[Premiere] Digital Collages Reflect on the Aesthetic Pleasure of Psychiatry

Clip art and prescription pills flood Cecily Feitel’s issue of FELT Zine.
February 18, 2017, 1:15pm
Images courtesy of FELT Zine

Every Saturday, The Creators Project premieres a new issue from net art platform and artist collective, FELT Zine .

Splayed across a revolving backdrop of image thumbnails, net artist Cecily Feitel places her frenzied digital collages on the 21st issue of FELT Zine. Her compositions explore a number of contemporary subjects through an overlapping and oversaturated melange of iconography. Pill capsules, cigarettes, clipart, and corporate logos are superimposed over pictures the artists took of her hands and body for an ongoing project called Every Time I Medicate. Feitel's submission for this week's issue stands as an aesthetic study of psychiatry in all its controversy and contradiction. Feitel sees prescription drugs as an obvious and aesthetically pleasing metaphor for contemporary culture: "I think the media is a drug that our society lives within, a perfect example being our unfortunate president."

For psychiatric reasons, starting with an ADHD diagnosis, Feitel has been medicating since she was four or five years old. As she grew older, she started to self prescribe "chemical cocktails" to treat certain symptoms. "I became of a full blown pill head," Feitel tells Creators. "A quarter of American women are on some sort of psychotropic drug, and all the advertising is geared toward my demographic and it's engineered by the patriarchal western capitalist society I grew up in."

Health and self-care have always been confusing and challenging concepts for Feitel, because of what she describes as the paradox in which addiction is also the cure. Over time, she came to find the pills pretty, whether it was a combination of colors in a clear hospital dixie cup or the way medication would melt when she placed it on her tongue. As her addiction continued, she found it increasingly more difficult to remember how many pills she had already taken on any given day. She thought attempting to photograph every time she dosed herself would be a cool project, so she made a Tumblr page to document it. This week's issue of FELT is an offshoot of that project. Check out some more images from the issue below:

Check out the 21st Issue of FELT Zine here, and check out more of Cecily Feitel's work on Tumblr.

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