Swiss Psychotropic Gold by knowbotiq


Swiss Psychotropic Gold presents:

“Activate your Gold – Psychotropic Gold-Refiner”

The colonial and later the postcolonial, neoliberal entanglements of Switzerland’s commodity trade go back more than three hundred years. The Swiss myth of neutrality disguised the business with raw materials as discrete forms of technocracy, security, philanthropy and white hegemony.

Once mined, gold goes through a repetitive cycle of purification, processing, melting and refining. It lends itself as the perfect metaphor for all kinds of erasure of traces, anonymisation and colonial amnesia. The shiny metal breaks down, into the molecular, the narratives of violence, exploitation, violation of black bodies, enrichment and indebtedness. Gold, God’s Money, becomes affective excitation, a stabiliser and tranquiliser, a golden needle.

In this work, knowbotiq intend to make tangible the specific form of psychotropic gold refinement. To this end, a “psychotropic gold-refiner” is being installed in a public space, in front of the mosaics by Walter Eglin that decorate the Kollegienhaus of the University of Basel.

The refiner consists of several refining processes:

  • Acupuncture for the public with golden needles for the activation of the olfactory sense, enabling the client to smell ubiquitous gold across the cityAcupuncture for the public with golden needles for the activation of the olfactory sense, enabling the client to smell ubiquitous gold across the city
  • Meditation on “mundane” gold
  • Vaporisation of golden Viagra into the Swiss ether

Call for Gold: Activate your gold!

Prior to the installation, a video call will be broadcast across various media channels, inviting the Basler public to show their private gold reserves in public, to activate them and to cleanse them psychotropically. People should bring personal gold objects (jewellery, small gold bars) to the psychotropic refiner, which will be safeguarded by security personnel on the 29th and 30th of June.

Psychotropic Gold