This is our kind of art project. Bryan Lewis Saunders is painting a self-experimental, self portrait each day and posting them on his website. Each day he takes a different drug and sketches himself under the influence. Here is Bryan on PCP:
It is definitely worth taking a look at the whole project. There is a tremendous range and they are highly evocative. Perhaps not surprisingly some of the portraits have been done in hospital, after Bryan got a bit caught up in his work. He is still continuing the project on a less intensely toxic schedule.
Is the project itself drugs data? If not how could we make into data? COunting the number of colours as an index of pychedelic properties? Is there some measure of composition and coherence we could correlate with the cognitive effects for the given chemicals. Perhaps the data set is too small of anything too clever or ultimately very useful but it is an entertaining game to play.
How about the audiences reaction? Each of the pictures comes with a tag telling you what drug was consumed. so some post hoc rationalisation goes into the interpretation of them. But do they match our stereotypical expectations? If so why?
One thing we thought about doing with later version of the YourBrainonDrugs smartphone app is to allow users to submit pictures they have taken while under the influence. Self portraits or otherwise. Individually it might just be an interesting piece of art. But with big data comes big opportunity. Even a simple frequency count of what drugs led to most photos would be interesting data. And if we apply some state of the art image classification algorithms then perhaps we could make it into science.
Meanwhile, does anyone know of any other projects like this?
- Bryan Lewis Saunders – DRUGS (bryanlewissaunders.org)
- Interview with Bryan Lewis Saunders (dinosaurcity.org)
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