The Office of Experiments - Truth Serum

For Truth Serum, The Office of Experiments, initiated by artist Neal White, follows research on serums used historically by official authorities in interrogation processes. The installation at FACT combines a concealed space and a series of video works that reflect on the aesthetics of terrorist messages, using a dark clown, a cipher for The Office of Experiments: the anonymous spokesman reflects on the possibility of carrying out mass self-experimentation with truth drugs as a form of self-defence. A temporary offsite intervention will offer visitors the possibility of becoming part of this action in a cultural experiment.

The effects of truth drugs were first examined in the 1920's, and heavily used by the CIA during the Cold War. The present artwork echoes the debate around art's freedom in the fear and increasing security regime that has emerged after 9/11, while drawing on the cultural history of so-called truth drugs and recent discussions about their use in the interrogation of suspected terrorists.

The Office of Experiments creates cultural experimentation and research with an interest in counter-cultural forms critiquing institutionalized systems.