Unboxed Festival 2022: Dreamachine
London, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Belfast, May 2022
01. Challenge - How can we use creative technologies to explore the human mind?
Sit back. Close your eyes. Get comfortable.
Dreamachine is a once-in-a-lifetime journey to explore the extraordinary potential of your own mind. Conjured entirely by light and music, a colourful world unfolds behind your closed eyes, created by the power of your own brain and completely unique to you. The most complex technology required is the brain itself.
This extraordinary experience offers you an entirely new way to disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with both yourself and others.
Dreamachine is one of 10 projects which have been specially commissioned for Unboxed: Creativity in the UK, taking place across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales during 2022. Working alongside project partners Collective Act and Team Science, Holition developed a series of digital tools that helped participants describe their individual experiences, and how they relate to the collective.
A magical journey into the extraordinary
potential of the human mind.
dreamachine photo credit david levene 2
02. Solution - Harnessing Art & Science to capture the vast potential of our human mind
Rooted in understanding consumer behaviour, Holition’s team of creative technologists and user experience researchers worked closely with The Collective Act as well as the group of world-leading neuroscientists and philosophers that made up Team Science, to create a suite of technologies that together allowed participants through the Dreamachine to describe their own experience, ethereal and profound.
Through rounds of ideation, prototyping and user testing this programme, culminated in three core applications :The Sensorial Tool, Analogue Drawing station, real-time generative Data Visualisation and The Perception Census.
Welcome to Dreamachine
The Sensorial Tool
The Sensorial Tool is a series of questions and interactions developed in collaboration with Team Science to collect integral scientific data while providing the audience with a private, engaging place for introspection and reflection. The tool is a central element of the reflective journey - completed on a handheld tablet device in the reflection space. With a unique visual language and highly engaging series of interactions, the Sensorial Tool joins robust research content with a beautiful user interface, inviting the audience to reflect on what they saw, thought, felt and heard. This culminates with a completely unique digital takeaway - a Sensory Profile which describes their own individual and unique experience.
The Analogue Drawing Station
The Analogue Drawing station allows individuals to create a physical piece of art or writing, which can then be digitally captured and incorporated into the Team Science database. These drawings were then displayed within the live data visualisation, allowing others to compare experiences, as well as being shared out to the wider audience via the dreamachine.world website.
Extrapolating the data from the Sensorial Tool, Holition also produced a generative data visualisation, juxtaposing individual versus collective experiences, and bridging the gap between the digital sensorial tools and the Reflection Space. This area of the Dreamachine helped users to see the wider narrative around the Dreamachine through a constantly evolving artwork linking both art and science. Updating live in the Reflection Space, the visualisation constantly changes and evolves with every new data input, so that it is never the same.
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The Perception Census
Holition also provided design and user experience consultancy on the Perception Census, advising on methods and gamification strategies to further enhance the user experience, looking at the social aspect of the Census to encourage further participation.
03. Insight - Exploring the Individual vs. Collective Experience
Holition has always practiced the notion of Digital Anthropology - exploring the more creative, less rational use of technology, as well as the relationship between technology and the human experience. Holition’s role at the Dreamachine was to explore these commonalities by designing creative technologies that are genuinely intuitive and usable, allowing individuals to better understand their own experiences inside Dreamachine, and translate these into tangible data that will enable Neuroscientists to conduct this fundamental piece of research that explores the vast potential of the human mind.