Storm Thorgerson – Drug-Taking and the Arts AKA The Art of Tripping (1993)

A 2-part programme exploring the history of drug use by creative artists, for the ‘Without Walls’ strand of Channel 4.

Presented by: Bernard Hill
Written by: David Gale
Produced by: Jon Blair
Directed by: Storm Thorgerson
Soundtrack by: David Gilmour

Bernard speaks with some of the very artists through the ages who used drugs:

Thomas de Quincey, Edgar Allen Poe, Théophile Gautier, Charles Baudelaire, Gérard de Nerval, Jean Cocteau, Robert Graves, Anais Nin, Andy Warhol, William Burroughs & Ken Kesey.

Many other living artists, historians and biographers offer their own analysis.

A comment by Storm Thorgerson:

Wondrous are the ways of Television. I wanted to make a film series about the physiology and psychology of certain extreme experiences like trances, falling in love, getting religion, taking LSD, isolation and so on, called The Science of Tripping. This was ‘accidently’ seen by the arts commissioner of Ch 4, Waldemar Januszczak, who said artists have experiences and take drugs don’t they? So lets do the Art of Tripping – an exploration of the interrelationship between the imaginative, artistic experience and the narcotic, pschedelic experience, the connection between artists and drugs. What could be more stimulating? David Gale composed an excellent script to my outline structure as a one hour documentary, which was changed at the last moment to a two parter, not that we were complaining. The end result was fine, or so we thought, and it was great to see it broadcast, actually on telly there in the living room, and it got good reviews, and Ch 4 were very complimentary.

700MB | 1 h 43 min | 512×384 | avi


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