Dreamachine – see visions with your eyes closed
The Dreamachine, invented by a once unknown, and now legendary artist, writer, performer and all-round provocateur named Brion Gysin and a mathematician called Ian Sommerville, will make you see visions with your eyes closed. It can cause hallucinations that can disappear in literally a blink of an eye – all you need to do is open your eyes! It’s an amazing story – and we have a great documentary about it for you at the bottom.
“This frequency range corresponds to alpha waves, electrical oscillations normally present in the human brain while relaxing.”
Dreamachine – how its made
The Dreamachine was originally made of a cylinder with slits cut in the sides, placed on a record turntable and rotated at 78 or 45 revolutions per minute, and a light bulb placed in the middle of the cylinder. When the machine is rotating, it’s brightness would spread through the holes at a constant frequency of between 8 and 13 pulses per second. This frequency range corresponds to alpha waves, electrical oscillations normally present in the human brain while relaxing.
What you can see with your eyes closed?
Photo by Naho Kubota
Lightning impulses stimulate the optic nerve and thus alters the brain’s electrical oscillations. The experience may be different, but what you see with your eyes closed is increasingly bright, complex patterns of colour, shapes and symbols, swirling around, until the user feels surrounded by colors. It is claimed that by using a Dreamachine one may enter a hypnagogic state (The state between wakefulness and sleep).
Sometimes the experience can be very uncomfortable, but all you have to do is to open your eyes and it’s over. Take note that the Dreamachine may be dangerous for persons with photosensitive epilepsy or other nervous disorders.
Watch this fascinating documentary film directed by Nic Sheehan about the Dreamachine: