Dreamachine opens in Edinburgh

The Free Immersive Art Experience Everyone is Talking About Arrives in Scotland


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  • Dreamachine, part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, opens today at Murrayfield Ice Rink, Edinburgh
  • First images of Dreamachine in location in Edinburgh now available
  • This powerful, new and totally immersive experience explores the limitless potential of the human mind
  • Dreamachine takes its audiences on a kaleidoscopic, visual journey through flickering light and sound, all experienced through closed eyes
  • It is presented to Scottish audiences in partnership with Edinburgh Science a part of Edinburgh International Festival after completing a tour of sold-out shows in Cardiff and London
  • Dreamachine is showing in Edinburgh until 25 September 2022
  • Free tickets available to book at www.dreamachine.world/tickets/

Created by Collective Act, Dreamachine is presented in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh International Festival in partnership with Edinburgh Science. It brings together Turner Prize-winning artists Assemble, Grammy and Mercury nominated composer Jon Hopkins, and a team of leading technologists, scientists and philosophers. Dreamachine is commissioned and presented as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a celebration of creativity taking place in 2022.

Dreamachine takes its audiences on a kaleidoscopic, visual journey through flickering light and sound, all experienced through closed eyes. Audiences take their seats in a space designed by Assemble, creating a shared multisensory experience that is both highly personal, and collective. Jon Hopkins has composed a new score for the work in 360-degree spatial sound, creating a unique and enveloping sonic world. A team of neuroscientists and philosophers from the University of Sussex and the University of Glasgow have collaborated with creative technology studio Holition to develop unique creative tools for audience reflection, all designed to encourage connection and conversation.

In Edinburgh, Dreamachine finds its home at Murrayfield Ice Rink, originally completed in 1938 the ice rink was set to open its doors to the Edinburgh public in September of 1939. Sadly, this was thwarted by the onset of World War 2 and it took another twelve years before the public could enjoy the building with the rink quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular. Once again, the rink was forced to close its doors to the public in March 2020. This is the first time they reopen as Dreamachine breathe life back in to this thriving community space.

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