The Dream Machine is a non-profit social enterprise which designs immersive experiences that help overcome the cultural, socio-economic and evolutionary factors that cause stress and stifle creativity. We empower our users to relax, play and create.
At the Dream Machine, we believe that we can take steps to improve our lives beginning with relaxation. Fight or flight is an ancient human trait – an evolutionary response built into our nervous system to aid us in dangerous situations. Our fraught nervous system and the epidemic of busyness is a by-product of the capitalist world, and so these modern, existential threats are overwhelming and never truly cease. We must remove ourselves from the stigma and burden of self-management by stripping back any modern assumptions or bias towards the importance of relaxation as a fundamental human right.
Play can encourage creativity but most importantly we believe play represents freedom: freedom from social conventions where normal rules may not apply, and freedom as a release from everyday responsibilities, if even for a short time. To play is to explore: exploration of new ideas, exploration of new ways of thinking, exploration of the self, all carried out within the context of complete freedom. Play doesn’t insist on results or specific outcomes – there is no right or wrong way to play, it is as innate to us as creativity.
In a professional or creative context, when we use ideas like brainstorming, ultimately what we mean is play: unburdened creativity. Creation comes at the intersection between freedom and learning, and play can help us achieve this state, but there is an inherent imbalance in our society in who gets to indulge in creative practises. At the Dream Machine, we believe that an inclusive application of our technology can help enact social change, helping users reach a state of creative freedom to help destratify society.
Our initial goal at the Dream Machine and one of the most significant and culturally important is to reduce stress and encourage relaxation, because without relaxation you can’t truly give yourself over to the freedom of play and then reach the self-actualisation of creation. To achieve this, we design sensory immersion experiences that use advanced technology and artistic techniques, such as ambisonics, projection mapping or lighting design, and we will be running relaxation sessions, family play, micro and mega day raves, healthy sensory exercise activities, and much more.
The Dream Room
Is a 20 person immersive room surrounded in projections, lighting and 3D sound with padded, heated flooring. It is a blank canvas for our team of artists and musicians to design new immersive work that will help all participants relax, play and create more freely.
Some sessions will be passive and ambient allowing you to sit or lie down and simply relax for a full hour with your phone switched off and the outside world left behind while you embark on an adventure through your senses. These sessions assist with the reduction of stress and an increase in empathy through entrainment. Everyone begins to become entrained to a similar frequency no matter how they felt before they arrived. This in turn allow people to feel more safe and less isolated. By the end people may leave feeling rejuvenated, more connected and enlivened.
Some sessions may be interactive allowing participants to play and explore. These sessions may make use of sensors, turn unusual objects into instruments or controllers and allow for the emergence of interesting interactions between artist, participant and environment. These sessions are fantastic for exploring, day dreaming, participation, group development and artistic exploration as well as learning. Perfect for children and adults to interact on a level playing field, for people with different mental and physical capabilities, for team bonding and so much more.
The Dream Lab
Is a collaborative AV working studio open for workshops, peer to peer training and development in tech and the arts and as a unique performance space.
We will be sharing plans for our year round workshop program and one to one training opportunities. All workshops will be pay what you decide or free, ensuring access to all. We wish to see more people engaging and feeling empowered in the arts and technology particularly those who often feel less able to access such skills based learning. We are open for all but will focus extra energy on engaging and training more women in AV technology and designing more ways for people with different abilities to access skills as well as performances.
The Dream Lab is a unique space for any experimental work to be performed particularly where the artist interaction with their chosen technology is interesting and important. The performers can set up in the middle tables while the audience can watch at the same level from behind, getting rid of the barrier of the traditional stage between performer and audience. Perfect for intimate gigs, interactive performances and learning show and tells.
How Did it All Begin?