A surge of interest in psychedelic research has caught mainstream attention in the last years. Scientists and therapists have been studying the therapeutic effects for people suffering with PTSD, depression and terminal illnesses. Popularly, psychedelics are seen as a “short-cut to enlightenment”, but what does it mean to incorporate such insights into daily life?

This evening presentation will consider what a culture that integrated such practices might look like, through the lens of two modalities—isolation tanks, and salvia divinorum—that are still legal in the US. The discussion will focus on how such experiences operate as tools, and consider the possibilities of larger societal change through different possible applications.

Twig Harper, psychonaut , musician, underground researcher and folk technologist, has operated and facilitated a public sensory deprivation tank in Baltimore since 2013, and has been researching and guiding people through the Salvia experience since 2009. His main interest has been in developing oral preparations to extend and transform the Salvia experience so that it doesn’t produce the terrifying effects of the more commonly known smoked experience. He has worked as a psycho-naught for Johns Hopkins psychedelic research program, and has been mapping the characteristics of the Salvia phenomenon and looking for ways to applying it in a therapeutic context.