Weekend Project: Dreamachine

from wikipedia:

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 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 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.

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 hypnagogic state. This experience may sometimes be quite intense, but to escape from it, one needs only to open one's eyes.

A feature documentary on the dreamachine is on netflix.

Ready to build your own? You will need:

a hanging lightbulb
a 78 rpm turntable
a large piece of cardboard

Get started here.

If you don't own an old phonograph, or you're just too lazy to make something, then you can watch a youtube approximation. They say it works. Be sure to read the instructional / disclaimer video here first, then take the plunge here.

1 comment:

Dreamachine said...

... or to save the time & effort sourcing the materials & cutting the pattern: http://www.dreamachine.ca