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Concept, design and execution

In search of the creative flow between being awake and asleep, Hypnagogia was built. An installation that invites the audience to experience the threshold between dreams and reality.

Hypnagogia is the state between consciousness and sleep – a state where the human brain is open to free flowing thoughts and ideas. Many artists, writers and scientists like Dalì, Edgar Allen Poe, Newton and Beethoven, describe hypnagogia as a source for their creative ideas. This state was the fundamental precept of the graduation project created by Studio Koen Steger, for Amsterdam School of the Arts in 2015.

A relaxed brain allows for easier processing of information

The audience are invited to lie down in a large dome, made of wood and fabric. The audience do not receive any visual stimuli, besides the slowly changing coloured light that is projected by video. The brain is then encouraged to relax in the hopes of producing slower waves. The aim was to stimulate Thèta brain waves (the waves that we experience during dream like states as we wake or fall asleep), but the suspicion was that the installation mainly generated Alpha waves (waves that we experience during deeply relaxed, meditative states). As a result, the audience were extremely tranquil but remained alert. Through this method, individuals are able to process information better and reduce stress. Due to its positive reception, the installation was nominated for the Amsterdam School of the Arts final work prize.

Dimensions: 9 metres diameter, 5 metres high
Period: 2015
Material: wood, fabric and LED light

Concept/Light: Kelvin Pater
Production: Vera Menheere
Photos: Robert van der Ree
Technical drawings: In collaboration with Kelvin Pater