Brion Gysin, one of my favorite artists and influences, was a pioneer of sound poetry and multimedia collage, as well as a painter, calligraphist, artist, and apparently the only man that William S. Burroughs says he "respected." In 1958, Gysin experienced a hallucination caused by the sun flickering through trees and was inspired to develop the Dream Machine, a device meant to induce a dreamlike state though strobing light. According to Gysin, it was the "the first art object to be seen with the eyes closed." (Above left, me with one of Gysin's devices in Paris.) New York City's New Museum recently hosted the world's largest major retrospective of Gysin's work. I'm deeply bummed I missed the show, but the exhibition catalog, Brion Gysin: Dream Machine, is phenomenal. Also, the New Museum released a free Dream Machine iPhone app for a mobile flicker experience. Brion Gysin: Dream Machine app (via Rhizome, thanks Xeni!)
David Pescovitz is Boing Boing's co-editor/managing partner. He's also a research director at Institute for the Future. On Instagram, he's @pesco.