Chamber for Endogenous DMT (Collapsing the Wave Function)

Chamber for Endogenous DMT (Collapsing the Wave Function)
Haroon Mirza/hrm199, Chamber for Endogenous DMT (Collapsing the Wave Function), 2017 Photo: Tim Bowditch


This new commission is designed for individual visitors to spend time inside a light-locked anechoic chamber and investigate the human potential for hallucination.

The work attempts to examine two ideas: that consciousness can control matter, and that matter can control consciousness.

To test the first, Mirza has installed a laser projecting through a slotted lens onto a small screen. Simulating a double-slit experiment, it asks if we can, through observation, consciously influence the behaviour of light, which can act as both a wave and a particle. The laser beam has the potential to appear on the screen as an interference pattern (wave form) or straight lines (photons).

We know that matter can affect consciousness, as mind-altering substances have been used throughout human history. One such substance – Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) – occurs naturally in plants and mammals, and has also been observed in the human body, but its source has never identified. Theories of its release from the lungs or the brain during near death experiences are, here, put to the test. Can complete sensory deprivation mimic such an experience and trigger DMT release in the body?

The artist, in partnership with researchers from Greenwich University and Imperial College, invites visitors to participate in a unique study. To book an extended time slot for personal use of the artwork please visit our Eventbrite page here.

Courtesy hrm199 and Lisson Gallery. Produced and commissioned by Zabludowicz Collection, supported by iKoustic.