The last exhibition of Sorbus spring season is Majed Aslam’s It’s Pretty Hard To Experience Full On Ego Death With a Low Recreational Dose. It’s a sound and light installation with salt, space blankets, out of body voices and hanging sculptures.
The following text is a fragment from an ongoing conversation between Majed Aslam and Attilia Fattori Franchini. Majed is an artist and medical doctor, Attilia is a curator and writer.
Both work in London and when they get time meet up to discuss each others research and work, which seems to follow common threads. But mostly the conversation happens via text messages containing pdf docs, youtube links, photos, web articles etc. The following text msg convo happened on the 30th May 2015.
ATTILIA FATTORI FRANCHINI: Yo free. Sorry had to sleep as I took a mega early flight.
MAJED ASLAM: It’s okay. I’ll call u in a minute, want to discuss the txt for this show.
MA: It feels like what we’re seeing in medicine at the moment is a move to reframe mental illness in terms of consciousness. What’s interesting to me especially is that a lot of the research done with LSD in the 50s and 60s remained unfinished. And it seems to be re entering a kind of discourse of medicines.
MA: I think it could be an interesting convergence that takes place here. With drugs, meditation, depression all related to a kind of theory of consciousness.
AFF: How would you define consciousness?
MA: Depends what day you ask me. I like that it can be quite personal and temporal like that. There’s an analogy that aldous huxley uses where he compares the brain to a TV receiver. You can switch the TV off but the information waves are still there. You just need to receive them.
MA: I like that at the moment.
MA: It’s raining here and I’m in a park with a friend. Maybe that has something to do with how I answered that question. But whatever. It’s real.
AFF: I always feel reality is connected with vision or absorption and projection / representation.
MA: Totally. Like I am therefore I think or something. It’s interesting that word projection. I like that it can be connected to ideas of ego death. Like you can remove yourself from yourself and observe a projection.
MA: I was really depressed to see that this UK government announced legislation to ban every psychoactive substance, totally going to war on any kind of research.. It feels crazy like it doesn’t even make sense
AFF: Well, I believe its all about power.
AFF: It is easier to keep you into alienation and fear. Dissociated by automation and technology. Psychedelia is a connector towards the self and the surroundings people, things. And that can be dangerous.
AFF: People might realise the model adopted is not actually a good one and what is called reality is just a projection of subtly assembled external inputs.
MA: I feel quite optimistic about the situation though.
MA: I think laws are pathetic with this. If you go on Reddit you can see how many people are taking part in their own research.. Nootropics and psychedelics, people just sharing information and it’s amazing to see. It’s people conducting their own research.
MA: Forming a real time feedback loop between bodies, Reddit, and Chinese pharmaceutical labs.
AFF: Collective research without instrumentalisation? So none can actually appropriate it, in capitalistic terms?
MA: I think so
Lontoossa asuvan ja työskentelevän Majed Aslamin It’s Pretty Hard To Experience Full On Ego Death With a Low Recreational Dose on ääni- ja valoinstallaatio, jonka materiaaleina ovat suola, lämpöpeitteet, ruumiista irtautuneet äänet ja roikkuvat veistokset.