Episode 23 – The Institute of Illegal Images

In conversation with Mark McCloud, acid blotter art historian and 60s archivist in his home in the Mission district of San Francisco, August 2009. In which experiential podcaster Rak Razam learns from the master about the colorful and mind-expanding history of blotter art, from the early acid chemist outfits like the "Ghost" and the underground crews that ran the business of enlightenment. Discover who first put artwork on blotter and how the process of dipping the chemical on the artwork evolved.

Acid was originally dipped on string, sugar cubes-even underwear, in the case of Michael Hollingshead (who wrote the book The Man Who Turned On the World) before blotter paper was hit on as a mode of transportation. And then the artform really took off, originally with the chemists themselves choosing the art that would grace the minds of a generation of trippers. But how does the art influence the trip? Did trips like the "Gorbies" with Mikail Gorbachov heads help tumble the Berlin Wall? Why did the infamous Mickey Mouse Sorceror's Apprentice tabs terrify the Disney corp? Like the host in the Catholic mass, is blotter art a holy art form? An illuminating interview into the world's first edible art...

This talk was transcribed and printed in part in Juxtapose magazine online.

Originally aired on: Jan 24, 2010