The 60’s was when lighting went from function to psychedelic artform. Mathmos invented the lava lamp and musicians toured with liquid light shows, where mineral oil formed colored blobs projected on their bodies. None of the aforementioned was as psychedelic as the Dreamachine though. Invented by Ian Sommerville, commissioned by William Burroughs frequent partner in crime, artist Brion Gysin, the Dreamachine has been described as ”the first art object you can see with your eyes closed”. The original Dreamachine was made out of a cylinder with shapes cut out of it. This cylinder was placed on a turntable, with a lightbulb suspended in the centre. Once turned on, it was viewed with eyes closed, resulting in stimulation of the optic nerve as well as altering the brain’s electric oscillators. It sounds technical, so I’ll dumb it down a bit: it gets trippy. The theory behind it claims that after a while, you enter a hypnagogic state, i.e the transitional state between sleep and being awake. Hence, Dreamachine. If you want one yourself you can buy one or you can make one yourself. Be careful though, if you suffer from photo sensitive epilepsy, the Dreamachine might produce a seizure. This works the same way as a stroboscope, or the Pokemon episode that was reported to produce seizures in hundreds of children in Japan. But if you’re in the clear for epilepsy, turn it on, tune in and drop out!