Building Your Own Gysin Dream Machine


2009-03-04-205146

Did you know that you can flicker light at the optic nerve, sending data like a modem straight to the brain? Neuro-hacking is starting to draw interest, but there has been work on it for centuries. Brion Gysin, an artist who rubbed elbows with William S. Burroughs and other (now famous) underground artists and poets, designed a nifty hack called the Dream Machine (also known as a ‘dreamachine’). Video and plans underneath the fold.

Gysin made a tube with holes in it that, when placed atop a 78 RPM record player, flickered light at the right frequencies to slip the brain into alpha-wave state. The experience causes hallucinations and other fun imagery plucked from the human subconscious. The best part is that unlike drugs which might result in residual damage, a Dream Machine’s effects stop once you turn it off.

There are several sites that have information on how to build your own machines. 10111.org is dedicated to Dream Machine designs and plans, and have come up with some really neat stuff. A more mathematical approach to design can be found at Inter Zone. You can make the tube for under $20, and find the record player at a pawn shop cheaply as well.

NB - If you are epileptic or suffer from seizures, you shouldn’t try using one of these - think Pokemon at it’s craziest.