The New Psychedelica

Curated by Francesca Gavin and featuring CSM graduate Ben Sansbury, MU’s new expo in Eindhoven examines a generation affected by technological psychedelica

Ben Sansbury installation, photograph courtesy of
Ben Sansbury installation, photograph courtesy of MU Eindhoven

As we plug into our online lives, entering the trippy world of Psychedelics has fast become the norm. Faced with a bombardment of images stored in waves of tabs and windows across the vast abyss of the world wide web, this new portal - a melting pot of imagery - has changed, (and is changing), our identity beyond comprehension. Curated by Dazed's visual editor Francesca Gavin, The New Psychedelica exhibition at the MU gallery in Eindhoven invites 15 artists to translate this new relationship with the Internet through a series of sculptures and installations.

Amongst these artists, Central St Martins graduate Ben Sansbury, (whose work focuses on the tradition of myth, tribes and old alchemic oddities), explores the totemic and tribal aspects of the psychedelic through an examination of fluctuating human structures. The British artist's own body features at the centre of the video installation, using holographic panels to generate ghostly 3D projections; highlighting our simultaneous progress and entrapment through technology, experienced in Ben’s modern mapping of transient human identity. Dazed Digital talks to Ben Sansbury about the exhibition…

Dazed Digital: What draws you to the archaic themes in your work?
Ben Sansbury: The sense of history being a continuum, rather than 'now' being the apex or pinnacle of human knowledge - Nothing is better than before, nothing is worse than before. There is no past, present, future.

DD: What parallels did you find between your art and the modern New Psychedelica manifesto?
Ben Sansbury: My work deals with combining disparate elements, both physically and conceptually to create unexpected results.

DD: How did you become involved in The New Psychedelica exhibition?
Ben Sansbury: Francesca Gavin (Curator of New Psychedelica) invited me to participate in an exhibition several years ago so was aware of my work and more recently she liked the work I produced for my exhibition curated by PauL Pieroni at Space Gallery.

DD: How do you think the internet has affected art? Have these affects been good or bad?
Ben Sansbury: Both... positively via easier communication / distribution of ideas and imagery, negatively by not being able to replace the physical experience of looking at art that's produced to be looked at in its physical reality, the internet is great of Art produced to be looked at on screen... 

DD: How influential is art in the modern world, as opposed to the sacred and traditional tribal uses of imagery?
Ben Sansbury: Art has always and will always be an important part of any world. I believe cultures automatically and unconsciously update their aesthetics & ideas of what is sacred and traditional by jettisoning information that has become irrelevant and combining that which is still relevant with new influences.

DD: In what ways is art psychedelic for you?
Ben Sansbury: By offering the potential to contain and deliver an experience that is perhaps verbally or physically inexpressible.

The New Psychedelica, MU Gallery, Emmasingel 20, 5611 AZ Eindhoven, The Netherlands, until June 5, 2011

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