think, behind everything, he was trying to teach people to see differently.”
The dream machine looks simple enough: A 100-watt light bulb, a motor, and a rotating cylinder with cutouts. Just sit in front of it, close your eyes, and wait for the visions to come.
The dream machine offers a drugless high that its creator – poet, artist, calligrapher and mystic Brion Gysin – believed would revolutionize human consciousness.
He wasn't alone. Kurt Cobain had a dream machine. And William S. Burroughs thought it could be used to “storm the citadels of enlightenment.”
With a custom-made dream machine in tow, director Nik Sheehan takes us on a journey into the life of Brion Gysin – his art, his complex ideas, and his friendships with some of the 20th century's key counterculture figures.
Gysin was fascinated by identity. He saw himself as a incarnation of the 10th-century King of Assassins, trained in counter-espionage during WWII, and wrote and rewrote his name in countless permutations, as if to make it disappear – in the process, inventing the cut-up technique that his lifelong friend, Beat novelist Burroughs, would make famous.
Featuring greats like Burroughs (in archival footage), singer Marianne Faithfull, singer/artist Genesis P-Orridge of Psychic TV, poet John Giorno, rocker Iggy Pop, filmmaker Kenneth Anger, and artist/turntablist DJ Spooky, FLicKeR is a hypnotic documentary.
Taking the dream machine as the basis of its explorations, FLicKeR asks crucial questions about the nature of art and consciousness, and imagines a humanity liberated to explore its creativity in complete freedom.