Artist Documents His LSD Trip By Drawing The Same Portrait Nine Times

Back in the 1950s, the U.S. government conducted many experiments on human subjects involving psychedelic drugs such as LSD.

Project MKUltra is perhaps one of the most well known of these programs, in which the Scientific Intelligence Division of the CIA aimed to develop drugs and methods that would successfully force confessions through mind control. These experiments included giving LSD to mental patients, prisoners, drug addicts, and prostitutes without their knowledge to study their reactions.

One experiment that occurred during that time period but wasn’t associated with Project MKUltra involved an artist being asked to draw his experiences under the influence of LSD. After being given an activity box full of crayons and pencils, he documented his altering perception of reality and the same subject in the nine drawings below.

1. “First drawing is done 20 minutes after the first dose (50ug).”

“An attending doctor observes – Patient chooses to start drawing with charcoal. The subject of the experiment reports – ‘Condition normal…no effect from the drug yet.'”

2. “85 minutes after the first dose and 20 minutes after a second dose has been administered (50ug +50ug).”

“The patient seems euphoric. ‘I can see you all clearly, so clearly. This…you…it’s all…I’m having a little trouble controlling this pencil. It seems to want to keep going.'”

3. “2 hours and 30 minutes after the first dose.”

“Patient appears very focused on the business of drawing. ‘Outlines seem normal, but very vivid — everything is changing colour. My hand must follow the bold sweep of the lines. I feel as if my consciousness is situated in the part of my body that’s now active — my hand, my elbow…my tongue.'”

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