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 Flicker - Example of Wide Spectrum Mind Control In Film And Television

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PostSubject: Flicker - Example of Wide Spectrum Mind Control In Film And Television   Sat Jul 02, 2011 4:20 pm

Flicker: The Dreamachine
Examples of Wide Spectrum Mind Control in Art, Film and Television

Flicker fusion threshold
The flicker fusion threshold (or flicker fusion rate) is a concept in the psychophysics of vision. It is defined as the frequency at which an intermittent light stimulus appears to be completely steady to the observer (this article centers around human observers). Flicker fusion threshold is related to persistence of vision.

Flicker fusion is important in all technologies for presenting moving images, nearly all of which depend on presenting a rapid succession of static images (e.g. the frames in a cinema film, TV show, or a digital video file). If the frame rate falls below the flicker fusion threshold for the given viewing conditions, flicker will be apparent to the observer, and movements of objects on the film will appear jerky. For the purposes of presenting moving images, the human flicker fusion threshold is usually taken as 16 hertz (Hz). In actual practice, movies are recorded at 24 frames per second, and TV cameras operate at 25 or 30 frames per second, depending on the TV system used. Even though motion may seem to be continuous at 25 or 30 frame/s, the brightness may still seem to flicker objectionably. By showing each frame twice in cinema projection (48 Hz), and using interlace in television (50 or 60 Hz), a reasonable margin of error for unusual viewing conditions is achieved in minimising subjective flicker effects.

Flicker is also important in the field of domestic (alternating current) lighting, where noticeable flicker can be caused by varying electrical loads, and hence can be very disturbing to electric utility customers. Most electricity providers have maximum flicker limits that they try to meet for domestic customers.

Part One - Fact, Fiction and the Dream Machine

The dreamachine (or dream machine) is a stroboscopic flicker device that produces visual stimuli.

Artist Brion Gysin and William Burroughs's "systems adviser" Ian Sommerville created the dreamachine after reading William Grey Walter's book, The Living Brain. In its original form, a dreamachine is made from a cylinder with slits cut in the sides. The cylinder is placed on a record turntable and rotated at 78 or 45 revolutions per minute. A light bulb is suspended in the center of the cylinder and the rotation speed allows the light to come out from the holes at a constant frequency, situated between 8 and 13 pulses per second. This frequency range corresponds to alpha waves, electrical oscillations normally present in the human brain while relaxing.

A dreamachine is "viewed" with the eyes closed: the pulsating light stimulates the optical nerve and alters the brain's electrical oscillations. The "viewer" experiences increasingly bright, complex patterns of color behind their closed eyelids. The patterns become shapes and symbols, swirling around, until the "viewer" feels surrounded by colors. It is claimed that viewing a dreamachine allows one to enter a hypnagogic state. This experience may sometimes be quite intense, but to escape from it, one needs only to open one's eyes.

A dreamachine may be dangerous for people with photosensitive epilepsy or other nervous disorders. It is thought that one out of 10,000 adults will experience a seizure while viewing the device; about twice as many children will have a similar ill effect.

You can view and download Gysin and Sommerville's Dreamachine plans here

Example (1) The Novel

By Theodore Roszak

ISBN 0-553-29792-9

In 1991 a professor emeritus of history at California State University named Theodore Roszak published a novel entitled Flicker. Described as ‘A novel of suspense involving tangled conspiracies and dark obsessions in the mysterious film industry from the author of the highly acclaimed The Making of a Counterculture’ Flicker, a complex mystery set in Los Angeles in the 1970’s, centers around a film student Jonathan Gates and his obsession with a B horror film director Max Castle. This obsession eventually leads Jonathan to discover Castle’s use of subliminal messages, mind control, mood altering imagery secretly embedded into movies with the intent of terrifying the audience.

Jonathan Gates is a student at UCLA in the early 1960s, where he begins his love affair with film at The Classic, a rundown independent movie theatre. He begins an affair with the theatre's owner Clarissa 'Clare' Swann, who tutors him extensively in the study of film history over the course of their relationship. It is through Clare's pursuit of classic films to show at the theatre that Gates stumbles upon the work of Max Castle, a B-Movie director of German origin whose work uses subliminal imagery and unorthodox symbolism to achieve a powerful effect over the viewer.

