell us). This makes sense because before the arrival of the web and sites like YouTube and Vimeo there was no infrastructure that enabled people to share and access short clips effectively.

So this one is probably the first, and we took the selection process very seriously (indeed, some people thought almost psychotically serious). Each of the editors chose 20 videos from the total 700 videos on the site, which gave us to a list of some 130+ videos pretty cool videos. These 130+ videos were all ranked by each editor from top to bottom. The different lists were then calculated by our data expert in Barcelona (Thanks, Amit!), and this finally gave us to the current list. Enjoy.

  1. Rules of Acid Song – Jeffrey Lewis (2007)

(Original Post)

Jeffrey Lewis’s acid song is probably the funniest song about an acid experience. It is also a pedagogical piece which teaches the 8 immortal rules of tripping. The video is very simply done, with no fancy after effects, but really makes you feel the experience.

49. Gluko & Lennon (2010) – Federico Radeno

(Original Post)

Gluko & Lennon is a psychedelic animated series from Buenos Aires based studio Punga and production company L’Orange Gutan. The official description says it is a series about “the psychedelic adventures of two best friends.”

48. Street Musique –Ryan Larkin (1972)

(Original Post)

The Canadian animator Ryan Larkin (1943-2007) was one of the pioneers of psychedelic film. His films “Walking” (1969) and street music (1972) are considered classics of the early psychedelic film, and combine instrumental country and bluegrass music together with psychedelic images.

47. Catalog – John Whitney (1961)

(Original Post)

John Whitney is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of computer animation. Throughout the 1950s, the 1960s and the 1970s Whitney has pioneered many computer animation techniques, first with mechanical analogue computers, and then moving to digital computers. In 1961 psychedelics were still research chemicals, and the psychedelic influence on culture has been yet to emerge, yet

Whitney’s 1961 “Catalog” which was created using an “analog compuer/film camera magic machine” that he built from a second world war anti-aircraft gun sight, already foresaw the arrival of psychedelic computer animations. But “Catalog” is more than just an historical piece. It takes the viewer to a pioneering journey through computer landscapes which divulged unforeseeable transcendent realms in the machine.

  1. Beat Connection in the Water – Panaframe (2011)


(Original Post)

“In the water”, from the excellent Panframe vimeo page, is an iridescent tropical daydream for a track by Beat Connection. This video just takes you into the flow of luminescent figures and images which continuously emerge and disperse in an endless continuum of bliss.

  1. WTF – OK GO (2009)

(Original Post)

OK GO’s “WTF” video has the most ingenuous use of the trail effect we ever saw. Directed by Nick Nackashi and OK GO, this video is full of imaginative playfulness which transforms everyday objects from the 99 cents store into psychedelic spectacles using a simple trail effect. The making of video for the clip is also worth a watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNeItlrTdvY&feature=relmfu

  1. Fractalic Castle  – Hömpörgő (2010)

(Original Post)

The Fractalic Castle is slightly disturbing fractalic video which zooms into the sinister realms of some fractalic structure that seems to go on and on. Turn the volume up.

  1. Goiin – Birdy Nam Nam (2011)

(Original Post)

Never has a more magnificent video been made for such a sad excuse of a song. I can only imagine where this video would be, if it hadn’t been for the lousy soundtrack. And still, it’s a really great video.

  1. The Golden Age – The Asteroids Galaxy (2009)

(Original Post)

The Golden Age is just one of those uncomplicated psychedelic videos that are really fun to watch.

  1. Fehlerlofia  – Marcel Jankovics (1981)

(Original Post)

Fehérlófia (1981) aka Son of the White Mare is a full length psychedelic film from Hungary by Marcell Jankovics. Based on Hunnic and Avaric legends, and done as a tribute to the old steppe people, Feherlofia tells the mythic story of a superhuman boy with a cosmic mission.

40. Lylac – Papercutz (2010)

(Original Post)

Lylac is just an impeccable cinematic dream of infinite delicacy.

  1. Lebensader – Angela Steffen (2009)

(Original Post)

A little girl finds the whole world inside a leaf in this animation by Angela Steffen

  1. The Golden Path – United Force & Digital Dinamite (2009)

(Original Post)

“The Golden Path” by United Force and Digital Dynamite is a demo video, one of those computer generated clips rendered by a ridiculously concise code and devised by obsessively devout bands of freak-geeks that worship efficient code. It feels like a joyride through glowing colorful virtual worlds.

37. Drifting away with fractals – subBlue (2011)


(Original Post)

We have all seen fractal videos, but they are all missing something. Yes the psychedelic experience includes a lot of fractals, but in these videos for some reason the fractals don’t evolve the way they do in the real experience. Fractals change and twist with thought, they have the rhythm of thought and are affected by them. When you stare into the fractalic world you stare into your soul, obviously most of the fractal videos miss that. This video on the other hand is the most beautiful fractalic video we’ve seen. The way the landscape changes on it is the closest we’ve seen to what is experienced during the psychedelic experience.

