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Cardiff welcomes new immersive experience Dreamachine

Take a trip inside your own head in this mind-bending light and sound extravaganza designed to be experienced with your eyes closed


UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK presents a once-in-a-lifetime journey, conjured by light and music, where people can “explore the extraordinary potential of their own minds.”

A new and extraordinary experience has come to Cardiff: The Dreamachine. Taking place at the beautiful Art Deco Temple of Peace, one of just four stops across the UK, Dreamachine is a seated multisensory experience with 360-degree spatial sound, designed to be enjoyed behind closed eyes.

The Temple of Peace has been carefully chosen, along with venues in London, Belfast and Edinburgh, to house the unique experience. The temple was designed to be a place of inspiration and thus provides the perfect setting for serenity, artistry and internal reflection.

What to expect

Expect a warm welcome where you will be greeted by members of the team who encourage relaxation, providing you with blankets and a tranquil atmosphere. There is a strong focus on the collective and experiencing the Dreamachine as a group. Despite this, the experience is completely unique as what unfolds before your closed eyes is created by the brain alone. What you see and how you feel within the Dreamachine is personal to you.

What happens?

White strobe flashing lights and audio create the immersive experience; it offers a way to “disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with both yourself and others.” What people see in the Dreamachine will range from colourful patterns, shapes and kaleidoscopic movements to abstract and shifting spaces.

As well as the High Sensory experience, Dreamachine also offer a Deep Listening accessible experience with a gentle curated lightscape for people with sensitivities to flashing lights and high sensory environments.

As part of the experience, you will then be guided to the reflection room where you can recreate the vivid visuals you saw in the Dreamachine. Seated at a drawing table, the group has the option to create colourful art using a selection of paper, pencils and pastel chalks that are on offer. Everyone can express themselves through this childlike freedom as well as view, share and compare their experiences with one another.

In seeing the wide range of artwork, the Dreamachine creates intrigue and awakening as to everyone’s differing perceptions and the way our brains work.


How does it work?

Dreamachine is inspired by artist-inventor Brion Gysin’s homemade flickering light invention from 1959. It created vivid illusions and explosions of colour in the mind of the viewer. This technology has been reimagined as a powerful new kind of collective experience. This phenomenon is linked to ‘entrainment’ where gentle changes to brain activity by synchronisation affects the visual areas of the brain. The frequency of the light provides a ‘beat’ for the rhythms of the brain. Scientific teams at the Centre for Consciousness are still investigating this mystery and what it reveals about perception.

Who created it?

The experience is created by Collective Act, a producer of large-scale participatory commissions who take a multi-disciplinary approach to producing ambitious ideas. This is in collaboration with artists Assemble, composer Jon Hopkins, and a team of leading technologists, scientists and philosophers.

This free ticketed event has been commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, a project taking place in every nation and funded by the government, of which Creative Wales were involved. Arts Minister Lord Parkinson says: “We are pleased to have provided government funding for this as part of our plan to open up access to arts and culture.”

Any adult can take part in the Dreamachine experience across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and online this summer. So, if you’re interested in art, technology, science and the power of the mind, this is an experience not to be missed!

Dreamachine is in Cardiff from 12 May – 18 June 2022. Sessions are available Monday to Sunday between 10am and 8pm. Admission is free.

Dreamachine is located within the Temple of Peace, King Edward VII Ave, Cardiff, CF10 3AP.

To book or find out more visit:


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