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Dreamachine that creates ‘vivid illusions in the mind’ due to visit Cardiff

09 May 2022 3 minute read
Picture by the Dreamachine

A new immersive experience exploring the “extraordinary” potential of the human mind will visit Cardiff later this week.

Turner Prize winning art collective Assemble has co-designed the Dreamachine which uses flickering lights and sound to generate colourful patterns and visuals behind closed eyes.

Those taking part have described seeing patterns and shapes, cities and landscapes, or abstract waves of shifting colours.

The Dreamachine will be visiting the Temple of Peace from Thursday 12th May until Saturday 18th June.

The experience was inspired by artist-inventor Brion Gysin, whose homemade 1959 device was designed to be the “first artwork to be experienced with your eyes closed”.

He used flickering light to create vivid illusions, kaleidoscopic patterns and explosions of colour in the mind, and hoped his invention would replace the TV in homes across America as viewers created their own cinematic experiences.

More than 60 years after his original invention, Jennifer Crook, director of Collective Act, brought together Assemble, Hopkins, Tony award-winning sound designer Christopher Shutt and a team of scientists and philosophers to reimagine the Dreamachine as a new collective experience.

Ms Crook, who is overseeing the creative vision, direction and management of the project, said the Dreamachine “offers an insight into the everyday miracle of consciousness”.

She added: “Dreamachine will engage audiences across ages and cultures in a powerful and transformative collective experience.

“The rich kaleidoscopic world of the Dreamachine will come from within, providing a magical insight into the extraordinary potential of our own minds.

“Beyond the confines of screens or devices, our programme will creatively explore the most fundamental of human connections: how we perceive and make sense of the world around us.

“To explore one of the greatest remaining mysteries to humankind, all you need to do is to close your eyes.”

‘Incredibly immersive’

Assemble, which won the 31st Turner Prize for its socially engaging and politically relevant art, has designed the space where audiences will sit and share the multisensory experience.

Assemble said: “The Dreamachine experience is unique in that it is highly personal and yet experienced in a group setting.

“It is not very often that people will come to a public setting and have such a deeply personal moment that is shared with strangers.”

Hopkins said composing a score for the experience was like “creating a kind of sonic palace”.

He added: “I’ve always been fascinated by the relationship between music and consciousness, and its ability to unlock the infinitely rich imagery that we hold in our subconscious.

“Dreamachine is also an incredible immersive audio experience – with an of array of 86 speakers to play with, I was able to compose in a whole new way, moving sounds around within a true 3D space.”

Tickets can be booked here.

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
2 years ago

Or you could buy some LSD.

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