Go on, consume!



mckenna in converstion

Excerpts recalled from a conversation between artist, Rod Dickinson and author and ethno botanist Terence Mckenna, which took place at "The Incident', a symposium on art and phenomena, held in Fribourg, Switzerland, June '95:
Terence McKenna: So Rod when did you first start making (crop) circles.
Rod Dickinson: At the end of '91. I made the first one out of curiosity, to see if it could be done, and to see if anyone would be convinced by it. About ten days before I'd taken a photo of a white disc like object over a circle- so I was a total believer-That first circle was a kind of conversion for me.
TM: Pretty soon after the pictograms started appearing I thought the whole thing was malarkey. I had this idea that the phenomenon was a government sponsored project to discredit all the New Agers who hang around the formations. Luring them all out on a limb with wilder and wilder statements about Gaian messages and the earth crying and so forth. Then when every nut in England has signed on, I imagined MI5 would bring on their jumpsuited crop circle team and say you people are gullible idiots, you should all find honest work because your level of credibility is now zero.
RD: In fact the whole phenomenon is more like a large collective work of art, involving circlemakers, investigators, the media and just about anybody who comes into contact with the circles. It's kind of mind virus- once you get involved you can't get out.
TM: Absolutely. All these phenomena; UFOs, Crop circles even the cattle mutilation in the states, are all artifice in one form or another. All this stuff, these are fluctuations in the syntactical machinery of reality. The main thing to understand is that we are imprisoned in some kind of work of art.
RD: Yeah, the paranormal is littered with artifice, but once you realise all these artifacts; crop circles, UFO photographs, whatever, entail an enormous amount of creative endeavour it becomes impossible to dismiss them as fakes or hoaxes. It's a perfect place for an artist to operate - I've centred my art practice on creating or interacting with these various phenomena and their attendant belief systems.
TM: But the question still remains; are there UFOs , Flying saucers, nuts and bolts craft, coming down, abducting hapless victims and interfering with their genitals? I say not - but there is a tradition in all times and places, of social commerce between human beings and various types of discarnate entities, or non human intelligences. This could have been as simple as the Celtic farmer's wife leaving out a pitcher of milk for faery folk, or it could take a more elaborate form, but whatever form it takes this commerce is expressive of a very fundamental belief system that seems to be inherent in the human condition.
RD: It's something that has occupied artists for centuries, from Blake right through to surrealism- even early modernists like Kandinsky were influenced by occult beliefs. But as an artist practising now I feel it's less important for me to establish what kind of reality all these phenomena exist in. In many ways the possibilty that much of this material has been fabricated by very human hands presents me with more opportunities. The fact is, that each and every phenomenon we're discussing exists in some way, at the very least in a cultural space.
TM: Listen I have no doubt that there are entities out there - I've met them, all you have to do is take DMT (Di Methyl Tryptamine). Fifteen minutes that's all it takes, give me fifteen minutes of your life and I'll give you a 20% chance of meeting Alien life forms. Forget all that horseshit about UFO researchers, hypnosis and abductions. I wouldn't trust a UFO researcher with my chickens. Just give me fifteen minutes of your life...

PERPETRATORSMcKenna in Conversation