Close your eyes and explore the limitless potential of the human mind. 

Join us for a journey into light, sound, colour and imagination – a shared experience that’s unique to you. Created by Collective Act in collaboration with Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble, Grammy-nominated musician Jon Hopkins and a team of pioneering scientists and technologists, Dreamachine invites you to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime immersive experience. 

Unlock the power of your mind 

Dreamachine is inspired by an extraordinary but little-known 1959 invention by artist–inventor Brion Gysin. This experimental homemade device used flickering light to create vivid illusions, kaleidoscopic patterns and explosions of colour in the mind of the viewer, and was designed to be the 'first artwork to be experienced with your eyes closed'. Gysin had a pioneering vision for his invention to replace the TV in every home in America. Instead of passive consumers of mass-produced media, viewers of his Dreamachine would create their own cinematic experiences.  

Over 60 years after its original invention, Collective Act has brought together leading minds in architecture, technology, music, neuroscience and philosophy to radically reimagine Gysin’s concept as a powerful new kind of collective experience. Presented in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, the 21st-century Dreamachine will lead audiences through an immersive environment of light and sound – as rich and dazzling as any digital simulation, but created by and unique to you. The kaleidoscopic world revealed by the Dreamachine will come from within, providing a magical insight into the extraordinary potential of our own minds. 

Get involved! 

Alongside the live experience, audiences across the UK will be invited to take part as active co-collaborators in one of the largest scientific research projects of its kind, exploring the wonder of how we perceive and create the world around us. Your contributions will help a team of leading international neuroscientists, philosophers and anthropologists to investigate one of the greatest mysteries remaining to science: the human mind. 

If you can’t make it to Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh or London, you can still take part in  Dreamachine through an interactive digital programme connecting millions around the world. What’s more, a UK-wide schools programme will connect 12,000 schools – and hundreds of thousands of pupils – with the ideas, themes and possibilities explored through Dreamachine. We’ll be announcing more details of the schools programme and the digital participation project in early 2022. 


Conceived and led by Collective Act, Dreamachine is an interdisciplinary collaboration bringing together Assemble (Turner Prize winners 2015); Sound Designer Christopher Shutt (winner of a Tony Award for War Horse); Technical Director Dev Joshi (creative technologist behind Rain Room); Holition (award-winning London-based creative innovation studio); Creative Director Jennifer Crook (producer of the UK’s largest artworks by Danny Boyle and Jeremy Deller); Jon Hopkins (Grammy- and Mercury-nominated composer); Professor of Computational Neuroscience Anil Seth and Dr David Schwartzman (Centre for Consciousness Science, University of Sussex); and Professor of Philosophy Fiona Macpherson (Director of The Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience, University of Glasgow). 

Key information 


Spring-autumn 2022 


Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London, across the UK and online  

Suitable for 

All ages, across the programme 


Free, ticketed – booking details to be announced