Mind Machine,



Operated by Gary Oldknow, inspired by seeing an Acidica show at Stonehenge free festival in the 1980's, I saw a liquid wheel projector and went straight out and bought one the next day.

I ended up getting an odd phone call where someone had recommended my lightshow to a 60s night club in Brighton who phoned me up offering a job.

But I didn’t have a lightshow. So I straight away set about making one and The Mind Machine was born..the name came from a book about Mind Machines - flickering lights that made the viewer experience patterns of interference with their brainwaves.

I worked as The Mind Machine for around 18 months, then went into projecting on buildings with large format slide projectors where I developed many of the techniques that are used today in Projection Mapping.

I was the first person in the UK to do this kind of thing so had to make my own slides and figure it all out by myself..

I then started doing visuals for clubs in London at the start of Acid House and worked at the very first raves.

I began with 2 Optikinetics, 4 slide projectors and a couple of super 8s.. At the peak I was running 32 slide projectors at The Fridge in Brixton with a bespoke controller.

I then switched over to Dataton Trax, which was quite simply amazing.. I could do really complicated animations with 12 slide projectors on one screen.

We did a lot of improv - broken TV screens to make Moire effects and electric train set controllers to run paired foamboard propellors on the front of projector lenses.

I’ve reverse engineered a lot of the Optikinetics effects so I can reproduce them with video projectors.

These days I use Resolume Arena and VDMX for my live work and I own a couple of ultra-short throw HD Optomas which I can blend to do a Cinemascope format, though I regularly use 20k lumens+ projectors for outdoor and stage work.

I reformed as Deepvisual in the mid 90s when I started doing concert touring visuals.

In 2000 I added Planetarium projections to my repertoire and occasionally do shows in the World’s biggest portable dome - The Celestial Dome, which can hold up to 5000 people.

I eventually opened the world’s first and possibly only VJ Store in London 2004, supplying hardware and software to UK VJs.

I've always worked solo, but have collaborated with The Light Surgeons, Vegetable Vision, Insight Lighting, Digital Insanity and The Spot Co.

I’ve since done live projections for - Johnny Cash, Elton John, David Bowie, Sting, Duran Duran, Radiohead, Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, Pet Shop Boys, The Orb.

I’ve worked in typhoons, floods, riots, sandstorms, earthquakes, been tear gassed, had my drinks spiked, been blinded for a week by a YAG laser, had the half the projection system catch fire in a 18 projector planetarium and was almost killed by a brazilian electrician.. but my fave story is going into a mall on a day off on tour with the keyboard tech, who had a fondness for the rock and roll lifestyle.

As he was at the checkout paying, he began bleeding profusely from both nostrils and the check out girl was horrified.. He tried to pass it off by saying it was the air pressure, but I told the check out girl “ He has the Stigmata of Saint Robert Downey Junior” which totally cracked her up..

One evening I noticed someone was standing in between the projectors and the screen. I shouted to him, Oi, you, move… He came back with “You obviously don’t know who I am” so I told him, “Even Jesus Christ doesn’t stand in front of my projectors” and he moved…LOL

Looking back, purely by chance, I started doing visuals at a time when almost nobody was doing it in the UK.

Also by chance, one of the major clubs on the House Scene - The Fridge - was a converted cinema and it’s license meant it could only open if it had projections, so rave and visuals were together at the very start..

House music exploded into the mainstream and visuals were now part of the Rave Scene and given that most of the bands from that era didn’t play instruments, the visuals for bands like The Chemical Brothers and The Orb took centre stage as an intrinsic part of the performance and I ended up working in 57 countries doing projections for concerts and Son et Lumiere shows.

I’ve continued doing visuals as Deepvisual and am still working in the industry today.

Gary Oldknow - May 2002 (Updated November 2020)


Mind Machine Light Show


Deepvisual Light Show

Bands I have worked with

Deepvisual Light Show

Buckingham Palace (click for B-I-G)

Deepvisual Light Show
Deepvisual Light Show

(click for B-I-G)

Deepvisual Light Show

Hardware For Xenon 7kW slide projectors

Deepvisual Light Show

Hardware For Xenon 7kW slide projectors

Deepvisual Light Show

Paper Gods