On the cassette box of Acidburn Flashback Tabu, curator Tony Vegas writes of ”aural and visual absorption. Transcendence. Revelation. Animation as drug,” and beckons the viewer to ”inhale the flaming toxins of graphic hallucinations…Tune in and turn on.” Vegas, who calls himself a prophet of animation and lives in a van scoured the land for animation that could produce psychedelic-mystical states in the suggestible beholder. Hopeful but skeptical, I arranged cushions and soft quilts on the carpet, lay down cozy, and poked the play button to view Vegas’ 60-minute compilation of 11 animated finds.
The first piece, Vincent Collins’ ”Life Is Flashing Before Your Eyes,” is a sweet, gentle introduction to the voyage with cheery pop images and mellow lyrics. A soft landing.
Then, whoosh! ”Ace of Light” floods the naked eyeballs with luminescence. Faces on screen blossom into floral abstractions. Animation means ”brought to life,” and believe me, that is what creator Dennis Pies performs here.
Next, ”Delivery Man,” by Emily Hubley, whirls Eye into a pleasantly jittered world of human hallucino-dramas. Taut, satirical, and beautifully rendered, this piece illustrates the stunning variety of these 11 brain-shots.
Acidburn presents individual animation styles, viewpoints, and images ranging from the lotus bloom to urban decay, the scary-bland eyes of TV addicts, ghoulish whiskey nightmares, and a soul-warming, patriotic-psychedelic tribute to America featuring animated baseballs and hot dogs. The technical rendering is consistently all-star, but of equal importance is the haunting human presence, the personal touch.
The films selected for this compilation are hallucinogenic — designed to submerge, overload, confuse. To produce altered states, hypnotic trance experiences. To submerge awareness. As you can see, it worked for me. A