Tech

Dream Machine 2017 Cooks Up an All-Night Art Rager

A new brainwave-altering Dream Machine anchors the Houston-produced event of the same name.
A new brainwave-altering Dream Machine anchors the Houston-produced event of the same name. Jean Velez
Imagine a local, one-night-only mega-event that meant to unify of Day for Night, Santa Fe's fantastical Meow Wolf, artist Brion Gysin’s hallucinatory Dream Machine, and a little bit of clandestine goings-on. That’s what Bambull Black, the collective of artists Hannah Bull, Dom Bam and Black Cassidy, is after in their homegrown production, Dream Machine, which this year invited 15 artists to create interactive, tech-inspired and digital installations to anchor the nightlong art party.

click to enlarge A scene from the debut Dream Machine art party - JEAN VELEZ
A scene from the debut Dream Machine art party
Jean Velez
The artworks include Trey German’s and Joshua Leckie’s fully-immersive Pac-Man and Doom games that attendees can play, a digital therapeutic room that replicates an idea of a gentle asylum, a floor-to-ceiling projection map by Input/Output, and an interactive wall with interactive terrain.

“The idea is to give a platform for tech-inspired and digital installation artists,” says Bull, also the founder of the Houston Music and Arts Hall of Fame.

click to enlarge Alex Ramos, creator of the reimagined Dream Machine, models his creation during last year's installation. - JEAN VELEZ
Alex Ramos, creator of the reimagined Dream Machine, models his creation during last year's installation.
Jean Velez
The crux and namesake of the event is a reimagined Dream Machine by Noah Wight and Cactus Bath. Much like Gysin’s piece that was made popular by William Burroughs, this version of Dream Machine is supposed to simulate an alpha brain-wave state that eventually generates sober hallucinations. The piece will include two 64-square-foot heads with neurons connecting the two domepieces. “There will be a headset that will do [electroencephalogram aka. EEG] readings and will be displayed inside the heads and will also be shown in the ‘light neurons.’"


“It gets reimagined and bigger every year,” says Bull about the Dream Machine installation and the overall event, now in its second incarnation, that will include performances by Ak'Chamel, Whit, SHMU, -Us., GRRRL PARTS, Swimsuit Edition, and Heavy, The Blue Bird, dozens of art vendors, and the food trucks Boombox Tacos and Food, Music, and Life.

"Wild attire" is encouraged.

click to enlarge Wear pretty much whatever to Dream Machine 2017. - JEAN VELEZ
Wear pretty much whatever to Dream Machine 2017.
Jean Velez
Note: this article has been modified after original publication to correctly identify the creators of the floor-to-ceiling map, Input/Output.

Dream Machine takes place from 6 p.m. Saturday, August 26, to 2 a.m. at The Grove, 215 Grove. For information about the 21-and-over event, check out the Facebook event page. Admission costs $20 to $40.

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Steve Jansen is a contributing writer for the Houston Press.
Contact: Steve Jansen