Gradually, Gates rises through the academic ranks to achieve a professorial chair, becoming most respected as the rediscoverer and champion of Castle's work. Through Gates' extensive research, the reader learns of Castle's considerable influence over the great films of his time, culminating in a collaboration with Orson Welles to make the acclaimed movie Citizen Kane, followed by a failed attempt to adapt Conrad's Heart of Darkness to the silver screen. Also revealed, however, are his shadowy connections with a religious group known as the Orphans of the Storm, as well as his disappearance in 1941.

Clare, meanwhile, has become a respected New York film critic, entrusting the Classic theatre to her one-time projectionist Don Sharkey, who stops showing artful films in favour of shallow entertainment for a new generation of moviegoers. Among the up-and-coming directors Sharkey showcases is one Simon Dunkle, whom Gates learns belongs to the same religious sect as Max Castle. Gates begins to investigate the Orphans, despite their own attempts to stifle his research and the adverse effect that the constant viewing of Orphan-made films is having on his personality. He learns that they are Gnostic dualists, living in secrecy since the Catholic persecutions of Catharism in the Middle Ages. Gates begins to suspect that the Orphans are using an extensive influence in the film industry to subliminally promote their religion while they enact their plans to bring about the Apocalypse in the year 2014.

Eventually, Gates turns to his former lover Clare for help. She introduces him to a Father Angelotti, a Cathar in disguise as a Catholic priest. Angelotti persuades him to 'infiltrate' the Orphans' church, so as to obtain the conclusive evidence that will allow Gates to publish what he has discovered. The Orphans put him on a private plane, ostensibly to meet the elders of their faith. En route, they drug his coffee and he awakes, imprisoned on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean. Living in a nearby hut is none other than Max Castle himself, more than 30 years after his disappearance. Gates and the film director he once idolised use scraps and castoffs from a waste-heap of old celluloid to splice together one final film, while they wait for Armageddon to come.

Example (2) The Book

Chapel Of Extreme Experience:
A Short History of Flicker, Stroboscopic Light and the Dream Machine
By John Grigsby Geiger

John Geiger traces the history of how a visual phenomenon first described two hundred years ago by physiologist Jan Purkinje has become the basis of further scientific studies into how the visual brain works, and how its repercussions have spread widely into contemporary artistic and musical culture.

The study of stroboscopic light began as a purely scientific study. Geiger’s history begins at this point and goes on to study the transition to the art world that was pioneered by Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs, Genesis P-Orridge and Allen Ginsberg. While the book is an examination of the intersection between art and science, it is also a study of major currents in Western culture by way of an investigation of an obscure phenomenon.

Not only was flicker central to the artistic explorations of the afore-mentioned by Geiger also finds intersections with the lives (and deaths) of people as various as Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain, Keith Haring, Ned Rorem, Paul McCartney, Derek Jarman, Paul Bowles, David Bowie.

The true story of how the discovery of flicker potentials, and scientific observations about strange patterns, organized hallucinations, and even the displacement of time derived from stroboscopic light, very nearly resulted in a Dream Machine in every suburban living room. William S. Burroughs said: "Flicker administered under large dosage and repeated later could well lead to overflow of brain areas ... Anything that can be done chemically can be done in other ways." Aldous Huxley called it "an aid to visionary experience."

Author John Grigsby Geiger was born in Ithaca, New York, and graduated in history from the University of Alberta. The author of five books of non-fiction, his work has been translated into nine languages. He is Editorial Board Editor at The Globe and Mail, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. He is a Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Chairman of the Society's Expeditions Committee, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, and a Member of the Advisory Board of Wings Worldquest.

It appears that the word "Flicker" was dropped from the books title at some point

Example (3) The Documentary

FLicKeR (2008)
Director: Nik Sheehan
Writers: John Geiger (book) - Chapel Of Extreme Experience: A Short History of Flicker, Stroboscopic Light and the Dream Machine
Nik Sheehan (written by)
Genre: Documentary

Artist Brion Gysin developed the Dream Machine. The device has in its core a 100-watt light bulb, which is surrounded by a spinning open column with windows to allow the light to shine through. To be experienced with ones eyes closed, the Dream Machine has a flickering effect of light and dark, much like a strobe light. The experience has been described as hypnotic or hallucinogenic. Some have called the Dream Machine a drug-less high. Gysin, through archival interviews, many of the Dream Machine's users, some of whom are friends of Gysin, and scientists tell of their experiences with the machine and speculate on its physiological effects.

