IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival, November 2008


Between November 28th and 30th a live event was held at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art of Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France with a remaining exhibition that stayed in place until the 8th of March 2009 to celebrate Psychedelic Culture from the 60's, 80's and right up to the Modern Day.

It featured Bands, Artists, Light Shows, Cinema/Films and Art Installations.

Original Press Release:

Somewhere between installation, stage and sculpture, I∆O is an attempt to put on an
exhibition of the psychedelic experience.

Based on a new exploration of the cluster of artists active in France from the end of the 1960s onwards, a multi-disciplinary curatorial team, combines an outstanding corpus of archives, objects and works with a busy program including films, concerts, lightshow, exhibition.

Today, a new generation of artists is drawing from the springs of historical psychedelia and ushering in what has been called the third psychedelic revolution—the second one being the emergence of the electronic culture in the late 1980s.

As of now, I∆O represents the first light ever shed on psychedelia as understood from the french context and its many international ramifications. Based on the notion of experience – and experiment – I∆O proposes a three-month trip across the psychedelia of yesterday and today.

A three-day festival, bringing together some 30 bands and encompassing lightshow, screenings, readings and lectures, will open the event on November 28th 29th and 30th 2008 in the spectacular nave of the CAPC.

The term “psychedelic”, etymologically meaning “making clear, visible” or “freeing the
mind”, appeared in the United States in the late 1950s to describe the effect of altered perception produced by certain psychotropic substances—the opening of the doors of perception.

From consciousness-altering to consciousness-transforming, the term became widespread at the height of the revolts of the 1960s.

In every area of culture, many artists duly tried to reinstate the psychedelic experience in different ways. In recent years, many events have joined in the anglosaxon setting, but none has really shown any interest in the reality of this scene as witnessed from France.

As a result, I∆O, the name refers to the words of a song by the psychedelic rock band
Gong, bases its approach on this one-off experience, at the crossroads of music, writing, poetry, happenings, art, film and TV, graphics, design, comics, independent press, and fashion.

This methodology helps us, from an historical viewpoint, to reconfigure a network of historical relations within the art scene of the day, and, from a museum-based viewpoint, reconsider major experiences – and experiments – sometimes shunted to one side because they have left few material traces behind, as well as re-appraise a certain number of aesthetic projects regarded as part of the subculture.

It is mainly through the stage – perceived as a living arena –, the community, and the desire
for the total artwork, that the notion of consciousness-expansion was crystallized.

So it is easier to talk of psychedelic experience than of psychedelia in general: there is no psychedelic art, but psychedelic experiences.

Running counter to all notions of style, and well removed from Flower Power and the Summer of Love, psychedelia in France is an experience of limits and boundaries, multiple, heterogeneous and essentially experimental.

The installation of the exhibition in the CAPC’s naveis like the backbone of the project’s different parts:

within triangular stages, mandala eyes and a series of posters scattered on the floor, once again circulating the archives, the exhibition activates a set of traces: archival documents, posters, lightshow handmade creations (slides, moirés, …), objects, and artworks.

Far from being a backward-looking and/or nostalgic glance at the subject, the project regards this (hi)story as a reading schedule for today. At the hub of the show, a crowded program of events lets visitors experiment with the many ramifications of psychedelia.

The opening of I∆O coincides with a three-day festival, being put on the CAPC’s nave, with some 30 concerts by historical and contemporary music groups, with live lightshow visuals, mixing new collaborations, screenings of rare films and meetings.

Curators: Yann Chateigné, Axelle & Tiphanie Blanc
Installation: Lili Reynaud Dewar
Visual identity: Laurent Fétis

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival
IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival
IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

IAO: live ((( (( (∞) )) ))): Psychedel-yah Fest • 28/29/30.11.2008

Tim Blake (UK/Fr) + Turzi (Fr), Sonic Boom ex Spacemen 3 (UK) ,
Principles of Geometry (Fr),
Psychic Ills (USA), The Telescopes (UK),

Kevin Ayers (UK), Black liquid death (Fr), Daevid Allen's 7 Drones (Aus),
The Family Elan (UK), Steve Gunn (USA), Lichens (USA),

Ame Son (Fr), Crium Delirium (Fr), and many others…

3 days live lighshow: Francois Decourbe (Open Light), Robert Chouraqui (Androide Lightshow),

Doris Rutzel (Gong), assisted on some performances by Patrice Warrener (Open Light), Marc Blanc (Ame Son), Erik Patrix (Crium Delirium)

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Robert Chouraqui (Androide Lightshow)

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Francois Decourbe (Open Light)


From Robert Chouraqui (Androide Lightshow)


In mid 2008 my lightshow Androide was in hibernation since the 80s, I received a call from Axelle Blanc one of the curators for the Contempory Art Museum CAPC in Bordeaux (Fr) asking me if I could perform vintage type analog lightshow for a live 3 days festival, I immediately said YES!!

The museum was also preparing a 3 months exhibition on the « Psychedelic Explorations in France in the late 60s » and there were looking for lightshow «relics» (posters, slides, handmade media creations, ….).

I also answered that I had kept all the handmade media that we created in the 60s 70s and was very interested to propose a selection for the exhibition.

As all the french lightshows of the 60s were in the same hibernating state, many of their ex members having disapeared (physicaly or unreachable),

Axelle BLANC gathered together a new hybrid Androide/Open Light lightshow by associating me with two ex members of Open Light in order to get together a strong enough live lightshow to ensure the 3 days festival visuals, strong enough by our lightshow background, by our handmedia gathered materia and despite our all being in our 60s.

The backbone team for running the show and bringing/managing the projectors and the handmade media creations was – Francois Decourbe (Open Light) he brought 2 overheads projectors / two Aldis Tutor II + two Carousels backup projectors , he managed mainly the liquids on the heat slides and on the overhead – Robert Chouraqui (Androide Lightshow)

I brought 1 Aldis Tutor II /and 1 SFOM 250 for heat slides / 2 Sawyers 250 for non heat slides, I managed mainly mixing/flashing-alternating concrete slides/polarised slides/ moirés slides/painted slides that Androide had produced and used a lot.

We were helped for some performances by Doris Rutzel (Gong) who designed and performed large moirés for the overhead, and by Patrice Warrener (Open Light) who managed hand directed lasers created by him.

It was a splendid experience, collaboration, improvisation during these 3 days, despite not knowing one another before the festival and never having performed a lightshow together, my experience is that solid-on-their-creations artists have no bad placed ego and are very adaptative.

After this going out from the lightshow « hibernation dark age » I continue to do a lot of performances for Museums, bands, psych festivals, and DJ's and I began to use digital projectors but the same handmade « analog » creations.

I am still performing.

Robert Chouraqui - May 2021

Links to videos:

Androide Lightshow History 1968 to now

ARTE TV reportage at IAO Tim Blake/Turzi/lightshows

Kevin Ayers & Sonic Boom IAO with Androide - Open lightshow

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Androide Lightshow with Family Elan

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Androide Lightshow with Black Liquid Death

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Androide Lightshow

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Androide Lightshow Ambient Visuals

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Open Light with Ame Son

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Open Light with Crium Delirium

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Sonic Boom and Kevin Ayers (Open Light and Androide)

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Tim Blake (Open Light and Androide)

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Turzi (Open Light and Androide)

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Projector Rig

IAO Psychedelic Culture Festival

Projector Rig