Explore the potential of the human mind at Cardiff ‘Dreamachine’ experience

A powerful, immersive art experience that taps into the ‘limitless potential of the human mind’ is coming to Cardiff in May as part of the UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK festival.

Dreamachine, presented at the Temple of Peace in Cathays Park between May 12 and June 18, is inspired by a little-known 1959 creation by artist-inventor Brion Gysin. His experimental device used flickering light to create vivid illusions, kaleidoscopic patterns and explosions of colour in the mind of the viewer.

The 21
st Century equivalent is a seated experience, between an hour and 90 minutes long, that is designed to be ‘seen’ with your eyes closed. It will lead audiences through an immersive environment of light and sound, as vibrant and as dazzling as any digital simulation, but created by and unique to every individual.

It has been created by Collective Act, bringing together Turner Prize-winning artists Assemble, Grammy and Mercury-nominated composer Jon Hopkins and a team of leading technologists, scientists and philosophers.

Jennifer Crook, from Collective Act, said: “Dreamachine will engage audiences across ages and cultures in a powerful new kind of collective experience. The rich kaleidoscopic world of the Dreamachine will come from within, providing a magical insight into the extraordinary potential of your own mind.

“Beyond the confines of screens or devices, our programme will creatively explore the most fundamental of human connections: how we perceive and make sense of the world around us. To explore one of the greatest remaining mysteries to humankind... all you need to do is to close your eyes.”

Dreamachine is being launched in London on May 10 and will also appear at venues in Belfast and Edinburgh through the summer. The historic Cardiff venue has been chosen because it was built, in the wake of the First World War, as a place of inspiration, actively furthering the causes of international peace.

“The experience will live within this magnificent Art Deco civic temple,” said Jennifer, “providing audiences with a unique and poignant setting for internal reflection.”

A Cardiff Council spokesperson added: “This project will provide an opportunity for people in the city to participate in a fully immersive experience which will inspire questions, boost creativity and provide hours of fun. We are really excited about being able to host this experience.”

Tickets for the Dreamachine are free and have been released today to anyone over 18 who wants to take part in the experience. Tickets must be booked in advance through