Artistic representations of dreams (paintings, video etc)

My friend Elizabeth Honer recreated one of her dreams in Tiltbrush, a VR painting program. You can see a video tour of it at https://twitter.com/grrlrighter/status/1117241028673769472 [NOTE: you do not have to have a Twitter account to look at that video.]

She describes it thus:

I recreated a dream I had in Tiltbrush

… This is a dream I had a few years ago and it really stuck with me. I dreamed I was in a place where it was perpetually sunset, and I was on a moving walkway that I could control with my mind. If I thought “forward” it would move forward, same thing to go backward. All the trees lining the walkway had lights in them, which I loved. They reminded me of a Mary Oliver poem. At the end of the walkway, there was a rickety bridge that led over a river to a land I couldn’t see. I remember feeling happy here, very relaxed and peaceful, and it felt like I had all the time in the world.

It was really difficult for me to recreate this in VR

I had to try several times, and it still isn’t exactly how I would like it, but it’s close enough, and I gotta get to other projects. Definitely a good learning experience. I’ve also attached the original picture I drew right after having the dream.

Here is the still image of the dream:

Here is the Mary Oliver poem she’s referring to:

When I Am Among the Trees

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

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Blanket Heavy With Nightmares is an excellent VR experience by Finnish artist Suvi Solkio. It recreates 5 anonymously submitted nightmares. Free on SteamVR. