J.P. ten Berge, PhD
Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam
Drugs in Art: Instant Inspiration or Placebo?
For some two centuries now, western culture caters to a widespread belief that drugs may provide artistic inspiration or stimulate creativity. When put to the test however, results have been amazingly contradictory, which may at least in part be ascribed to unfit research set-ups failing to integrate participants’ expectations. Analyzing both such (historical) researches and the history of art itself, it is suggested that manipulating set and setting may provide in a strong placebo-effect that can, indeed, be directed towards artistic creativity.
Jos ten Berge (1966) is an art historian and associate professor at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. His PhD dissertation (2004) was entitled “Drugs in de kunst: Van opium tot LSD, 1798-1968”. He has published repeatedly on this and related subjects.