We must storm the citadels of enlightenment, the means are at hand.
A dreamachine is constructed by cutting out a series of shapes into a cylinder, which is then mounted on a record player. A light bulb is suspended inside the cylinder, and the turntable spun at 45 or 78 rpm.
The user sits next to the turntable, eyes closed, and the shapes cut into the cylinder provide a flicker effect on the back of the eyes. The combination of movement and light triggers the imagination, with hallucinatory or trance like results on the play of consciousness.
In the 1980’s, Denver was home to large, neopagan industrial art scene, grounded in the work and ideas of William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, and Genesis P-Orridge. I was just 18 or 19 the first time I encountered a dreamachine, at a TOPY run gallery in the warehouse district of Denver.
I was fascinated by the works of Burroughs at the time, and spent a lot of time in the warehouse gallery and music scene.