Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Luke Jerram's The Dream Director is a unique art event, installation and exploration investigating the hidden realm of dreaming. 

Where do people go when they dream? What do they see? What do they experience? And can the shape of dreams be influenced as the dreamer is sleeping? These are the questions posed and explored by artist Luke Jerram in his participatory work, The Dream Director. 

Jerram was commissioned in 2007 by Watershed through the Clark Bursary, the UK Digital Art Award, to investigate the complexities of sleep and dreaming. He built upon original research carried out with sleep psychologist Chris Alford at The University of West of England, to create a new installation that merges art, science and digital media.

The Dream Director invites people to sleep overnight in a gallery. Specially designed "pods" house the dreamers who don eye-masks that detect rapid eye movement, indicating the dreaming stage of sleep. Each pod is allocated a different bank of sounds, shaping participants dreams in different ways.

When the dreamers reach their dream state, their eye masks trigger ambient sounds via a computer, which are played into small speakers mounted into the pod, in an attempt to affect the nature and content of their dreams. 

Prior to the sleepover, participants are asked to record what sort of dreams they normally experience. After the sleepover they are asked to record their dreaming experience for that night.

The Dream Director explores the boundaries of participants' conscious and subconscious minds, prompting questions about the ethics of and possibilities for, creating art in dream space. It is also a new tool for sleep science and clinical applications that raises questions about the rules of interaction and boundaries of science and art.

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