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Psychedelic and Technics Image.jpg


Zheng Mahler

With contributions by Prof Gordon Mathews, Kat Lo, Royce Ng, Chantal Wong and Richard Whittle.

Pages - 76 pages

Dimensions - 21 x 15.5

Cover - Paperback

Binding - Staple Bound

Process - DigitalRisograph

Color - Color

Edition Size - 300

Year - 2019

Designed by Mildred Cheng

Published by Small Tune Press

A set of 4-booklets carefully printed in risograph with fluorescent pink and blue by Hong Kong risograph studio dotdotdot. In addition, the enclosed 4 sheets of non-acid active blotter cards collected in a plastic sleeve.

Over the course of four weeks from April to May 2018, I convened a reading group on the topic of ‘Psychedelics and Technics’ with anthropologist Professor Gordon Mathews. As the reading group progressed, we became conscious of a widening aporia at the heart of the project;  that reading in order to rationally understand an experience which deconstructs rational consciousness is an exercise in futility. Symbolic reasoning and language are fundamentally inadequate tools for understanding and articulating these psychological phenomena. Though my own subsequent experiments with psychedelic drugs were inevitably shaped by my new found knowledge, it seemed a probable though not sufficient explanation for my experiences. My body becomes liquid, a primordial slime, adorned with rows of black teeth seething behind moist lips, a screaming mouth becomes a vacant void, illuminated by the light from a thousand suns.  Terence McKenna postulated that the cosmology of psychedelic forms we experience are a collectively imagined universe that incrementally expands every time a psychonaut rhapsodizes on some novel chimera or phantasmagorical realm uncovered during a trip, by contributing to the assembled meme of what we anticipate the psychedelic experience to be. When McKenna spoke of ‘machine elves’ that telepathically communicated to him while on DMT, they are committed forthwith to the bestiary of fabulous hallucinations one might encounter in the minds of his acolytes. This book is intended to add a few more images and ideas to the readers psychedelic memory palace, to drop a pebble in an  ocean to watch the ripples radiate infinitely outwards.  


* * *

The reading groups participants consisted of local and international artists, students, academics, musicians, bankers, a yoga instructor and an asylum seeker; attracted either by their own experiences with psychedelics or by the fact that such a topic could be discussed in a semi-public forum in Hong Kong at all.  

The discussions we had over the course of those few weeks took an unexpectedly metaphysical turn, delving into speculative exchanges on the interconnections between psychedelics, consciousness, artificial intelligence and death.

Available from


Printed Matter, New York

The Book Society, Seoul

ACO Books, Hong Kong

Pon Ding, Taipei

Irregular Rhythm Asylum, Tokyo


Public discussion for 'Psychedelics and Technics' with Beatrix Pang, Mildred Cheng, Royce Ng and Gordon Mathews moderated by Hera Chan

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