Giulia Sibilla

"The LSD line"

Section MS1, Kamil Dalkir

Keywords: medical

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) was first synthetized by Dr. Hofmann in 1938, while investigating the chemical and pharmacological properties of ergot, a rye fungus, for Sandoz Laboratories in Switzerland. It was not until the Cold War that studies on LSD started and the CIA created MK-ULTRA, a major drug and mind control program. In the same years, different personalities and researchers such as Al Hubbard and Timothy Leary started examining and diffusing it. As much atomizing as it may be, the culture of drugs, especially during the Summer of Love, was bringing people together.

While in the 1960s LSD was part of a movement and defined an identity, at present it has made its return through the practice of microdosing, and its usage is mostly focused on medicinal and improving everyday life performances, in particular in the tech industry. Recent studies have shown that it makes the brain much more connected and flexible and this results in a mood elevation and therefore creativity.

The choice of a popular social media platform such as Instagram points to the links which, at present, connect the Silicon Valley industry with the use of microdosed LSD. The regulated structure of an Instagram page, based on parallel rows of three posts each, is exploited to build a flow diagram where remarkable events, projects and achievements pertaining to LSD history are interconnected through a sort of subway map, where lines represent the branched evolution of LSD history. Rather than exploring the content of the posts, the project focuses on their visual organization and on the building of the network, with its implicit chronological stratification in which older posts (in the lower part of the page) correspond to older facts and events.