Audience gets a sneak preview of The Dream Machine exhibit

Photo of person looking at the Dream Machine

Lawrence Hamblin tries out the Dream Machine during the sneak preview.

Faculty and staff were treated this week to a sneak preview of the upcoming major exhibit being mounted in the Woodruff Library’s Schatten Gallery. “The Dream Machine: The Beat Generation and the Counterculture, 1940-1975” promises to appeal to a diverse audience and engage the Emory and broader Atlanta communities.

Curated by Aaron Goldsman, a graduate student working in the Rose Library, and by Sarah Harsh, a graduate student in the English department, the exhibit will “reconsider postwar literature and the ways it mirrored, predicted, and remade the culture around it, with special focus on the influential group known as ‘the Beats.'” Among the key writers being featured are Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs.

Goldsman and Kathy Dixon, the LITS exhibitions manager, led attendees on a virtual tour of the upcoming exhibit. This presentation, created by Gretchen Warner and John Klingler, gave the audience members a preview of the exhibition design and the artifacts that will be on display.

One interesting interactive experience was the Dream Machine itself. Painstakingly recreated by Klingler, with assistance from Julie Newton, the Dream Machine is a working replica of the original device built in the 1950’s by Brion Gysin. By closing one’s eyes and sitting directly in front of the machine, the user may experience a variety of hallucinations and eidetic imagery, which is a type of mental image not derived from actual memory.

The exhibit, which opens on September 28, promises to be a fascinating trip into the past and may draw interesting parallels between the countercultural revolution of the Beat Generation and modern social unrest.

Also, be sure not to miss the current Epitaphs for the Living Exhibit, which will only be on display until September 10.

For more information about all CCR exhibits, please contact the Exhibitions Team at kathryn [dot] v [dot] dixson [at] emory [dot] edu.

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