Time Your Drugs is a combined album & zine self-published by Ojalá, a Tucson youth art collective. The musical element is written, recorded & composed by PSYPIRITUAL (pron. “spiritual”), a resident of Tucson’s Barrio Hollywood. The album details PSYPIRITUAL’s experiences: adolescence in a working class Mexican-American community, explorative, self medicative & ritualistic use of entheogenic substances, living in a society that dehumanizes migrants, People of Color & poor folks. This dehumanization occurs through the residual effects of European colonization, the War on Drugs, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, the militarization of law enforcement (both police & Border Patrol) & the continuous erasure of Indigenous cultures. PSYPIRITUAL delves deep into the subconscious, internal and spiritual undercurrents of these issues.
Your donations to our project can help us to surpass the limits of our financial means and overcome the systemic barriers which perpetuate our narratives’ exclusion from art spaces. By investing in our vision, you can aid and support us in our journey as artists, youth, and change makers.
For us, as youth of the streets, dark magick has always been a part of life; living in a city shaped by our proximity to the border means human and narcotic trafficking, money laundering, violent policing, and many more invocations of death, have always been elements of our reality. This project is the manifestation of our hope for understanding and healing from our circumstances.
This project is an assessment of our spiritual journey through these politics. We constantly struggle with actualizing ourselves in such a hostile environment and art making is an integral part our healing: it’s a form of therapy. Experiencing addiction, death, poverty, incarceration, and deportation in our immediate surroundings has traumatized us, shaping our respective experiences of childhood. As young people, we necessarily undergo the process of understanding our role in our families, our spiritual traditions, our communities, and our society as a greater whole.
We happen to be undergoing that significant period of growth while inextricably tied to the underworld. Our communities are deeply connected and supported by criminal systems, as is necessitated by a society driven by capital solely; the has deep detriment on the health of our families introduces trauma at every level of life. Unfortunately, our schools and institutions offer little to no healing opportunities. There often seem to be no options, no hope. Despite the struggles we experience, we are working diligently to understand and transcend our circumstances without rejecting or ignoring them.
For us, the process of healing happens through creation of artwork about spiritual evolution, magick processes, ritual experience, entheogens, love and the cultivation of profound relationships with one another. The zine component of the project is both an explanation and exploration of the album’s themes. PSYPIRITUAL will break down lyrics from the album with personal handwritten notes, and Mylkweed is working on creating a series of sixteen individual illustrations which employ universal cultural imagery to craft allegories for his experiences with drug use, magick, addiction and transcendent healing. The illustrations will reference alchemical woodcuts as well as the allegorical prints of Western esoteric practice, and other iconographic traditions. Mylkweed is researching and exploring the use of specific images in relation to intoxicants, entheogens, ritual medicinal practice, and traditional transfer of knowledge through coded imagery. In this way we are using the zine to parallel the album and the trajectory of hip hop as a whole; important, nuanced and complex knowledge is often easier to digest when transferred through coded allegories.
The zine and the album are about coming to terms with oneself, whether that be with suicidal episodes, addiction, constant paranoia or embraced neurodivergence; listening to the same loop over & over and creating/expecting a new feeling out of it every time; letting fear fuel ambition & insecurities. For PSYPIRITUAL, it’s about self acceptance no matter how angry or unsatisfied we may be.
For Ojala, our artwork is an outlet for our reality; we make work about our trials and tribulations in hope that we may be able to share what we have learned from them. We want to delve into what has guided us through this complicated and difficult relationship with a world which has consistently tried to eradicate any sign of hope. In order to share the final product, we need financial support. We are asking for a total of $2,500 to cover the costs of the producing the zine and the album.
The zine will be risograph printed, a process which essentially boils down to mechanized screen printing. It’s an esoteric printing method, used mostly for art books because it produces beautiful and interesting tactile prints; unfortunately this also means it’s costly to run. The proceeds will be utilized for printing costs, as well as paper, binding thread and any other materials. Our recording equipment is fairly ramshackle and DIY, and much of it is damaged by rain, time, and heat. We’ve been unable to afford replacements and adequate equipment, the proceeds will also be used to secure the few remaining pieces we need to produce a refined album. As young artists, none of whom have college degrees, we face income adversity and systematic subjugation to poverty. We work full-time on artmaking and community organizing in order to pay our full attention to creating greater change in our city and beyond. Your investment in our vision can help us actualize that change, and survive the circumstances of capitalism in the meantime.
Risks and challenges
The single greatest challenge we may face in the process of production is equipment damage. We're low income artists, and as such we face the risks of not having an economic safety net; if the equipment we use on a daily basis to produce our artwork is damaged, malfunctions, is stolen or otherwise becomes unusable there is a high likelihood that we would be economically unable to replace it. The primary equipment concern is the risograph printer, which Mylkweed purchased out of pocket with a years worth of saved tips. He has been able to learn and perform most maintenance and repairs to keep costs low, but if the printer were to become unusable, we would have to find an alternate print method for the zine, risograph printed rewards, and the album cover. Of course, if we exceed our goal, the likelihood that we would be able to afford repair increases.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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