Pattern Machines

Dreamachine Brion Gysin

The Computer Arts Society, originally founded in 1968, seems to have reignited activity. PAGE 58 (0.5mb PDF), one of its bulletins, has a nice article on the history of lightshows of the West Coast in the late 60’s by Robin Oppenheimer. This lead me to think about other pioneers in the area not covered in the article like Brion Gysin and his work with the Dream Machine.

“With the current vogue for high-technology brain-machines at an unparalleled height, the original concept as developed by Brion Gysin and his collaborator Ian Sommerville is a welcome reminder that whilst technology advances space, the conceptual base for interior research is as ancient as the sun and the trees. Its beauty is in its simplicity, and in its ecologically sound construction which requires no more than a sheet of card and the recycling of a redundant record player.â€?

Of course no late 60’s lightshow would be complete without the projection of a moiré pattern. A moiré pattern occurs when two or more different geometrically regular patterns are superimposed and visual interference occurs. Qpqpqp has an interactive optical installation with Moiré patterns made with Director; its liquidity gives the impression of light refracting through water. iMoire is a piece of software written in OpenGL used to build and explore bespoke Moire patterns.

Leave a Reply