Andrés Gómez-Emilsson ../people/andrés-gómez-emilsson (Qualia Research

Jun 1, 2023

Check out the original contest announcement and rules here:

We strongly recommend viewing the content at its highest
resolution on a large screen size to perceive the effects in their


Judges: A panel made up of members of QRI’s
international phenomenologist network rated from 0 to 10 each piece
by these three criteria:

Effectiveness: Distinguishes between sober and
tripping people – is it just a little easier to see tripping but you can
kinda see it anyway? Or is it impossible to see sober and effortlessly
available above a certain dose?

Specificity: How specific and concrete the
information encoded is – think “how many bits per second can be
transmitted with this piece”.

Aesthetic Value: Does this look like an art piece?
Can it pass as a standard work of art at a festival that people would
enjoy whether tripping or not? Note: smaller contribution to overall

The scores were weighted by the level of experience of each
participant (based on a combination of self-report and group consensus).
And to get the final score, a weighted average of the three features was
taken, where “Effectiveness” was multiplied by 3, “Specificity” by 2,
and “Aesthetic Value” by 1. As with the Replications contest
submissions, the weighted average excluded the ratings of one of the
participants for pieces that they themselves submitted (so that nobody
would be evaluating their own submissions).

The main result of this exercise was that only three submissions
seemed to have any promising psychedelic cryptography effects. The three
pieces that win stood out head and shoulders (and trunk and even knees
and ankles) above the rest. It turns out that in order to decode these
pieces you do require a substantial level of tracers, so only members of
the committee who had a high enough level of visual effects were able to
see the encoded messages. Some of the members of the panel reported that
once you saw the messages during the state you could then also see them
sober as well by using the right attentional tricks. But at least
two members of the panel who reported seeing the messages while on
mushrooms or ayahuasca were unable to then see them sober after the fact
no matter how much they tried.

The three winners indeed are using the first classic PsyCrypto
“encoding method” described in “How
to secretly communicate with people on LSD
”. Namely, a method that
takes advantage of tracer
to “write out” images or text over time (see also the
fictional Rainbow
God Burning Man theme camp
where this idea is explored in the
context of festivals). That is, the fact that bright colors last longer
in your visual field while on psychedelics can be used to slowly
construct images in the visual field; sober individuals see lines and
squiggles since the features of the hidden message don’t linger long
enough for them to combine into a coherent message. All of the judges
were stunned by the fact that the pieces actually worked. It works!
PsyCrypto works!

At a theoretical level, this confirmation is significant because it
is the first clear demonstration of a real perceptual computational
advantage of psychedelic states of consciousness. We anticipate a rather
incredible wave of PsyCrypto emerging within a year or two at festivals,
and then in movies (even mainstream ones) within five years. It will
seep into the culture at large in time. Just remember… you saw it first
here! :-)

It is worth pointing out that there are possible alternative
PsyCrypto encoding methods, and that there are two ways of identifying
them. First, a strategy of casting a very wide net of possible stimuli
to experience on psychedelics and in that way arrive at patterns only
people can trip “from the bottom up” is promising. If this does work, it
then opens up new avenues for scientific research. Meaning that as we
find PsyCrypto encoding schemes we demonstrate undeniable computational
advantages for the psychedelic states of consciousness, which in turn is
significant for neuroscience and consciousness research. And second, new
advancements in neuroscience can be used “from the top down” to create
PsyCrypto encoding methods *from first principles*. Here, too, this will
be synergistic with consciousness research: as artists figure out how to
refine the techniques to make them work better, they will also be,
inadvertently, giving neuroscientists pointers for further promising

Without further ado…


Score: 87.3

Artist: Raimonds Jermaks (Symmetric Vision)

Title: Can You see us?

Description: “Just a video loop of a bunch of weird
wavy nooodles, nothing to see here, right?”

Encryption method: “I can’t linguistically describe
it because it’s a lot of trial and error, but so far, the message has
been decoded by a person who didn’t even know that there was supposed to
be a message on 150ug 1plsd. I believe that any psychedelic/dissociative
substance that causes heavy tracers could be helpful in decoding the
message. Also, a person needs to be trained to change their mode of
focus to see it. Once they see it, they can’t unsee it.”



