In 1970, 27 year old artist, Amanda Feilding, filmed and directed a project titled “heartbeat in the brain”.
Feilding was an advocate for trepanning; an ancient practice which involved drilling or scraping a hole, usually into the skull, and exposing the thick membrane known as the Dura mater, to treat problems within the head.
It was thought relieve pressure and often times was performed on people suffering from epileptic seizures and mental illness, as well as people with intense migraines and other problems.
It was also believed that opening the skull could release demons and evil spirits as a literal medical exorcism.
In the film, Fielding, using a dentist’s drill, drills a hole into her own skull as a literal “opening of the mind”.
The artist had dabbled in other forms of mind expansion such as meditation and taking LSD, but this was the first time she had decided to physically ‘open her mind’.
Following the procedure, she claimed in a later interviewwith Vice magazine that she just wrapped her head, ate a steak to replace any lost iron and headed out to socialize as usual.
She claims that she did not experience any negative effects, however although possibly a placebic effect, she did note a drop in anxiety.