The true story of how the discovery of flicker potentials, and scientific observations about strange patterns, organized hallucinations, and even the displacement of time derived from stroboscopic light, very nearly resulted in a Dream Machine in every suburban living room. William S. Burroughs said: "Flicker administered under large dosage and repeated later could well lead to overflow of brain areas ... Anything that can be done chemically can be done in other ways." Aldous Huxley called it "an aid to visionary experience."

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.

Example (4) The Film (from the novel of the same name)
Theodore Roszak (novel)
Jim Uhls (screenplay)
Darren Aronofsky (director)
Release Date: 2011 (USA)?

In early 2003, Darren Aronofsky, director of the low-budget success, π, signed a three-year contract with Regency Enterprises. One of the first projects mentioned was an adaptation of Flicker. Jim Uhls (best known for his adaptation of Fight Club) was hired to adapt it. In 2006, Aronofsky moved to Universal, and the Flicker project was still in gestation.

After becoming obsessed with the work of a hack filmmaker, a Los Angeles film student concludes that B movies are part of a plot to obliterate life on Earth. Based on the novel of the same name by Theodore Roszak.

View the documentary here!

FLicKeR The Documetary

People with connections to Flicker

Theodore Roszak - scholar
professor emeritus of history at California State University, East Bay. He is best known for his 1968 text, The Making of a Counter Culture. Roszak received his B.A. from UCLA and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University. He taught at Stanford University, the University of British Columbia, and San Francisco State University before joining CalState East Bay (formerly CalState Hayward).

Roszak "first came to public prominence in 1968, with the publication of his The Making of a Counter Culture which chronicled and gave explanation to the European and North American counterculture of the 1960s.

Other books include include Longevity Revolution: As Boomers Become Elders, The Voice of the Earth (Touchstone Books), The Cult of Information, The Gendered Atom: Reflections on the Sexual Psychology of Science, The Voice of the Earth, and Ecopsychology: Healing the Mind, Restoring the Earth. With his wife Betty, he is co-editor of the anthology Masculine/Feminine: Essays on Sexual Mythology and the Liberation of Women.

His fiction includes Flicker (Simon and Schuster and Bantam Books) and the award-winning Memoirs of Elizabeth Frankenstein (Random House and Bantam Books). His most recent novel, published in 2003, is The Devil and Daniel Silverman.

Jan Evangelista Purkyně - Anatomist, and physiologist
(17 December 1787 - 28 July 1869) was a Czech Anatomist, and physiologist.

A Czechoslovakian physician who talked about persistence of vision and the ability of the retina to retain images after the eyes no long see the subject. He wrote on light intensity and how when light decreases, red objects fade quicker than objects that are blue when they are of the same brightness.

One of his works was 'Observations and Experiments Investigating the Physiology of Senses and New Subjective Reports about Vision'.

Purkyne is also known for coining the terms 'plasma', 'protoplasm' and recognized fingerprints as important to criminal investigations.

Purkyně was born in Libochovice, Bohemia. In 1819 he graduated from the University of Prague with a degree in medicine, where he was appointed a Professor of Physiology after writing his doctoral dissertation. Working at the university, he discovered the Purkinje effect, whereby as light intensity decreases red objects seem to fade faster than blue objects of the same brightness. He published two volumes Observations and Experiments Investigating the Physiology of Senses and New Subjective Reports about Vision, which contributed to the emergence of the science of experimental psychology. He created the world's first Department of Physiology at the University of Breslau in Prussia in 1839 and the world's first official physiology laboratory in 1842.

Purkyně also recognised the importance of the work of Eadweard Muybridge. Purkyně constructed his own version of zoetrope which he called forolyt. He put nine photos of him shot from various sides to the disc and entertained his grandchildren by showing them how he, an old and famous professor, is turning around at great speed. (Souček, 1963).

