ICT & Art Connect : Revelations by Flicker, Dreamachines and Electroencephalographic signals in art

Abstract.  How did ordinary tools in the Neurophysiology department become means for spiritual enlightenment ?
The combination of brainwave (EEG) monitoring by the early adopters with stroboscopes induced side-effects in many of the clinical experimentees in neurophysiological research,  hallucinations that were named ‘Flicker.’ Patient’s experiences described increasingly bright, complex patterns of colour behind their closed eyelids. Soon Cyberneticians, psychologists and artists were spontaneously informing this interdisciplinary exchange, during a time of pioneering chemistry, new artistic styles and implementation of new tools for experiencing Art. An aleatoric crossover occurred between Dr Grey Walter’s neurological research with strobes and electroencephalographs, and the culture of ‘The Beats’ following his publication of “The Living Brain.” Unifying this is the hypnotic light ensemble the ‘Dreamachine’. Now  an object synonymous with generating visions by Flickering patterns, and for many, a drugless portal to Altered States on Consciousness (ASC). This article  follows the involvement of Human brainwaves in artistic expressions as pioneered by composer Alvin Lucier almost 50 years ago. The harnessing of the EEG signal in interactive artworks encourages dialogue and updatable synergy between the arts and the sciences. Through medical research into Epilepsy and visual artefact I trace the emergence of EEG in artworks. I will describe how artists’ work, including my own is harnessing the EEG signal, bridging various methods and arousing questions in art and human experience.

Posted by: Luciana | April 7, 2014

Durbar Hall, Lucid Dream workshop Sunday 13th April

Lucid Dream Tickets on sale for Hastings and Brighton events

Buy tickets online wow for Sunday 13th April in Hastings , and save £2 !
you can also purchase a ticket for our event in The Brighton Festival Fringe, on 28.05.14 in The Spiegeltent


Posted by: Luciana | March 22, 2014

EEG with Varo


Creation of the birds

Music for flickering performer (8Hz)

The Waag society, 28.03.14
(performance was repeated due to technical error on saturday 29th) with a Dreamachine, BrainMachine EEG, Varo inspired  in Amsterdam, and emergency repair by Mitch Altman !Luci_EEG_waag


I decided the technology should be hidden, as EEG always distracts with the presence of  visible biofeedback. The electrodes mounted to skin then connection covered with feathered avian mask inspired by ‘The Creation of The Birds” painting by Spanish surrealist Remedios Varo in 1957.

Sonifying my EEG during exposure up close (eyes closed) staring into a scientific strobe and relaxing on the floor next the flickering, hypnotic dreamachine. Capturing atmospheric and esoteric energies in The Waag’s “Theatrum Anatomicum”, with mirror, laser beam, 8hz strobe light and flickering analogue dreamachine – all sounds were triggered by the EEG of the performer. Voices spoke of the surrealist manifesto, descriptions categorised by John Smythies of  the effects of flicker exposure in scientific conditions in his experimental work in the 1950′s. The more Smythies worked with the
stroboscope the more complicated the patterns became. Some patterns seemed like “pond life”, “bacteria”, “germs”,“plankton”, and “lovely tropical fish in a blue tank”. “Victorian wall paper”also made appearances. I will publish the soundtracks soon.

Posted by: Luciana | March 19, 2014

Spiegeltent, Brighton fringe festival

cabaret_ev_643828.05.14 – 7.30pm,  Sex, Snowboarding and Sleep: Living in Your Wildest Dreams!
Join us in the stunning Spiegeltent during The Brighton Fringe where we will actively involve  you with ways in which lucid dream practice and rehearsal can help improve your skillset and creative output in waking life. Scientific research into the neural correlates of dream ‘lucidity’ have revealed a fascinating realm of lucid dream function and quite astounding possibilities. See the map and buy tickets here in advance for £10 here :

