Amphetamine and Queer Materiality in Andy Warhol’s Factory Films | Experimental Film and Queer Materiality (2024)

Experimental Film and Queer Materiality

Juan A. Suárez

Published:

2024

Online ISBN:

9780197567029

Print ISBN:

9780197566992

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Experimental Film and Queer Materiality

Juan A. Suárez

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Juan A. Suárez

Juan A. Suárez

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Pages

62–90

  • Published:

    May 2024

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Suárez, Juan A., 'Amphetamine and Queer Materiality in Andy Warhol’s Factory Films', Experimental Film and Queer Materiality (2024; online edn, Oxford Academic, 23 May 2024), https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780197566992.003.0003, accessed 9 July 2024.

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Abstract

This chapter studies the role of amphetamine in Warhol’s Factory films. Widely consumed in the postwar years, the drug propitiated an absorbing immersion into matter and materiality that Warhol’s films, and others made in their orbit, reflect. The chapter explores the social history of amphetamine, its reception in the art and literature of the time, the perceptual changes induced by the substance, the modes of eroticism and community it facilitated, and the ways in which it influenced the temporality and style of Warhol’s films. It shows that many of these films’ characteristics, from their length and their fascination with unscripted micro-events to their peculiar handling of light, masses, textures, bodies, and sound are indebted to what Warhol named “the amphetamine thing.” These material concerns disclose a queer materiality, opening up unsuspected vibrations in the physical–objectual horizon captured by the camera and channeling the peculiar sexuality—the queerness—of Warhol’s films.

Keywords: Andy Warhol, Warhol Factory, 1960s underground film, amphetamine, drug subcultures, noise, queer sexuality

Subject

Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

Collection: Oxford Scholarship Online

Experimental Film and Queer Materiality. Juan A. Suárez, Oxford University Press. © Oxford University Press 2024. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780197566992.003.0003

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