Truth Serum

A still fromTruth Serum, Office of Experiments, 2008, 2008
Office of Experiments, Truth Serum, 2008

Neal White's Truth Serum was an off-site participatory performance, linked to a gallery installation, exploring the pharmacology of truthfulness

The Office of Experiments' experiment in consensual self-experimentation in support of freedom from artistic censorship was conducted with volunteers in a secret venue in Liverpool on Saturday 29 March 2008. The project sought to highlight the case of artists such as Steve Kurtz and Critical Art Ensemble, and their persecution in the USA, which marks an ever-increasing creep of the security state into the nervous system of culture. A small number of volunteers took part in the experiment; They were asked to attend a venue in Liverpool at a specific time on the day.

The experiment was commissioned by The Arts Catalyst from Neal White of the Office of Experiments, as part of Sk-interfaces, an exhibition at FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology), Liverpool. Developed with Dr. Nicolas Langlitz from the Anthropology Research Collaboratory and Max-Planck Institute, Berlin, for the Office of Experiments.

Truth Serum was also shown in Sk-interfaces at the Casino Foundation for Contemporary Art, Luxembourg in September 2009.

The work features in  'The Body and Contemporary Art' by Sally O'Reilly for Thames and Hudson Twentieth Century Art Series.

An essay by Nicolas Langlitz 'The Office of Experiments' Truth Serum Threat: Notes on the Pharmacology of Truthfulness' accompanied the work.


For over 20 years, Neal White has critically explored art in relation to new ideas, forms and technologies. As part of numerous collaborative endeavours – he has been developing projects, research and artworks, publications, archives, fieldworks, critical excursions as bus tours and exhibitions with academics, architects and activists. His current work explores situated practices and knowledge - drawing together environmental and ecological matters of concern with marine biologists, ecologists, coders, architects and volunteers in Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island, Dorset for Arts Catalyst's Test Sites programme.


Link to artist's website:

Office of Experiments