Amy Holway Jorgensen        Installation Art                       


Most of us only experience two levels of consciousness throughout our lifetime: asleep (fully unconscious) and awake (fully conscious).  In terms of brainwave states, the levels between sleep and wake are known as the alpha and theta states of consciousness. It is in this state where we can most easily access our subconscious mind and experience deep relaxation. The age-old practice of meditation assists in the cultivation of this in-between state. 

Brainwave entrainment occurs when an external stimulus causes a shift in brainwave state. In the meditation machine, I used light and sound to induce the brainwave state that most commonly occurs during meditation.

To provide the visual entrainment, I built a central spire of spinning light. I put black strips along the vertical axis which created a barely perceptible flashing. This is a neurological phenomenon known as photic stimulation and was designed to induce a theta and alpha (6-14Hz) brainwave state.

There were 4 listening stations to provide the aural entrainment: 2 provided a private seat with speakers installed equidistant from left and right ear, 2 were for those who were more comfortable standing and using headphones. The tones heard  were specialized tracks of ‘binaural beats’: the tone heard in the left ear was just slightly different than the one heard in the right ear with a calculated  difference of 6-14 Hz.  These rhythms, some imperceptible to the ear, create a vibrational pattern that mimics the theta and alpha brainwave frequency. 

The walls, floor, and ceiling were completely covered in blue vinyl to create a monochromatic visual experience. There were vertical poles placed throughout the room for traffic control and to compliment the lighting design.

The Meditation Machine


3D Models:

vinyl, acrylic sheeting, fan motor, flourescent light, speakers, wood

12’w. 8’h. 10’d.

PROJECT GOALS: to alter the brain-wave state of participants