Vibrating Boundaries: Psychedelic Aesthetics in the Post-War Age, 1966-1970


Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellowships in American Art


Art History


This dissertation examines the graphic representation of psychedelia in the United States during the 1960s. Arising from the counterculture scene of San Francisco, California, local artists utilized the medium of lithography to experiment with print’s somatic potential. This dissertation considers the ephemera of mid-century psychedelia alongside the built environment of the city and its history to identify the distinct and insular qualities of the Bay Area. Four thematic chapters—on experiment, experience, appropriation, and selling out— employ a phenomenological approach, applying multi-sensorial aesthetics to ephemera with the goal of expanding existing understanding of participatory artwork while recovering psychedelia’s foundation within the realm of protest art and revolution.