I became interested in Hypnosis as a vehicle to access a different part of myself — to fully release the intention in my artwork. To make my work, I went to a Hypnotist and we did a specific session to draw from my subconscious. My Hypnotist gave me a twenty-one-minute recording to listen to and then I would proceed to draw. The recording would last from thirty minutes to two hours. I wasn’t conscious, but I didn’t blackout, as some people do. It felt like a dream state to me. Hypnos means ‘sleep’ in Greek, and is also the God of sleep personified. (I really like that he owns half our lives because of sleep.) Hypnosis to me is stronger than meditation or yoga but in a similar vein. Dentists sometimes used hypnosis before anaesthetics were widely available. It’s portrayed in the media as either a joke, a way to humiliate someone, or as a superpower to control people. In all of the books I read on the subject, there’s no way that a person can be hypnotized against the person’s will. Once hypnotized, the hypnotist gives suggestions and is not able to control the patient as a puppet. People react differently to hypnosis. My hypnotist told me that I was very visual and highly suggestible. Hypnosis today is mostly used to curb bad habits. I think there is more to discover from this alternate state of consciousness.
All of the drawings in this series were made while being in a state of hypnosis. I limited my palette to black and white, referencing the hypnotic swirl. The ephemeral space started as merely a place to make work, but eventually, it crept into my mind and into the work. I left many remnants from the previous occupant and in some cases emphasized them. I used the original wallpaper as the paper for some of the drawings and the drawings’ background share the same color palette as that of the space.
Filmed on March 20th, 2013
Experiments in Hypnosis: Floor Drawing II
In November 2012, Alexandra Janelli from Theta Spring hypnotized me. The goal of the session was to enable me to make drawings while in the hypnotic state. I received a recording of the session that I could listen to, and the recording would put me in a hypnotic trance where I could make drawings. In this video, I listened to the recording and made a drawing on the floor of my studio. Then I proceeded to destroy the drawing by sweeping it up. All of the drawings I have done under hypnosis I have been alone, except this one. The recording that I listen to is twenty minutes long and the trance usually lasts for thirty minutes. The sound is my edited version of the recorded session. This short video begins and ends in black and white, while the middle is in color. It represents going into a hypnotic state and then falling out of that trance.