September 3, 2012

Marijuana (credit: Bryan Lewis Saunders)

“After experiencing drastic changes in my environment, I looked for other experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of the self. So I devised another experiment where everyday I took a different drug and drew myself under the influence.

“Within weeks I became lethargic and suffered mild brain damage. I am still conducting this experiment but over greater lapses of time.  I only take drugs that are given to me.”

— Bryan Lewis Saunders

Self-drawings under different drugs

Based on 2 true stories, the video was created with over 3,000 self-portraits. At times 29 images per second flash on the screen. Faster than can be physically perceived. As in the story, I used them so actual pieces of my life would once again flash before my eyes almost burning them, but not in an animated cartoon like way. Because the story takes place in Hell, I mostly selected self-portraits with flames and devil horns and the ones representing pain and general anxiety. I also used some of the illustrated moments from the times when the events occurred as well as a few drawn from memory. I don’t use cocaine. It is an ironic statement at the end used to convey the power of addiction. — Bryan Lewis Saunders

Viewer warnng: explicit language

Video for the title track of the LP, “Near Death Experience” on the French label Erratum. Vocals by Bryan Lewis Saunders. Music by Spastic Dementia. (All guitar sounds were made with Marcelo Aguirre’s mouth).