Audiences can now book free tickets to Dreamachine, a powerful new immersive experience exploring the limitless potential of the human mind, coming to Belfast’s Carlisle Memorial Church from Monday, July 25, to Sunday, September 4.
Presented in Belfast by Collective Act in partnership with NI Science Festival, it brings together Turner prize-winning artists Assemble, Grammy and Mercury prize-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.
Dreamachine will provide audiences and communities with an entirely new way of reconnecting with themselves and each other.
It is inspired by an extraordinary but little-known 1959 invention by artist and inventor Brion Gysin. His experimental home-made device used flickering light to create vivid illusions, kaleidoscopic patterns and explosions of colour in the mind of the ‘viewer’.
More than 60 years on, Collective Act has brought together a leading team to radically reimagine the Dreamachine as a powerful new kind of collective experience that will lead audiences through an immersive environment of light and sound, where a colourful world will unfold behind your closed eyes, as vibrant and dazzling as any digital simulation, but created by and unique to you.
Grammy and Mercury-nominated composer Jon Hopkins has composed a new score for the work in 360-degree spatial sound, creating a unique and enveloping sonic world.
In Belfast, participants can experience the Dreamachine at the Carlisle Memorial Church, one of the city’s most striking buildings, which has served as a gateway to north Belfast since 1875.
After ceasing to be a place of worship in the 1980s, the church fell into disrepair before a major campaign in 2008 to secure its regeneration.
This summer, Dreamachine will reimagine the space and contribute to the return of the building as a vibrant and shared community amenity. It is located just a 10 minute walk from the Cathedral Quarter.
NI Science Festival director Sarah Jones says Dreamachine highlights our distinctiveness as individuals.
“Our festival exists to ignite curiosity and to engage audiences of all ages, and from all backgrounds, in the wonders of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics – and curiosity is precisely what Dreamachine delivers.
“This wholly individual experience is a stark reminder of the remarkable potential each and every one of us possesses.”
While the Dreamachine immersive experience is for over-18s, a free schools programme has been developed alongside the live experience by children’s educational charity A New Direction in partnership with the British Science Association, UNICEF UK and We The Curious.
Dreamachine’s school programme is also championed by W5 in Belfast.
Collective Act director Jennifer Crook says: “Fusing science with arts, the themes of Dreamachine offer compelling classroom investigation – from the incredible power of the human mind to the everyday miracle of consciousness.
“Our programme has been developed to respond directly to under-resourced areas of the national curriculum to ensure it is relevant and useful for schools, with high-quality learning resources designed to be fun and easy to use that support both teacher and pupil wellbeing.
“We really want to excite and engage classrooms across the country, sparking children’s natural curiosity about the big questions in life and the unique ways we each experience the world around us.”
Schoolchildren can take part in Life’s Big Questions, an interactive five-part series hosted by Martin Dougan (CBBC Newsround) which features exciting science investigations and mind-boggling illusions, exploring our sense of self, how we see the world and how we connect with others.
The programme also includes 30 free lesson plans for 5-13 year olds across science, global citizenship and Learning for Life and Work (LLW) and a series of Teacher Professional Learning (TPL) sessions focused on wellbeing.
Dreamachine is one of 10 major creative projects commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK.
The UK’s most ambitious showcase of creative collaboration – across science, technology, engineering, arts and maths – includes free large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences, and an extensive learning programme reaching millions of schoolchildren.
Martin Green, Chief Creative Officer of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK says of the programme: “We could not have predicted that we would be presented with Dreamachine, a project that seamlessly blends art and neuroscience to offer an awe-inspiring and truly unique experience for audiences as well as enhance scientific research in areas at the frontier of human understanding.
“We hope one of many welcome and surprising legacies that we will see across our ambitious programme in 2022 and beyond.”
n Free tickets are now available to book at www.dreamachine.world
n Take part in the free schools’ programme at schools.dreamachine.world/
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