Commission Music

Commission Music
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Sunday, 23 January 2005

Installation? Application? -- Embryonic Idea

Ok, the Times had an article (found via Boing Boing) on something called the Dream Machine. It's basically a slow strobe. "[S]cientists . . . noted in experiments that light flickering at 8 to 12 flashes a second against a subject's closed eyelids seemed to slow the electrical pulse rate of the subject's brain to a state of semiconsciousness known as the alpha state and produce rich dreamlike imagery." Furthermore, I have it on good authority that playing pieces with a 10Hz difference between the right and left ear has similar FX. 10Hz is the sleepy Hz.

There is some issue with using this phenomenon, at least with light. "Dr. Robert Fisher, the director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at Stanford, said that 1 in 10,000 people is likely to have a seizure in reaction to the its stroboscopic light, and that children are about twice as susceptible." Ok, so it's somewhat dangerous. This is why you can't buy a dream machine (except hand-made), even though it's supposed to be dern cool.

Ok, so what do you do artistically with a phenomenon which will harm 0.01% of the population? You can't just put it up in a gallery, that's for sure. So, you could do a small installation wiht lots of warning and posted no access for children, maybe. Or a web application. Or what? hmmmm.

I do want to try to slip ideas at people while they're suseptible. Hacking Humans. I promise it will be good stuff, "Love they Neighbor," etc. Although I'm sure Focus on the Family would object. "Pledging to love your neighbor is a way of accepting alternative lifestyles and homosexuality! What if your neighbor were gay, for example!" Said Lou Dobbs.

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2 comments:

yesyouam said...

they say that kurt cobain spent much of the end of his life obsessed with his dream machine.

here's some more "good authority" about the sound files.

i made a 23-minute file of pink noise and then laid a brainwave synchronization hooya in it. it started at 12Hz (consciousness) and spent the first few minutes gliding down to 10Hz (alpha) and on to 8Hz. then i put a 6-minute (or so) cycle that would dip down into theta (6Hz) and spike up to 8 or 9Hz. after a few times, it'd go back up to 12Hz. the idea is that dreams occur while one is sliding between these states.

I've also done experiments in bringing myself to 4Hz. these experiences are pretty cool. i guess i could describe the experience as lucid dreaming. it drags up really old memories with very vivid sight, sound, touch, smell, etc.

anyways, it's pretty refreshing stuff. your brain attempts to compensate for the discrepancy between channels and in doing so, gets lulled into the frequency of said discrepancy.

damn. i think i'll try to make one today. brainwave synchronization is sweet.

yesyouam said...

they say that kurt cobain spent much of the end of his life obsessed with his dream machine.

here's some more "good authority" about the sound files.

i made a 23-minute file of pink noise and then laid a brainwave synchronization hooya in it. it started at 12Hz (consciousness) and spent the first few minutes gliding down to 10Hz (alpha) and on to 8Hz. then i put a 6-minute (or so) cycle that would dip down into theta (6Hz) and spike up to 8 or 9Hz. after a few times, it'd go back up to 12Hz. the idea is that dreams occur while one is sliding between these states.

I've also done experiments in bringing myself to 4Hz. these experiences are pretty cool. i guess i could describe the experience as lucid dreaming. it drags up really old memories with very vivid sight, sound, touch, smell, etc.

anyways, it's pretty refreshing stuff. your brain attempts to compensate for the discrepancy between channels and in doing so, gets lulled into the frequency of said discrepancy.

damn. i think i'll try to make one today. brainwave synchronization is sweet.