Over 400 people have participated in this project during the past 6 years. Over 100 dreams, each accompanied by an interpretation and an illustration, fill the Dream Library. And over 100 designs for technology that would allow others to see your dreams have been submitted to The Dream Machine. The Dream Projects were a staple at 6 World Maker Faires at the NY Hall Of Science, and numerous Mini-Maker Faires, and art festivals in the NYC metro area. Participants have ranged from preschoolers to octogenarians. The most surprising aspect of this project to me has been the kindness and sensitivity that anonymous participants have shown to the dreams of strangers.
Through this trio of projects based on the mystery of dreaming, I hope to expand our knowledge and understanding of the nature of dreams.
A. The Dream Exchange
People have always been curious about each other’s dreams. We wonder what other people see in their sleep. We wonder what our dreams mean. We ascribe meaning to the symbols but we can only guess. The Dream Exchange is an interactive project. Everything is anonymous so that participants are free to reveal their true selves.
There are four basic parts to this component.
Leave a dream – You write down a dream that you had while sleeping and leave it in the dream repository.
Interpret A Dream – You are given a dream that someone left. You write what you think the dream is trying to tell the person who had it. It is added to the file with the dream.
Illustrate A Dream – You are given a dream that someone left. You draw an image of the dream. It is added to the file with the dream.
The Dream Library – When a dream that has been left is interpreted and illustrated you are able to go to the Dream Library and see all three parts; the Dream, the Interpretation and the Illustration. What dreams would you leave at the Dream Exchange? What meanings would you ascribe to the dream of someone you’ve never met? Or have you?! How would you show a stranger’s dreams? What would you find in the Dream Library? See some examples here.
B. Clear as the Dream on Your Face
Who are you in your dreams?
What images do you see?
How would people react to you if they could see?
What if your dreams were …
“Clear As the Dreams on Your Face”?
Participants write down a dream that they had whilst sleeping. Using imagery from your dream, I paint their face and photograph them.
The photographs and written dreams are to be displayed together.
C. The Dream Machine – Participants use words and pictures to design a method or device to make dreams visible. The plans can be scientific or more imaginative. My favorites so are far are one by a preschooler that involves among other items, lollypops, a cat and the moon, and one by a neurologist that features dream sorting hamsters. The plans are compiled so that the designs may be disseminated to those who wish to build a Dream Machine. You can see over 90 of the plans at https://www.tumblr.com/blog/dream-o-matic.
Photos are from the Internet Yami Ichi 2 and World Maker Faire.