One of the judges estimated that the “LSD-equivalent” threshold of
tracers needed for being able to easily decode this piece was
approximately 150μg, whereas another one estimated it at roughly 100μg.
What made this image stand out, and receive the first prize relative to
the other two, was how relatively easy it was to decode in the right
state of mind. In other words, this piece easily distinguishes people
who are sufficiently affected by psychedelics and those who simply
aren’t high enough. More so, it doesn’t require a lot of time,
dedication, or effort. The encoded information simply, allegedly, “pops
out” in the right state of consciousness

2nd Place

Score: 74.8

Artist: Raimonds Jermaks (Symmetric Vision)

Title: We Are Here. Lets talk

Description: “Short video loop containing a secret
message from outer space. Can you see it?”

Encryption method: “The message text is illuminated
in scanner fashion. The speed of sweep is dependent on the video frame
rate, so whenever a person is in an altered state and experiencing heavy
tracers they would see a clear message instead of one that’s broken
apart. Entire message can be seen clearly by using video editing
software and applying a tracer/echo effect and having 60 images in a
trail that each are 0.033 seconds after the previous. This process can
also be repeated with code.

The message can be seen in any altered state that induces heavy
visual tracers, like medium-high doses of the most popular psychedelics,
it also depends on a person at which doses they would start seeing heavy
tracers. If experiencing heavy tracers and still unable to see the
message, try looking at the center of a video and relaxing your eyes and
defocusing them.”



As with the submission that got the 1st prize, the same judges
estimated 150μg and 100μg of LSD, respectively, as the threshold needed
to easily decode the secret messages in this piece. That said, decoding
this piece turned out to be more difficult for the majority of the
judges, and it wasn’t as immediately readable as the first one. It takes
more time, effort, and dedication to put the message together in one’s
visual field than the first one.

People also commented on the aesthetic richness of this piece, which
gave it an extra boost.

3rd Place

Score: 73.9

Artist: Rūdolfs Balcers

Title: The Key

Description: “Artwork depicts the connection between
the subconscious and the universal energy. The key of everything is
defined by the observer of their own mind.”

Encryption method: “Images edited in a way where
only one going through a psychedelic experience and seeing large amounts
of tracers would see the encrypted message fully. Based on”How To
Secretly Communicate With People On LSD” first example of tracer-based
encrypted message. I believe that DMT or 150-200ug of LSD or any
substance delivering the tracer visual effect could be used to decode
the artwork.”

Website: https//


The judges who were able to see the message in this piece had very
different opinions on how intense the effects of psychedelics needed to
be in order to easily decode the information hidden in it. One of the
judges said that in order to read this easily with ayahuasca you would
need the dose equivalent to approximately 40mg of vaporized DMT (i.e. a
really strong, breakthrough-level, trip). This seems to be in stark
contrast with the opinion of another judge, who estimated that the
average person would need as little as 75ug of LSD to decode it.

The judges speculated that seeing the hidden information in this
piece was easier to do on DMT than other psychedelics like mushrooms
(for intensity-adjusted levels of alteration). When asked why they
thought this was the case, it was speculated that this difference was
likely due to the crispness and characteristic spatiotemporal
frequencies of DMT relative to mushrooms. DMT simply produces more
detailed and high-resolution tracers, which seem to be useful properties
for decoding this piece in particular.

Alternatively, one of the judges proposed that, on the one hand, the
effects of mushrooms on the visual field seem to be less dependent on
the color palette of the stimuli. Therefore, whether the PsyCrypto uses
colors or not doesn’t matter very much if one is using mushrooms. DMT,
on the other hand, makes subtle differences in colors look larger, as if
the effects were to “expand the color gamut” and amplify the perception
of subtle gradients of hues (cf. color
), which in this case is beneficial to decode the
“psycrypted” information.

Additionally, all of the judges agreed that this piece had very
significant aesthetic value. It looks extremely HD and harmonious in
such states of consciousness, which is a significant boost and perhaps
even a Psychedelic Cryptography of its own (meaning that the increase in
aesthetic value in such states is sufficiently surprising that it’s a
packet of information all by itself).

Despite the very high aesthetic value of this piece and that it did
work as a PsyCrypto tool, the reason it got the third place was that (a)
it is still difficult to decode on psychedelics, and (b) that it is not
impossible to decode sober. In other words, it is less secure and
discriminating than the other two, and therefore not as good as the
others in terms of its PsyCrypto properties. It is, however, still very
impressive and effective in absolute terms.

Congratulations to the winners and to all of the participants! We
look forward to seeing secret messages at PsyTrance festivals and
Psychedelic Conferences inspired by this work from now on ;-)

Infinite bliss!

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