His experimental homemade device used flickering light to create vivid illusions, kaleidoscopic patterns and explosions of colour in the mind of the viewer.
Designed to be the ‘first artwork to be experienced with your eyes closed’, Gysin had a pioneering vision for his invention to replace the television in every home in America. Instead of passive consumers of mass-produced media, viewers of his Dreamachine would create their own cinematic experiences.
Gysin died before his vision could be realised, but his idea to use technology to reconnect us with our inner lives remains just as radical, and relevant, today.
Over sixty years after its original invention, Dreamachine has been radically reimagined as a powerful new kind of collective experience.
Created by Collective Act, in collaboration with Turner Prize-winning artists Assemble, Grammy and Mercury nominated composer Jon Hopkins, and a team of leading technologists, scientists and philosophers, our programme invites you on a magical journey to explore the extraordinary potential of your mind.
Dreamachine engages millions of people around the world in a major interdisciplinary programme fusing world class artists with industry leading, scientific researchers. Read more about the story and the impact of our programme here.
Conjured entirely by light and music, the colourful world of the Dreamachine will unfold behind your closed eyes – created by your own brain and completely unique to you.
Children and young people across the UK are invited to explore the wonder of how they see and understand the world around them with our range of interactive resources.
Ground-breaking academic inquiry investigating the unique ways we experience the world around us and transforming our understanding of the human mind.
We create emotionally engaged, meaningful shared experiences that bring people together and transform the way we look at the world. We champion a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to producing new work, creating space for taking risks and the unexpected to bring ambitious ideas to life. We have a people focussed approach: our audiences and the artists that we work with are at the heart of all that we do.
Jennifer conceived the idea for Dreamachine and leads the vision, direction and management of the programme. She has previously led critically acclaimed public projects for festivals and arts organisations around the world, creating ambitious and award-winning interdisciplinary commissions with artists including Olafur Eliasson, Danny Boyle, Christo and Jeremy Deller.
Assemble is a Turner Prize winning interdisciplinary collective, working across architecture, design, and art. With a hands-on approach and focus on making, their diverse work transcends traditional boundaries between architectural, social, and artistic practice, both making things and making things happen.
Jon Hopkins is an award winning electronic artist, producer and composer whose solo and collaborative works, including deeply cerebral ambient techno recordings and immersive film scores, have received widespread acclaim as well as Grammy and Mercury Prize nominations.
Fiona Macpherson FRSE, MAE, is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow, and Director of the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience (CSPE). Her research concerns the philosophical nature of consciousness, perception, illusion, hallucination and imagination.
Dr David Schwartzman is a Senior Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Sussex Centre for Consciousness Science. He is a cognitive neuroscientist, whose research investigates the neural basis of altered states of consciousness.
Professor Anil Seth is a world-leading neuroscientist and public science communicator. He is Professor of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sussex and the author of Being You – A New Science of Consciousness – an instant Sunday Times Bestseller and Guardian Book of the Week.
Dev Joshi is an award-winning designer and technologist working across design, engineering, innovation and the arts. He was the technologist behind the Barbican’s sell-out Rain Room exhibition in 2012.
Holition is an award-winning digital innovation studio working as a synthesis of scientists, film-makers, artists, mathematicians, UX designers, technologists and other curious minds.
Christopher Shutt is a multi-award-winning freelance Sound Designer. Formerly Head of Sound at the Bristol Old Vic, the Royal Court, and the National Theatre, he is internationally renowned for creating worlds through sound that transport audiences.
A New Direction is an award-winning non-profit organisation working to enhance the capacity and agency of children and young people in London to own their creativity, shape culture, and achieve their creative potential.
The United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK) is a charity that raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work around the world and advocates for lasting change for children worldwide.
The British Science Association develops science engagement programmes for audiences underrepresented in, and underserved by, science.
"I felt like I was taking a deep dive into a beautiful part of my mind. It is comforting to know it is there."Audience participant in the Dreamachine, Cardiff
Best Innovation in Creative Arts
Immersive Environment Award
Exhibition Experience & Live Experience