Fantasy + Ecstasy
Sarah Schönfeld was working at a Berlin nightclub when she decided to try to find out what the various drugs people were ingesting look like. Much like the apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head, perhaps the story of Schönfeld observing an obnoxious MDMA user will someday become one of the formative myths of scientific inquiry… but somehow, I doubt it. And yet it’s awfully apt.
Schönfeld converted her art studio into a lab, and exposed various drug mixtures in liquid form to film negatives and documented the results. The photographs have been collected in a book called All You Can Feel (Kerber Press), which will be available in late August.
The results mostly conform to general predictions—the only thing missing from the LSD visualization are trails. “Fantasy + Ecstasy” looks like a road map of a fucked-up island kingdom, and cocaine supplies a blue bursting-at-the-seams effect. Others are more surprising. Pharmaceutical speed looks like a Mandelbrot pattern, which kinda makes sense. Meanwhile, adrenaline, perversely, has a sluggish feel. And do my eyes deceive me or does the crystal meth photo feature a small chunk of Walter White’s “Crystal Blue Persuasion” in what appears to be a dystopian snow globe?