Lucid Dreamers Produce The Fastest Brainwave Frequencies Ever Recorded

Lucid dreaming is a documented phenomenon; researchers continue to explore it as it shows some very significant brain patterns and biological happenings within the body. A fairly recent example is a study conducted in 2009 at the Neurological Laboratory in Frankfurt. Research shows how Lucid dreamers produce the fastest brainwave frequencies ever recorded, gamma brainwaves that operate at 40Hz +(1).  This suggests that lucid dreamers are more self aware, and are more conscious in this state than compared to a normal state of wakefulness. We don’t operate anywhere near that frequency (with regards to brain waves) when in our normal wakeful state, and we operate at even lower frequencies during other sleep states. Research suggests that the existence of gamma brainwaves indicates a totally conscious experience (4), so the experience of being awake within a dream is a very real phenomenon. This begs the question, which state is actually real? Could what we perceive as being fully aware and awake be the real dream? Or are these just different aspects of reality that we are jumping to and from? Is our ability to create our own reality easier in a state of lucid dreaming because our brain is functioning at a higher frequency? What would we be capable of if we were able to attain that frequency without  lucid dreaming? Would we be able to have instant manifestations like we do in our lucid dreams? Gamma brainwaves are involved in higher mental activity and consolidation of information. Operating from this frequency allows our brain to link and process information from multiple parts of the brain(2). We use more of our brain when we are experiencing lucid dreaming than we do when we are fully awake.

Posted by: Luciana | March 9, 2014

This is what I have been doing the last few months, a new public event will be happening in April in Hastings, date to be confirmed soon :  luci As Beacon_floor_Lucid2well as hosting the monthly event with Explorer’s club Sarah Janes, I present a keynote at the start of each session with latest academic research into the neural correlates during Lucid Dreaming and movements rehearsed when awake, in the MRI scanner. This has proved very insightful and useful to the guests, who eventually are all guided during the 3hour evening session, into a sleep state, next door in the yoga studio, bedding  or mats are available. The EEG of a sleeper was projected onto the ceiling and afterwards I replay it and describe any changes we can witness. We also offer memory supplements, herbal teas and share techniques. www.morphologyluciddreams.wordpress.com 

Posted by: Luciana | March 7, 2014

New performance in Waag, Amsterdam

March 28th 2014 – The Waag, Amsterdam

IMG_4567Friday evening performance and presenters (20.30 – 22.00) will be:
Luciana Hail – Augmented consciousness with EEG, Remedios Varo, Dream Machine

Venue: Theatrum Anatomicum and Open Wetlab, Waag Society, Nieuwmarkt 4 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Please sign up here: www.waag.org/nl/event/ict-and-art-connect-economies-art-and-technology-collaboration


I am pleased to announce my paper Image“Revelations by Flicker: Dream Machines and Electroencephalographic signals in art” has been accepted for the AISB-50 Symposium on “The Future of Art and Computing: A Post-Turing Centennial Perspective”, to be held this April. The Symposium will be on Thursday 3rd April, I am scheduled for 2pm, with AISB-50 running 1-4 April, 2014.

How did an ordinary tool in the Neurophysiology department became a means for spiritual enlightenment? This article follows the emergence of the EEG in artworks, internalised like its predecessor from research laboratories, Flicker. The crossover occurred between Dr Grey Walter’s neurological research with strobes and electroencephalographs, and the arts culture of ‘The Beats’ following his publication of “The Living Brain.” Cyberneticians, psychologists and artists were soon inspiring each other with pioneering chemistry, new artistic styles and new ways of seeing.

Posted by: Luciana | January 14, 2014

Come and make your own dream machine – Liverpool ; FACT

21 and 22 February 2014 / 12pm – 4pm / FREE / Drop-in

Family Workshop: Make Your Own Dream Machine

The dream machine is a paper tube with a pattern cut in the side. You spin it on a record player, hang a light inside, and look at it – with your eyes closed! The dream machine was designed  by a mathematician called Ian Sommerville working with a poet/painter called Brion Gysin to create a dream-like feeling through the flickering effect of light as the tube turns.

You can make one easily out of paper and we’ll be helping you to do it. Paint, collage or illustrate the inside of your dream machine for added effect. We’ll have old record players and lights to hang inside. It’s going to be a session for making,  testing, painting, and dreaming…

The workshop is for ages 5 to 95 and will be adult supervised. All materials will be provided.

Facilitated by John Fass, Luciana Haill and Bronac Ferran.Image

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