36. Destino – Walt Disney (2003)

(Original Post)

Destino is a unique film project that was initiated in 1945 by two very different artists, the Spanish painter Salvador Dali and the American animator Walt Disney. The film was completed only 58 years later, in 2003 and introduces a unique world in which Dali’s visual style is combined with Disney’s animation style

35. Carolina Melis – Hands (2010)

(Original Post)

Carolina Melis is an international illustrator and art designer. Her short movie “Hands” is an enchanting clip for a campaign against child abuse, which shows again how psychedelic aesthetics has trickled into the mainstream.

  1. The Avalanches – Frontier Psychiatrist (2005)

(Original Post)

The Avalanches’ “Frontier Psychiatrist” is an ingenious demonstration on how to make videos that offers a radical visual accompaniment to the even wildest DJ tracks.

  1. A Box with a Secret – Valery Ugarov (1976)

(Original Post)

Although Russia didn’t seem to have much of a psychedelic revolution in the 1960s, some soviet animators were evidently taken away with the psychedelic aesthetics of the Beatles’ Yellow submarine. During the late 1960s and early to mid-1970s a number of soviet films appeared which made use of Yellow Submarine’s psychedelic style. One of these, Valery Ugarov’s 1976’s  “A Box with a Secret” is a musical imagination on the theme of the fairy tale of V.Odoevsky “Small town in a snuffbox”. Be sure to watch the part that starts in 4:55, it’s really great.

  1. I met the walrus – Josh Raskin (2008)

(Original Post)

“I am the walrus” is a 2008 academy award nominee which was done using a recording of a short and unusual interview with John Lennon. The interview was done in 1969 by a 14 years old Beatles-obsessed reporter who snuck into Lennon’s hotel room and started asking him question. Lennon answered in his sort of witty, off handed and cosmic way, and 38 years later the 5 minute recording was turned into a highly associative and beautiful video by director Josh Raskin and illustrators James Braithwaite and Alex Kurina. Besides being a  2008 Academy Award nominee for best Animated Short, the film also won the 2009 Emmy for ‘New Approaches’ (making it the first film to win an Emmy on behalf of the internet).

31. Time to Pretend – MGMT  (2008)

(Original Post)

MGMT’s “Time to pretend” is a fully fledged shamanic trip. It begins with a group of tribal hunter-gatherers dancing around a fire, shooting giraffes, beating on tribal drums and riding shamanic power animals in the psychedelic realm. Andrew VanWyngarden shooting down his inner monsters with glowing fire arrows. Things get even more psychedelic when MGMT group members kneel down to and open their mouths to receive what appears like a highly psychoactive sacrament. Then comes a homage to a scene from Alexander Jodrowski’s avant-garde esoteric film The Holy Mountain (which appears as no. 16 on this list) where the heroes throw stacks of money into an enflamed hole in the center of a round table. Post-modern computer generated psychedelic aesthetics with primitivist, esoteric, and mythical themes.

30. Chiral – Robert Seidel (2010)

(Original Post)

A chiral phenomenon or structure is some weird-ass thing that is not identical to its mirror image. You have to admit the concept sounds cool, even though you wouldn’t immediately understand it. Inspired by this scientific idea, German Robert Seidel went and created a very unique motion graphics piece using among other things projection onto a paper sculpture.

29. One – Michal Levi (2007)

(Original Post)

“I see music. As I hear it, it appears. Music for me is a gateway to 3D space full of shape shifting colors and textures” writes Michal Levi in her website. “One” is Michal Levi’s second synesthetic video after “Giant Steps”. Levi mixes a track by Jason Lindner with beating urban landscapes and shifting forms in a way which makes you feel that you can really see the music.

28. Artificial – A Short Trip through Bomuldsfabriken Kunsthall – Lasse Gjertsen

(Original Post)

This is what life with augmented reality might look like one day. Lasse Gjertsen made a video of the Bomuldsfabriken museum in Arendal Germany but animated the tour, making the works of art as well as the surroundings come alive. The result mixes reality and fantasy in a scandalously psychedelic way

  1. The Parachute Ending – Birdy Nam Nam (2009)

(Original Post)

The DJ crew Birdy Nam Nam has produced some of the most captivating psychedelic music videos in the past couple of years. Their “Parachute Ending” video, directed by Steve Scott, tells the strange tale of the blue alien who saved the planet from the attack of the white cubes, or something like that.  Birdy Nam Nam managed to land two videos in the top 50. (Another one in no. 43).

  1. Fantasy – Vince Collins (1976)

(Original Post)

Vince Collins is a gifted animator who was responsible for a series of violently colorful videos from the 1970s and 1980s , among which is a very psychedelic 4th of Juli video for the 200th anniversary of American independence. His “Fantasy” video hosts a disturbing world of flashing colors hallucinations and intimidating transformations.

To see the top 25 videos of the DPV’s Greatest 50 Psychedelic Videos


%d bloggers like this: