In 1993, a Toronto TV show called 24 : 48 aired a segment about the local rave scene, including a bit about the “trip-out man” (as I was often affectionately known) and his “mind machines.” I’ve included those 14 seconds of fame in this short montage of scenes from my travelling Hallucinatorium—a sort of retinal-circus sideshow where the spectacle took place in the viewer’s own head. A Canadian-made device called the DAVID Paradise (electronic descendent of the Gysin/Burroughs/Sommerville DreamMachine) has many therapeutic applications, but when programmed in a creative way it can also stimulate a psychedelic visual response in anyone who dons its patented Omniscreen goggles. The 4- to 5-minute pulsed-light “trips” I sequenced had names such as Turbulation, Tranceport X, and Velvet Airlines. It’s possible that in some cases—contrary to the manufacturer’s advice—the viewer’s faculties had been enhanced by chEmical assimilation.Whatever the case, judging by the reactions the Paradise and I got at strange all-night events in Toronto, Montreal, and Rochester, NY, more than few doors of perception were cleansed. In fact, I’d say some were blown right off their hinges!
As a neurotech monger, I did also provide therapeutic sessions using pulsed light-and-sound and cranial electrostimulation through my company Alter Sublime (the name of which was borrowed with permission from a book of the same title by Christopher Dewdney).
Steve Venright self-portrait (2003) via Kodak technologies with subsequent Deep Dream processing (2016). Audio sampled from a 1999 piece by James Blight called A Reverberatory Furnace (a soundscape and music project with text and voice by SV).
A Reminiscence on the Occasion of the Seventieth Birthday of the Author of A Trip Around Lake Ontario and Many Other Marvellous Travelogues, Memoirs, and Collections of Poetry.
Reading by Steve Venright in honour of David W. McFadden on the eve of what would have been his seventy-ninth birthday. Originally published in A Trip Around McFadden: A 70th-Birthday Festschrift, edited by Jim Smith and Stuart Ross (2010). Subsequently printed in The Least You Can Do Is Be Magnificent—a book of selected and new writings (compiled by Alessandro Porco) published by Anvil Press through Stuart Ross's "a Feed Dog book" imprint (2017).
Track from the album The Tubular West by Samuel Andreyev (Torpor Vigil Records 2013). Montage of altered details from a painting, depicting Durie Street in Toronto circa 1948, attributed to Doris Aishford. [Steve Venright, TVR, 2013 & 2018]