The Art of Contemporary Psychedelia
Apr 26, 2021 | Shankra Culture

When we analyze the influence of psychedelia on culture, we usually begin our research with the 60s counter-culture and pacifist movements in North America. The explosion of psychedelic sounds in music and trippy shapes in art followed the spread of ancient rituals and practices, such as yoga and meditation. It could be said that psychedelia originated from a contemporary interpretation of ancient traditions, mixing innovative aesthetics with references from the tribal culture, giving voice to the restlessness of a generation.

In the 80s and 90s, psychedelia rose back with a new twist: the rave culture spread around Europe and with it, the new generation of free thinkers and rebels looked for new ways to express the idea of freedom, identity and alternative ways of living. Sounds became hypnotizing, deep and fast, resonating in abandoned places and temporary autonomous zones.

Values of freedom, self-determination and community have always been the basis of psychedelic culture: by promoting these values, it is possible to build an opposition to contemporary society, which has been pushing for individualism, conformism and standardization for the past decades.

Contemporary psychedelia could be described as an heterogeneous mix of 60s aesthetics and tribal inspirations (interpreted through the recent technologies), sounds and structures from the rave culture, with new revolutionary aspect: the global nature of the new psychedelic wave. Inspirations and experimentations from artists, musicians and thinkers from around the world can now meet and be discovered by everyone. Virtual streaming services such as Youtube allow musicians to present their music, while yoga teachers and meditation experts have virtual lessons and conferences. We can enjoy a live set directly from Brazil, after attending a conference on collective consciousness from India.

This mutual exchange of ideas allows the contemporary psychedelic culture to be extremely diverse, reaching people from different backgrounds and cultures, covering a broad spectrum of musical and artistic tastes. We can dance side by side with our friends traveling from afar, sharing opinions about music we listened and art we enjoyed. We can follow events that are happening on the other side of the world and participate to workshops virtually.

Contemporary psychedelic culture has the chance to spread its core values like in no other generation in history. Let’s keep sharing words, ideas and sounds of freedom, love, kindness and innovation!

The world awaits.

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