Crystal Dream Machine
The Crystal Dream Machine exploits the optical properties of Swarovski crystal to produce experiences of deep relaxation and ‘artificial dreaming’. The project responds to the theme of ‘smart living’ as set by Swarovski Designers of the Future.
With ever more connected technologies blurring the boundaries between our professional, social and domestic spheres, the numbers of people experiencing anxiety, insomnia and depression are rising. The Crystal Dream Machine attempts to counterpoise this trend by offering new or alternative ways to relax.
Building on the work of artists from the 50s and 60s such as Brion Gysin and Tony Conrad the device leverages a neurobiological principle called ‘brainwave entrainment’ to produce altered states of consciousness. By rotating the Swarovski crystals at predetermined speeds the dream machine produces pulsating light effects that are projected onto the closed eyelids to elicit a brain-frequency response. As a result the brainwaves will synchronize with the external rhythm allowing the brain to enter different levels of alertness. Stimulation in the alpha and theta frequency ranges are associated with relaxation.
To further enhance the experience, sound is integrated in the form of binaural beats. Sam Conran, a sound artist based in Leipzig and London, has created a bespoke 3D composition inspired by diffraction patterns in X-ray crystallography.