In 1962, Bruce Conner left San Francisco and moved to Mexico, apparently intending to “wait out the impending nuclear holocaust”. He spent about a year in Mexico before running out of cash and patience, and returning to the United States. During his year in Mexico, Conner hosted psychedelic guru Timothy Leary, who he had met on an earlier visit to New York. Conner and Leary occupied themselves with mushroom hunts in the Mexican countryside. It’s not clear whether their hunts were successful. But Conner’s staccato home-movies of their walks – combined with movies of previous mushroom hunts in San Francisco – became his film Looking for Mushrooms. The film rushes through the rustic landscape of rural Mexico, flitting past houses and through a crumbling graveyard.
Conner cut Looking for Mushrooms down to 100 feet in 1965 in order to fit it into an endless-loop cartridge for continuous projection. In 1967 he added a soundtrack by The Beatles (“Tomorrow Never Knows”).
Beware of those mushrooms…
Directors Ben&Julia are two French-Swiss nutters, who do all sorts of graphics gigs and apparently love putting mushrooms everywhere. Take a look at their Vimeo channel and website for more, if you like the style.
Where did mushrooms originate? Did they come from outer space like Terrence Mckenna suggested? One sure thing is that who ever watched mushrooms grow noticed that even the way they grow is psychedelic. The internet is full of time lapse videos of mushrooms growing. I picked a few of my favorites.
check out this Amanita Muscaria slowly turning into a spaceship:
The next video is a time lapse of a european forrest full of delights:
This last video should be watched on full screen! If you thought the forrests in europe are full of delights, now it’s time for some amazonian forrest:
This shroomy video is by the animator Steve Scott. If any of you are in NYC this upcoming weekend I recommend you go and check out the Tryptophantasia II – Psychedelic Animation Film Screening. You could check out works by Steve Scott and many other psychedelic animators, and I would be happy to hear your impressions.