Chattering Mind

You’re going to love this: photographer Demetri Dimas Efthyvoulos spent most of the 1980s in Iquitos, Peru–along the Amazon River–and one day as he was printing a photo of foliage he’d taken on a boat trip down the Amazon’s banks, a voice inside his head told him to turn the photograph sideways. So he did.

What emerged from the green–with the river running up and down–looked amazing. What was it? A head, or an entity, or a deity? Already a student of the region’s ceremonial and “visionary” plants, this photographer’s perspective instantly changed forever.

“Through a relatively simple change in point of view, all kinds of allegorical images, mythological beings, and totemlike entities emerge before the observer’s eyes,” he writes in the latest issue of Shaman’s Drum magazine. Unfortunately, Efthyvoulos’s only book of these photos, published abroad, is no longer available on We must content ourselves with his website,which contains a gallery of mind-bending “sidesight” photographs. Efthyvoulos draws this life lesson from the whole experience:

“If you don’t like what you see happening in the world around you, use sidesight to see if you can find innovative ways of revisioning the world. If we wait for someone else to change the world, or if we content ourselves with dreaming of a paradise to come, we may find ourselves stuck in a virtual hell on earth.”

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