Created by the London-based Light Eye Mind collective, the Light Machine is a circular array of small LED strobe lights surrounding a central halogen bulb. Participants sit in front of it with their eyes closed, and as soon as the lights start to flash, things get interesting: behind their shut eyelids, participants start to see bright colors, shapes and patterns, along with a temporary but still powerful sense of interior transformation.
“It puts you immediately into a hypnagogic state,” says Light Eye Mind member Nigel Norie, adding that this state, which occurs naturally on the threshold of sleep, is extremely conducive to creativity. He says that of the 60 or so people who tried the Machine out on July 6, its debut night, nearly all had positive reactions, and one even reported an out-of-body experience.
“It’s different for everyone,” says Norie.
The Hypnagogic Light Machine is part of IN/SIGHT, an diverse exhibit on display at Blanc that focuses on participatory and process driven art. It features a wide assortment of work from many local, national and international artists, and will run through July 27.