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DreaMachine Installation

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  • DreamachineInstallationBArch Architecture Lv6

                                                                                                          DREAMACHINE/BRION GYSIN
    The dreamachine offers a drugless high that its creator poet, artist, calligrapher and mystic Brion Gysin believed would revolutionize human consciousness.
    Stroboscopic light, or light flashing on the eye between 8 and 13 flashes per second, induces alpha wave activity in the brain a state normally associated with dreaming and creativity. Subjects often report seeing shapes and colours, some have full-blown hallucinations, others mystical experiences. 


    "Had a transcendental storm of colour visions today in the bus going to Marseilles.We ran through a long avenue of trees and I closed my eyes against the setting sun. An overwhelming flood of intensely bright colors exploded behind my eyelids: a multidimensional kaleidoscope whirling out through space. I was swept out of time. I was out in a world of infinite number. The vision stopped abruptly as we left the trees. Was that a vision? What happened to me?"
    Extractfrom the diary of Brion Gysin December 21, 1958
    Normally, an awake person's brain functions at between 4 and 8 electrical pulses per second (hertz, or hz). However, when the Dreamachine's 10 flickers per second strike closed lids, the optic nerve sends a 10 hz pulse signal into the subject's cortical tissue. Because the amplitude of the newly introduced frequency is greater than that of the waking brain's normal frequency, the waking brain now operates at 10 hz the synaptic rate associated with the edge of dreams.
    Using the Dreamachine
    Turn onthe light bulb and set the light-shade tube in motion. Dim the normal room lights so that most of the ambient light comes from the Dreamachine. Sit comfortably with your face close to the center of the tube. Now close your eyes. You should be able to see the light from the Dreamachine flickering through your eyelids. Gradually you will begin to see visions of flickering colors, amorphous shapes, and fields and waves of color. After a time the colors begin to form patterns similar to mosaics and kaleidoscopes. Eventually you will see complex and symbolic shapes; perhaps people or animals.
    This device will produce a flicker frequency of 21 Hz when rotated at 45 RPM. This device may be hazardous to people with epilepsy or other nervous disorders.

  • This video is for illustration purposes only, to show the device working. And does not reflect the effect of using the physical device.
    Alpha Brain Waves - Neurology
    The dreamachine (or dream machine) is a
    stroboscopic flicker device that produces visual stimuli. Artist Brion Gysin and William Burroughs's"systems adviser" IanSommerville created the dreamachine after reading William Grey Walter's book, The Living Brain.
    In its original form, a dreamachine is made from a cylinder with slits cut in the sides. The cylinder is placed on a
    record turntable and rotated at 78 or 45 revolutions per minute. A light bulb is suspended in the center of the cylinder and the rotation speed allows the light to come out from the holes at a constant frequency, situated between 8 and 13 pulses per second. This frequency range corresponds to alpha waves,electrical oscillations normally present in the human brain while relaxing.
    A dreamachine is "viewed" with the eyes closed: the pulsating light stimulates the
    optical nerve and alters the brain's electrical oscillations. The "viewer"experiences increasingly bright, complex patterns of color behind their closed eyelids. The patterns become shapes and symbols, swirling around, until the"viewer" feels surrounded by colors. It is claimed that viewing a dreamachine allows one to enter a hypnologic state.This experience may sometimes be quite intense, but to escape from it, one needs only to open one's eyes. 
    A dreamachine may be dangerous for people with photosensitive epilepsy or other nervous disorders. It is thought that one out of 4,000 adults will experience a seizure while viewing the device; about twice as many children will have a similar ill effect.
    The dreamachine offers a drugless high that its creator poet, artist, calligrapher and mystic Brion Gysin believed would revolutionize human consciousness.
    Grey Walter who was soon to become the father of Artificial Intelligence discovered that by using high-powered stroboscopes and experimenting with trigger feedback techniques where the flash was set to fire in synchronization with the brains rhythms, the brain is, transformed temporarily to a different sort of brain. Walter found that time itself could become lost or disturbed. As he observed of one subject:
    "He had the sense of having been pushed sideways in time by flicker. Yesterday was no longer behind, and tomorrow was no longer ahead."
    Stroboscopic light, or light flashing on the eye between 8 and 13 flashes per second, induces alpha wave activity in the brain
    a state normally associated with dreaming and creativity. Subjects often report seeing shapes and colors, some have full-blown hallucinations, others mystical experiences.
    Increased alpha wave activity, while not a cure-all, has shown to help with a variety of mental health issues.  Increasing your alphawaves can also be a means of just managing stress. Zen Buddhists, biofeedback therapists, and even NASA scientists have all soughtways to increase beneficial alpha wave activity over the years.  Aspsychotherapy research progresses, alpha wave enhancement may become an importanttool in fighting mental illness.
    Application/ Consumption
    By changing the electrical and chemical activity of certain nerve cells in the brainstem, it appears to amplify activity in some neurological systems, and diminish activity in others. This neurological fine tuning is called modulation, and occurs either as a result of, or together with the production of a certain type of electrical activity pattern in the brain known as an alphastate which can be measured on brain wave recordings (called electroencephalograms, abbreviated EEG). Such alpha rhythms are accompanied by feelings of calmness, relaxation and increased mental focus. The neurological mechanisms that are occurring during the alpha state appear to decrease stress-effects, reduce agitation and stabilize mood, and control both sensations and perceptions of particular types of pain.
    These effects can be produced after a single treatment, and repeated treatments have been shown to increase the relative strength and duration of these effects. In some cases, effects and chemical changes evoked exposure haveled to a durable re-tuning back to normal function. Treatment can be beneficial to patients with pain, anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.
    The ability to produce Alpha Brain Waves does not come easy for all people. In fact, some people have never experienced them their entire lives. These people do not know what it feels like to slow down from stress or rapid thinking.  There is nothing wrong with being in a Beta state of mind, however, if we access that state for too long and forget to return to Alpha, our mental health will suffer (e.g. lack of concentration) as well as the health of our body (e.g. high blood pressure from stress).
    AlphaBrain Waves can be of benefit to you because they will help you stay relaxed and will literally melt away all of your stress.  They have been documented to improve learning, memory, and social interaction.  They also have been known to cure anxiety and insomnia in some individuals.  It is known that people who have lower anxiety tend to have significantly more AlphaBrainwave activity than those who are nerved up.

    Another interesting benefit from Alpha brain waves is that they have been known to boost your immune system.  This translates to you getting sick lessoften.  If you take some time to think about this statement, it makes perfect sense because people who are stressed out (e.g. in a Beta state) tend to get sick a lot.  Staying calm and relaxed will build up immunity and you sure will not be getting sick as often.
    Alpha Brain Waves have also been
    associated with creativity. Researchers have discovered that most creative individuals tend to have more Alpha activity than those who are too logical and unoriginal. Therefore, if you were to work on increasing your Alpha waves, you would almost positively be increasing your ability to tap into a highly creative state.  Problem solving, super learning, and peak performance have also been known to skyrocket as a result of an increase in Alpha Brain Waves.