French artist Marcel Duchamp once scorned the painters of his time as “intoxicated by turpentine,” mocking their outdated adherence to the medium. The artists of the Prehistoric era, it turns out, may have had a similar problem. A new study found that history’s earliest painters created their works on the innermost walls of deep, dark caves that required lighting by fire, deliberately reducing their oxygen levels to induce “altered states of consciousness.”
The paper was published by researchers at Tel Aviv University in Time and Mind: The Journal of Archaeology, Consciousness and Culture. They focused primarily on caves in Spain and France from the Upper Paleolithic period (between 40,000 and 14,000 years ago) to investigate why humans sought to decorate their most cavernous spots.
By simulating the effect of torches on oxygen concentrations in comparable settings, the authors found that oxygen levels decreased to a state of hypoxia — a condition that boosts the release of dopamine in the brain, potentially resulting in hallucinations and out-of-body experiences.
“Entering these deep, dark environments was a conscious choice, motivated by an understanding of the transformative nature of an underground, oxygen-depleted space,” the paper concludes.
Hey, whatever works to get those creative juices flowing, right?
Some museums are opting for new language to describe the preserved individuals in their collections who were once living humans.
Presented by Northwestern’s Block Museum and McCormick School of Engineering, this new exhibition seeks empathy at the boundaries of life. On view in Evanston, Illinois.
Located in Des Moines, Iowa, this residency for emerging and established artists includes studio and living space, a $1,000 monthly stipend, and more.
As art history buffs on the app have pointed out, both movements attribute meaning to the meaningless.
Multiple posts about the film have been taken down on Twitter, many of them following the government’s removal requests.
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Fayneese Miller is under fire after the school failed to renew the contract of an adjunct who showed artworks depicting the Muslim Prophet Muhammad.
Fully-funded teaching assistantships are standard for MFA students at the top-ranked, flagship research university in the state of New York.
Hundreds of visitors were evacuated from the Incan site over the weekend.
The artist’s works resonate in West Texas, where the story of dehumanized and exploited migrant laborers is tangible and ever-present.
A posthumous show of Price’s work is curated by James Hart of Phil Space, the self-proclaimed “gallerist of death.”
She has raised generations of Bay Area artists and changed the local landscape with her public artworks, colleagues tell Hyperallergic.