My girlfriend and I had not a care in the world. We had achieved a sort of freedom that’s almost impossible to comprehend in the modern world. Most people are imprisoned by the modern world, their bills, commitments, etc. After a concentrated effort of freeing ourselves from the matrix, we were in a clear state of pure existence. We were strolling near Rose Ave. and asking ourselves what we should do. And because we had no pressures or masters – nowhere to go and nothing to do – we decided to follow a butterly… We had spotted a white butterfly fluttering through the air – and just decided to follow it. It flew around in various directions, up, down, sideways, took a sharp turn left, and disappeared.
We continued to walk in the direction it led us, and less than a block away we saw a new building that we had never noticed before. It was called “Ceremony Meditation” and went inside. Immediately we saw a bright eyed child who just *radiated* light. Something surreal and ethereal about him. And next to him was his father, wearing an all white robe. Strong. Resolute. He looked directly at me and asked me if I wanted to do a [hapé / rapé] ceremony…
“Of course,” I said. (After all, the butterfly had led us here.)
I sat down on the couch in the very front of the store and listened to the instructions. Rapé, expecially this specific blend, was a DMT-containing blend of various herbs garnered from the Peruvian jungle. My instructions were to take three deep meditative breaths, exhale and signal that I am ready to inhale this sacred tobacco into my left nostril, and after that, signal to inhale it into the other nostril.
Which I proceeded to do. When the rapé hit, it was a complete and utter suffocation of all senses. Imagine if your feelings were all turned up 100x and there was no escape other than surrender. Petit le mort comes to mind as the closest explanation. It was all so intense and so overwhelming that the only thing there was to do was to surrender and let go.
And in that surrender everything went away. I was sky rocketed to a place that I can only describe as utter and complete peace. I was in a place where everything felt divinely calm. Soft, beautiful. There was nothing that was not beautiful and pure.
After a few moments of being in this divinely blissful place, I felt myself being pulled downward and back into my body. It felt so much like riding a rollercoaster shaped like a caduceus back into my worldly realm. I was coming back into my body. And when I landed, I had to snot out all the tobacco I had just inhaled. I was like a infant, snotting into some paper towels, trying to re-associate myself into the ordinary human realm. I had carried with me something of the beautiful peaceful world back with me. I snotted and snotted into the napkins, cleared out all the mucus and tobacco and pain that I had expelled from my trip “up North.”
(now after having a few years of processing what that was) I feel like I had visited the 9th dimensional equivalent of what you and I would call the heavenly realm.
The rest of the day was just bliss. Everything I did. Everywhere I went. It felt magical and beautiful. And fresh. And pure.[I learned a few days later that the man who had performed the ceremony was fired immediately after bacause it was such an intense experience and the owner of the place was really freaked out that this was happening at like 11 am on Tuesday in his shop.]
After the experience, the shaman told me “I was guided by ayahuasca to give you rapé”. This now completely makes sense to me.
About a year after all this, when I was in my first year of making crypto art, I decided to zoom into the place where this particular experience happened – Ceremony Meditation. In the art, you can see the wobbly 3d rendering of the word “SACRFRED” pointing to that very spot where this happened.
As I was creating this piece I mistyped “sacred” and when it came out as “sacfred” I decided to keep it as a recognition and honoring of the errors of life that happen when we try to create or capture the essence of something.
I fell in love with the aesthetic of Google Earth’s imperfect scanning look of actual places. Which is where this piece began. Eventually photogrammetry will allow the capture of much more perfect high-resolution scans of locations, streets, and neighborhoods. This particular “scan” is probably similar to how we remember 8-bit or 16-bit video games now. And that’s why I love about this particular scan. It has an aesthetic that I liken to the low-resolution video games of the past.
And I’m personally in love with it. Which is why I used the Google Maps scan of this area to represent a moment that meant so much to me. The boxy mangled cars, tree outlines, and the utter imperfection of the “scene” really draws me.
Because I was remembering all this and I had a point of reference because of Google, I decided to use the Google maps rendering of the spot as the centerpiece of the artwork. And because I was using my own imperfect memory to “remember” this moment, I decided to make an imperfect fractal of the scene, using 3 differently sized versions of this place, as if I was going back in time and remembering what happened using the visuals that were available (“time traveling” in a way).
I added polygonal shapes, which are instrumental in re-creating imperfect renderings of spaces and places to juxtapose to the scene. I also added nods to cactus (at the bottom), which enabled me to expand my understanding through the many San Pedro visionary journeys I had before and after this rapé experience.
In essence – like most of my art – this piece is about time travel, memory, and the reconstitution of experiences, visual segments, and the mystery behind how we all experience reality.
full res can be found here …
One of my favorite people in the crypto / VR space is JIN, who came to photogrammetry scan and recreate the world’s very first Crypto Art Show in DTLA in 2019. The voxel scan of that space / experience is what you see in the right side of this artwork. And JIN scanned it, then later transformed it into the voxel model you see here.
A year later JIN and I were both celebrating the success of Crypto Art Show 2, and during it I asked him if he would like any of my art as a gift. He immediately said he’d to love to own Hallucinating the Past :/: Present :/: Future which I immediately repurchased from Token Angels, and sent it to JIN’s wallet…
Except that in the furor of the excitement of the gift, I copy-pasta’d the wrong recipient 0x and the art ended up going to an irretrievable Coinbase wallet address…
… and no amount of trying to get access to the coinbase wallet yielded any results. The original piece is in a dead wallet, never to be recovered again…
… So I ended up [re]:creating [RE]:Hallucinating the Past :/: Present :/: Future on Open Sea and added the new elements to the original was has been lost to the past. The new elements reference the Crypto Art Show evolution of the piece, have a VRchat JIN character and his role in the piece, the bidding history of the original, and is evermore a recreation of the entire experience of what the piece is about, its evolution, loss, and recreation – all in one new piece of art…