Re: monitor refresh rates & epilepsy

Subject: Re: monitor refresh rates & epilepsy
From: Ian Knopke (
Date: Tue Jan 18 2005 - 15:17:56 EST

Just out of curiousity, has anyone actually had this stuff work in some

In 1999 the Edmonton Art Gallery had an installation of Brion Gysin
artwork (Gysin grew up in Edmonton) and somehow managed to obtain an
operational Gysin/Burroughs dream machine, running under more or less
optimal conditions (dark room, new age Indian music, etc.) Having read
about it previously, I thought this was an interesting opportunity so I
carefully followed the directions, sat in front of the thing, and tried
REALLY HARD to make something funky happen - for about 20 minutes. Nothing
happened. I know other people who also tried, at the same machine,
sometimes for longer periods or across multiple days, and nothing worked
for them either. I'm beginning to think that Burroughs and Gysin were
better at marketing than we usually give them credit for, and probably
sold bridges in their spare time.

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet - one of the directions was to
sit with one's eyes closed. This made a lot of sense, as the light was
very bright, and I could still see the flashes through my eyelids. Not
sure if that is important or not.

Anyone else had any actual experiences? Maybe it's just another 60's
myth... If it worked you'd think they'd be all over the place by now.

Ian Knopke

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005, Eliot Handelman wrote:

> Eliot Handelman wrote:
> >
> > There's a range of freqs (~70hz, as you say) that causes some people
> > to hallucinate, an effect
> > which Wm burroughs devoted hiomself to getting high on.

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