He was one of the best known scientists of his time. Such was his fame that when people from outside Europe wrote letters to him, all that they needed to put as the address was "Purkyně, Europe".

He is buried in the Czech National Cemetery in Vyšehrad, Prague, Czech Republic.

Eadweard Muybridge - Photographer and inventor
(April 9, 1830 – May 8, 1904) was an English photographer, known primarily for his early use of multiple cameras to capture motion, and his zoopraxiscope, a device for projecting motion pictures that pre-dated the celluloid film strip that is still used today.

John Grigsby Geiger - Author
Born in Ithaca, New York, and graduated in history from the University of Alberta. The author of five books of non-fiction, his work has been translated into nine languages. He is Editorial Board Editor at The Globe and Mail, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto. He is a Governor of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Chairman of the Society's Expeditions Committee, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, and a Member of the Advisory Board of Wings Worldquest.

Brion Gysin - painter, writer, sound poet, and performance artist
(January 19, 1916 - July 13, 1986) was a painter, writer, sound poet, and performance artist born in Taplow, Buckinghamshire.[1]

He is best known for his discovery of the cut-up technique used by William S. Burroughs. With Ian Somerville he invented the Dreamachine, a flicker device designed as an art object to be viewed with the eyes closed. It was in painting, however, that Gysin devoted his greatest efforts, creating calligraphic works inspired by Japanese and Arabic scripts. Burroughs later stated that "Brion Gysin was the only man I ever respected."

Ian Somerville - Cambridge mathematician
There is very little information that I have been able to find on Ian Somerville other than he was William S. Burroughs' lover and he assisted Brion Gysin in the creation of the Dreamachine. I would suggest that he made the mathematical calculations allowing the Dreamachine to produce a flicker rate of 11hz using a 78rpm phonograph as the rotation device. He could be the connection to a NPO or think tank such as the Tavistock Institute.

Dr.W.Grey Walter - Neurophysiologist
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1910. His parents moved to England in 1915, where he was educated at Westminster School and afterwards in King's College, Cambridge, in 1931. He failed to obtain a research fellowship in Cambridge and so turned to doing basic and applied neurophysiological research in hospitals, in London, from 1935 to 1939 and then at the Burden Neurological Institute in Bristol, from 1939 to 1970. He also carried out research work in the United States, in the Soviet Union and in various other places in Europe.

A respected neurophysiologist, Dr. Walter worked extensively with EEG. He discovered theta and delta waves in the electroencephalogram (the brain waves associated with light and deep sleep, respectively), and developed the first EEG brain topography machine, based on an array of spiral-scan CRTs connected to high-gain amplifiers.

In the late 1940's Dr Grey Walter carried out pioneering research on mobile autonomous robots at the Burden Neurological Institute as part of his quest to model brain function. He wanted to study the basis of simple reflex actions and to test his theory on complex behavior arising from neural interconnections. His highly successful and inspiring experiments with robot "tortoises" "Elsie" and "Elmer" were influential in the birth of the science of cybernetics, and widely read, as documented in "Scientific American" in 1950 and 1951, and in his book "The Living Brain" (1953). Recently, one of the original tortoises was found by Dr. Owen Holland, of the University of West of England, and was restored to order in 1995. A specimen of a second generation turtle is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.

He married twice, and had two sons from the first and one from the second.

Dr. Grey Walter passed away in 1977.

The Flicker Effect is clear that the visual image plays a major role in realising both natural and chemically induced altered states, in several ways: through the reflective surface of the mirror; the circular mandalic pattern; the vibrational experience of intense colour; and the flickering of light. In all cases, there is an inference of movement, whether actual, or optically implied. The hallucinatory potential of flickering light was recognized by the Canadian poet Brion Gysin and mathematician Ian Somerville in 1959, who created The Dream Machine, a device that writer William Burroughs used extensively.

The Dream Machine comprises a rotating cylinder perforated with holes shaped according to a Sufi geometrical pattern, through which light from a motorized lamp emits a constant flicker, experienced with the eyes shut. The machine emits a pulse of light at ten flickers per second, exactly corresponding to the rhythm of brain Alpha waves. The brain tunes into the pulse and shifts from its waking rhythm to a dreaming rhythm. In the subsequent waking dream state, participants report seeing brilliant colours, geometric forms, and dream-like visions...

