FESTIVAL 2014: Invited Guests



Professor Emeritus, Art and Art History, Florida International University, is an art historian, anthropologist and ethno-botanist who specializes in the study of pre-Columbian cultures and artifacts. Recent publications include his third book, Anadenanthera: Visionary Plant of Ancient South America, Routledge, 2006 (with David Repke as second author); and the forthcoming chapter, «The Relationship between visionary plants and iconography in the art of Tiwanaku.» In Images in Action: Studies of the Southern Andean Iconographic Series, Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, Washington, D.C., and Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at the University of California, Los Angeles (2013).


Donna Torres received undergraduate and graduate degrees in painting and drawing from the University of New Mexico and Florida International University. She received training in Botanical Illustration at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden under the direction of Priscilla Fawcett. Her drawings and paintings reflect her interest in shamanism and medicinal plants. Donna is an adjunct professor of painting at Florida International University and art instructor at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami. Visit her website.


Jonathan Ott is an ethnobotanist, writer, translator, publisher, natural products chemist and botanical researcher in the area of entheogens and their cultural and historical uses, and helped coin the term «entheogen». Ott has written eight books, co-wrote five, and contributed to four others, and published many articles in the field of entheogens. He has collaborated with other researchers like Christian Rätsch, Jochen Gartz, and the late ethnomycologist R. Gordon Wasson. He translated Albert Hofmann’s 1979 book LSD: My Problem Child (LSD: Mein Sorgekind), and On Aztec Botanical Names by Blas Pablo Reko, into English. His articles have appeared in many publications, including The Entheogen Review, The Entheogen Law Reporter, the Journal of Cognitive Liberties, the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (AKA the Journal of Psychedelic Drugs), the MAPS Bulletin, Head, High Times, Curare, Eleusis, Integration, Lloydia, The Sacred Mushroom Seeker, and several Harvard Botanical Museum pamphlets. He is a co-editor of Eleusis: Journal of Psychoactive Plants & Compounds, along with Giorgio Samorini.


Anthropologist and M.A. in Methodology of Scientific Research. Researcher of CONICET and teacher in the Master in Cultural Diversity in Universidad de Tres de Febrero and also in the Master of Systemic Thought in the Universidad Nacional de Rosario. She is co-founder of the Foundation desdeAmerica. Her topics of interest cover a broad range of transdisciplinary fields; going from arts and indigenous thought, to symbolic languages, spirituality, changing of consciousness, holistic thought, and new paradigms. She has specialized in the study of Shamanism, Nowadays she coordinates groups of study and reflection of the changing paradigms, workshops of shamanism and transcultural symbolism. She has published numerous specialized articles. Among her books the highlights are El lenguaje de los Dioses (‘The language of the gods’), Arte chamanismo y cosmovisión indígena en Sud America (‘Art Chamanism and indigenous cosmovision in South America’), Del Reloj a la Flor de Loto (‘From the clock to the Lotus flower’) and Crisis contemporánea y cambio de paradigmas (‘Contemporary crisis and paradigms change.’)


Giorgio Samorini (born in 1957, in Bologna, Italy) is an ethnobotanist and psychedelics researcher. He has published many essays and monographs regarding the use of psychoactive compounds and sacred plants. He was a frequent contributor to, and sometime editor of Eleusis the Journal of Psychoactive Plants & Compounds. Among his topics of research he has studied the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms including its cultural context, effects and manifestation of its consumption in art representations. He had published numerous scientific articles and also many books, like Animals and Psychedelics: The Natural World and the Instinct to Alter Consciousness, Alucinogens and mith: the origins of psicoactive plants (Gli Allucinogeni Nel Mito. Racconti sull’origine delle piante psicoattive), Allucinogens fungies: an etnomicologist study (Funghi allucinogeni. Studi etnomicologici). Visit his website.