Helen Knowles - Artist Talk - Trust the Medicine

Events — RUS 203 (above Ruskin Gallery), ARU Cambridge, CB1 1PT & on Microsoft Teams
13 March 2024, 15:00

Join us for this talk about a new work called ‘Trust the Medicine’. A participatory artwork and 360 film developed in collaboration with design team, Metaobjects documents a staged psychedelic integration group, which is led by a real psychotherapist with real volunteers, and focuses on the phenomenon of encountering entities associated with psychedelic drugs. The work considers what is at stake when psychedelic intelligences look after human health. Can we go as far as to claim allyship with these entities, which constitute a form of more-than-human intelligence? Or is entity encounter just a projection of our internal dialogues? Can and how do these entities care for us?

Trust the Medicine is informed by an artist residency with the Psychoactive Trials Group at King's College London, who undertake controlled clinical trials with psychedelics and related compounds such as psilocybin, 5-MeO-DMT and MDMA. I attended the Maudsley Integration Groups (IG) held for patients and users of psychedelics to come to terms with their psychedelic experiences. Trust the Medicine was recently premiered at Science Gallery London. Audiences interacted with the artwork’s AI generated psychedelic entities as animated characters which featured in the 360 film. Conversations between the psychedelic entity and audiences were analysed using chat GPT and sentiment analysis. Data was gathered from these conversations and impacted in real time on the narrative and aesthetics of the ‘Trust the Medicine’ film.

Helen Knowles (b.1975) is an artist and curator of the Birth Rites Collection currently housed in the University of Kent. Recent and forthcoming shows include; Science Gallery, London, Hercules Road, London, Hyundai Motor Studio, Beijing (2023), Alberta University of the Arts, Leuphana University (2022), Hannover project, Kunstlerhaus Graz, Oil Tank Cultural Park, Seoul, (2021), arebyte Gallery, London, Ars Electronica (2020). The Mori Art Museum, Tokyo,'Artistic intelligence' Hannover Kunstverein (2019) ZKM, Karlsruhe, Zabludowicz Collection, London (2017). Her work is held in private and public collections worldwide. She won an honorary mention at Ars Electronica in 2020. She began her PhD studentship at Northumbria University in 2021, under the guidance of Christine Borland, Fiona Crisp and Tehseen Noorani. Her research entitled More‐Than‐Human Healthcare: A practice-based study of relationships, allyship and technical assemblages, where plant, psychedelic and artificial intelligence mutually tend to and sustain human health is ongoing.
www.helenknowles.com www.birthritescollection.org.uk

The talk is part of the Art & Care series, led by Dr Elena Cologni, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University (UK) and Dr Merel Visse, Drew University (US). This talk is also in collaboration with The Arts, Health and Wellbeing Research Network at Anglia Ruskin University

This event is free and all are welcome. Can't join us on campus? Join via Teams here.

People in a gallery with a projection.

For more information - please contact Elena Cologni: elena.cologni@aru.ac.uk