Dreamachine A Trippy New Artwork Experienced With Your Eyes Closed
Art2 Minutes Read

Dreamachine A Trippy New Artwork Experienced With Your Eyes Closed

March 12, 2022 Share

Part toxin-free psychedelic journey, part mass mindfulness experience, dream machine is an immersive installation promising a moving spectacle.

An increasing amount of scientific evidence proves art enhances brain function. It impacts brain wave patterns and emotions, the nervous system and raises serotonin levels. 

Art can change a person’s outlook and the way they experience the world.

Now launching in May 2022, London, Dreamachine is a new immersive experience created by Collective Act that brings together artists Assemble and composer Jon Hopkins. 

The project was inspired by the work of artist, writer and inventor Brion Gysin and is the brainchild of participatory art specialist Jennifer Crook, who has worked with Olafur Eliasson, Christo, Danny Boyle and Jeremy Deller, amongst others.

Brion Gysin with his Dream Machine. Credit: Harold Chapman / TopFoto

It’s designed as the first art experience to be consumed in the brain of the beholder.

Dreamachine stands out from other experiential, immersive art environments for its collaborative creators. It will not be ‘Instagram-able’. This is because Dreamachine is the hallucinatory spectacle that only occurs in your head.

The origin goes that in 1958, Gysin was dozing at the back of a bus, being driven along a tree-lined stretch of the French countryside. That flickering forest light seems to have set off explosions in Gysin’s brain, crashing waves of intense colours and shifting geometry.

Gysin returned home discovered that what he had experienced was not supernatural or psychosis but a recently categorised neurological response to the flickering light of a particular frequency – known as induced visual hallucinations. 

American poet, writer and painter Brion Gysin and his Dream Machine. Brion Gysin is on the left. William Burroughs is on the right. c. 1970, London. Credit: Charles Gatewood / TopFoto

He was determined to create a small-scale device that could recreate the effect, what he called the ‘first artwork to be experienced with your eyes closed. He succeeded using a turntable, a lightbulb, and a carefully slotted cylinder. 

Gysin hoped his device would eventually replace the TV in every American home.

Years later, and even though his dream of replacing the TV didn’t come true, it is still being appreciated in one way or another.

Inspired by a device created in the 1950s, the creators hope to bring free transcendental experiences to 100,000 Britons – and unite the country through communal hallucinations.

Dreamachine will be coming to London very soon!

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Author: Michelle Laver
Brion Gysin
Eyes Closed
Jon Hopkins
William /burroughs