As more and more people immerse themselves in cyberspace, and Virtual Reality hacks claim to have discovered the inner being, it is timely to recall the pioneering art and science of the Dreamachine. Devised in the early ’60s by artist Brion Gysin and mathematician Ian Sommerville, the Dreamachine is still the simplest and most effective of all brain wave stimulators. It is the first object specifically designed to be seen through closed eyes.
Notable Dreamachine users include William Burroughs, Derek Jarman and (allegedly) Kurt Cobain. Based on the principle that flickering light triggers brain wave responses, the Dreamachine’s impact is startling: images emerge from the dark and dreams become tangible. Flickers is the story of this amazing invention, a voyage into the art and magic of inner space.
This book includes full construction plans, seminal essays by Gysin and Sommerville, as well as extensive extracts from W. Grey Walter’s The Living Brain, which provided the neurological theory for the first machines. Alongside these technical writings are essays by some of the artists who have worked with the Dreamachine, including Genesis P-Orridge, Terry Wilson, Ira Cohen, Simon Strong and many others. Flickers of the Dreamachine is edited by Paul Cecil, the co-founder of Temple Press and an acknowledged expert on esoteric philosophy.