Altered States

I translated Altered States for Hatje Cantz

“The categorization of substances as luxury items, drugs, pharmaceuticals, hormones, or doping agents says a lot about our society and the ways it is controlled. A look at history shows that the social significance of a substance can alter: before the twentieth century many psychoactive substances were not regarded as dangerously addictive, but as a means to obtain pleasure or healing.

This volume presents the works of contemporary visual artists who have approached the theme via photography, video, sculpture, installation, and performance. They question society‚Äôs view of substances and the ways that they are dealt with, from their effects and potential to the relationship between individual freedom and collective responsibility, as well as the factors linking the distribution of substances, economic interests, black markets, and subcultures. The artists themselves discuss the topic in a variety of interviews.”