“Flickering is the opposing changes in intensity of luminosity. This is usually caused by flashing, but can also be caused by spatial contrast patterns that oscillate at dangerous frequencies; the type of images that people create to deliberately stimulate a response in the recipient that makes them believe the image is moving or changing. For people with photosensitive epilepsy, flickering causes many of the nerve cells that process visual stimuli to all fire at once, resulting in a seizure”
“Along with the frequency of the flickering, the size and luminous intensity of the stimuli is significant for people with photosensitive epilepsy. The greater the intensity and larger the size of the stimuli, the greater the danger of provoking seizures caused by flickering at dangerous frequencies.”

“The colour red is particularly dangerous due to its longer wavelength that stimulates cones in the retina. There have been cases where photosensitive epileptic seizures have been triggered by cyclists while setting up the red flashing rear lights on their bicycle. Even when there is no perceived difference in the luminosity of the contrasting colours, red flickering is far more likely to cause seizures than other colours.”

“Television programmes are thought to be the most common cause for triggering photosensitive epileptic seizures. The most famous incident of photosensitive epilepsy caused by a television programme is the Pokémon episode, Electronic Soldier Porygon , which was aired in Japan in 1997. Nearly 700 children were admitted to hospital through photosensitive epilepsy that was thought to have been induced by the episode.”

People with photosensitive epilepsy can have seizures triggered by flickering or flashing in the 4 to 59 flashes per second (Hertz) range with a peak sensitivity at 20 flashes per second as well as quick changes from dark to light (like strobe lights).When content violates either the general flash threshold or the red flash threshold , users are warned in a way that they can avoid it Content does not violate the general flash threshold or red flash threshold “Allowing people to choose whether or not they receive the content is better than not providing a warning, but there are other factors to consider. The first is that as photosensitive epilepsy is most common in children, it could be that they don’t understand or appreciate the significance of the warning. It isn’t just children; people with reading difficulties or speakers of languages other than the language of the warning may also inadvertently be exposed to content that could induce seizures.”

“Although the size of the stimuli is significant, there is still a danger of material that is considered to be safe being changed by the visitor. For example, low vision users increasing the size of flickering material, or someone leaning in close to the screen.”
“The safest way to avoid causing photosensitive epilepsy is to completely avoid creating web content that flickers.”
“People with photosensitive epilepsy who suddenly find themselves exposed to material that could trigger a seizure should immediately cover one eye with the palm of their hand to reduce the number of brain cells that are stimulated by the flickering content, and either close the page or navigate away from the page.”

“Photosensitive epilepsy is a form of epilepsy that is triggered by visual stimuli, such as flickering or high contrast oscillating patterns, and it’s believed that around 3% to 5% of people with epilepsy are susceptible to photosensitive material. Photosensitive epilepsy is usually triggered where the flicker rate is between 16Hz to 25Hz, although it’s not uncommon for seizures to be triggered by flicker rates between 3Hz to 60Hz. The condition most commonly effects children, and is usually developed between the ages of 9 and 15 years, and most prevalent in females.”

For more technical reading

Television Flicker and Fits
Bower Clin Pediatr (Phila).1963; 2: 134-138

Information processing in anxiety: a pilot study of the effect of manipulating 5-HT function
T.M. Andrews and I.M. Anderson
Journal of Psychopharmacology, Jan 1998; vol. 12: pp. 155 - 160.

From M.o.1 -- The important thing to look at here is how these flourescent bulbs are going in all over the country. Despite all of the health effects w/ the mercury in the bulbs.....why do you think so many people are reporting headaches w/ these bulbs? These things are designed to interfere w/ naturally occuring brain patterns. The eyes are sensors for the brain and what they see/detect goes straight to the brain. This is why flashing lights can trigger seizures in some people....they are gateways to the brain! This flicker is unseen by the human eyes but as you can see from this particular article, they knew exactly what watching TV in excess and these bulbs are gonna do. They have already discoveredd that wireless data can be transmitted across these bulbs so what is next? How much more do we need to be tapped into this matrix?
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