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FLicKeR doc on Brion Gysin's Dream Machine features Genesis Breyer P. Orridge PDF E-mail
Genesis Breyer P. Orridge is featured among notable figures discussing Brion Gysin's Dream Machine in the documentary film FLicKeR. The Dream Machine was/is a simple machine that uses light to create a trippy state of mind -- that was the brainwave of artist/poet/mystic Brion Gysin. Gysin understood the movement of light and how it could contribute to altered states of mind, and FLicKeR is a documentary about his life and his work.Genesis was a friend and artistic collaborator with Gysin, they had a mutual friend in William Burroughs and all three were admirers of and befriended members of the legendary troupe of Moroccan trance musicians, The Master Musicians of Jajouka.

Gysin's interest in art, consciousness and a drug-free high led him to develop the Dream Machine, which consisted of a light inside a rotating cylinder; the cylinder had patterned holes that let light flicker across the eyelid at a rate that approximated the frequency of alpha waves in the brain. People who tried the Dream Machine experienced interesting visions of shape and colour. Some had hallucinations similar to dream landscapes (and a few even had seizures.)

Kurt Cobain had a Dream Machine, according to this film. Not too surprisingly, Gysin was close buds with William S. Burroughs, and the movie also includes conversations with Iggy Pop, Marianne Faithfull, and Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo. The filmmaker Kenneth Anger turns up to talk about Gysin, as does poet John Giorno. The movie combines archival footage and more recent interviews.

Gysin himself comes across in FLicKeR as a bit of a loose cannon and a guy with bad luck on the self-marketing front. He kept ruining his own chances for success, say those who knew him, until bitterness became one of his defining characteristics. Too bad, because in exploring how mechanical devices change the expression and creation of art, Gysin was way ahead of his time. He even imagined that the Dream Machine might replace the television, prompting greater creativity in the general public.

The movie throws out some details about Gysin's interest in telepathy and ancient arts of spell casting and whatnot -- spiritual technologies that P-Orridge has utilized since his days with Throbbing Gristle. The film suggests that some iconic rock stars -- Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix -- channelled a spiritual force through their performances. Gysin was fascinated by Moroccan Jajouka trance music, too which is annually used to invoke Bou Jeloud, whom Burroughs and anthropologists have identified with the Roman god Pan.

Genesis Breyer P. Orridge has just released her SEVENTY FIFTH album with Psychic TV, "Mr. Alienbrain Vs. Thee Skinwalkers.

For more information on the film FLicKeR visit

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