A new audio-visual installation described as a “one-of-a-kind immersive experience” has opened at Woolwich Public Market in London. ‘Dreamachine’ is the work of a team including Turner Prize-winning artists Assemble and Grammy- and Mercury-nominated composer Jon Hopkins — who invite patrons to “explore the extraordinary potential of your mind” via exposure to light and music. 

‘Dreamachine’ was inspired by a flashing light technique pioneered by Brion Gysin in the 1960s. Gysin had conceived the idea after falling asleep against a bus window while it was driving down a tree-lined road; the sunlight, intermittently obscured by the passing trees, was reaching him at a unique frequency that caused him to experience colourful and psychedelic visions while in a transcendental state. 

‘Dreamachine’ recreates this effect via flickering lights transmitted at between eight and 13 flashes a second, which synchronise with the brain’s alpha waves to set off a phenomenon that the Guardian describes as “as close to state-funded hallucinogens as you can get”. Accentuating the experience is Hopkins’ pulsing soundtrack, which follows the release of his acclaimed electronic ambient record ‘Music For Psychedelic Therapy’ in 2021.

‘Dreamachine’ runs at Woolwich Public Market until July 24th, 2022.