A unique immersive
experience

All you have to do is close your eyes

Dreamachine is a powerful new kind of collective experience exploring the limitless potential of the human mind, inspired by artist Brion Gysin’s pioneering 1959 invention.

Created by Collective Act in collaboration with Turner Prize-winning artists Assemble, Grammy- and Mercury-nominated composer Jon Hopkins, leading technologists, and a team of pioneering scientists and philosophers from the University of Glasgow and University of Sussex.

About Dreamachine

Dreamachine is inspired by an extraordinary but little-known 1959 invention by artist–inventor Brion Gysin. This 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 TV in every home in America. Instead of passive consumers of mass-produced media, viewers of the Dreamachine would create their own cinematic experiences. 

Over sixty years after its original invention, Collective Act has brought together leading minds in architecture, technology, music, neuroscience and philosophy to radically reimagine the Dreamachine as a powerful new kind of collective experience. Presented in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, the 21st-century Dreamachine will lead audiences through an immersive environment of light and sound, as rich and dazzling as any digital simulation, but created by and unique to you. The kaleidoscopic world revealed by the Dreamachine will come from within, providing a magical insight into the extraordinary potential of our own minds.

Get Involved

Alongside the live experience, audiences across the UK will be invited to take part as active co-collaborators in one of the largest scientific research projects of its kind, exploring the wonder of how we perceive and create the world around us. Your contributions will help a team of leading international neuroscientists, philosophers and anthropologists to investigate one of the greatest remaining mysteries to science: the human mind, shedding new light on the diversity of our inner worlds.

If you can’t make it to Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh or London to see it in person, you can still take part in Dreamachine through an interactive digital programme connecting millions around the world. Working with A New Direction, a UK-wide schools programme will connect 12,000 schools – and millions of pupils – with the ideas, themes and possibilities explored through Dreamachine. We’ll be announcing more details of the schools programme and the digital participation project in early 2022.

Unboxed

Dreamachine was commissioned by UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of creativity, taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online from March to October 2022.

Schools

In 2022, children and young people across the UK will join together to explore the wonder of how they perceive and create the world around them. The programme will connect 12,000 schools – and millions of pupils – across the four nations of the UK.