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Collective Act and UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK presents Dreamachine in partnership with Edinburgh Science as part of Edinburgh International Festival.  Tickets are free to book for the experience at Murrayfield Ice Rink, from 13 August to 25 September.  

"I just loved it – seeing such majestic beauty and knowing it is all an illusion created by your brain"  

Jonathan Jones, The Guardian  

Sit back. Close your eyes. Get comfortable.   

This powerful new collective experience invites you on a magical journey to explore the extraordinary potential of your own mind. Conjured entirely by light and music, including a new score by Grammy and Mercury nominated composer Jon Hopkins in 360 degree spatial sound, the colourful world of the Dreamachine will unfold behind your closed eyes – created by your own brain and completely unique to you.  

What will you see? How will you feel? Only you will know because every experience of the Dreamachine will be completely personal. You might see patterns and shapes, cities and landscapes, or abstract waves of shifting colours. It might feel like a rollercoaster ride, a journey through time and space, or you might even drift into sleep.   

Dreamachine has been created by a team of leading minds in architecture, technology, music, neuroscience, and philosophy, including Turner Prize-winning collective Assemble and Grammy and Mercury nominated composer Jon Hopkins.  

It is inspired by an extraordinary 1959 invention by artist Brion Gysin, described as the ‘first artwork to be experienced with your eyes closed’. Now, over sixty years later, the 21st century Dreamachine has been radically re-imagined into a seated, multisensory experience with an immersive lightscape and 360 degree spatial sound.   

Like a modern kind of campfire, you’ll share your Dreamachine journey with a group of up to 32 people at a time. After your experience, you’ll be invited to reflect on what you saw, what you heard and how you felt – by yourself, or with others.   


Dreamachine offers two versions of the experience: High Sensory and Deep Listening.  

High Sensory  

The High Sensory experience contains fast flashing bright lights, known as strobe lighting, and 360 degree spatial audio that has been used to create a deeply immersive experience. For many people, the effects of the lights and the music will generate colourful patterns and visuals behind your closed eyes.   

Please complete a pre-booking form here before booking this experience. Proof of completion of this form will be required for entry to the High Sensory experience. 

Deep Listening  

The Deep Listening experience is an immersive 360 degree spatial audio experience, with a gentle lightscape. It does not contain fast flashing lights. It has been designed to make the experience as accessible as possible to those who may have sensitivities to strobe lighting or high sensory environments.  

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Accessible showing types:  

High Sensory (BSL Interpreted)  

The experience on Wednesday 31 August at 11.00 will be BSL interpreted and can be booked by anyone who has the relevant tag on their Edinburgh International Festival account.

Relaxed Dreamachine sessions 

Relaxed Dreamachine sessions are for anyone who would benefit from a more informal setting. These sessions have a relaxed attitude to noise and movement coming from the audience, where you can freely enter and exit the experience when needed. This is suitable for anyone who would benefit from a more informal setting including those with dementia, a movement disorder, Tourette’s, bowel and bladder conditions, an autism spectrum condition, or a learning disability.  

Please note that the Dreamachine experience itself has not been adapted.