The Dream Machine by Nicole Trengove
The Dreamachine was first invented by Artist Brion Gysin in 1960. The machine consists of a light bulb, a shade with cut outs and a turntable that revolves of seventy eight revolutions per minute (rpm). In 1958 while travelling along a tree-lined avenue in the South of France on a train, Gysin experienced vivid hallucinations of brightly colored patterns brought on after closing his eyes at the sun. In his journal he wrote:
"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?" (Extract from the diary of Brion Gysin, December 21, 1958).
This was found out later to be known as the “Flicker” effect, a phenomenon that occurs when exposed to light interruptions at a rate of eight to thirteen flashes per second. When synced up to the brains alpha rhythms, the flashes can cause individuals to ‘see’ colours, patterns, visions and even entire three-dimensional landscapes when ones eyes are closed.