Recently virtually exhibited at Lisson Gallery, "Dreamachine 1/0" is a reconfiguration of another piece called "Dreamachine 2.0," adapted from a physical form to fit an online format (you can see the original over at Lisson's website). The concept of both iterations is in response to the original "Dreamachine" created by artist Brion Gysin, writer and artist William S. Burroughs, and electronics technician and programmer Ian Sommerville in 1961.
The original piece was a cylinder with shapes cut out on its sides, positioned on a turntable rotating at either 45 or 78 RPM with a light bulb hanging in the center. The light coming out of the holes pulsates at a frequency that "corresponds to the electrical oscillations present in the human brain during states of relaxation." If you closed your eyes and faced toward this Dreamachine, you'd theoretically be in a relaxed state.
Coen and Mirza's "update" to the piece includes sounds at frequencies that correspond to the brain's electrical activity and computer-driven LED lights. Being a dummy, I pressed play on the video before realizing that closing my eyes during the whole experience would be just as effective and, perhaps, a bit more comfortable.
Despite the abrasiveness of both the sounds and images, "Dreamachine 1/0" does actually induces a serene state of calm. I watched while sprawled across my bed, thinking of sweet things as the piece's noise amped up, with the colors alternating pink, blue, pink, blue, pink. Like with Jessica E. Freeman's IRISIRIS last week, the overwhelming effect of the "Dreamachine 1/0" is tranquility—if you give yourself the patience to let it wash over you.
You can read more about the work here and check it out for yourself down below.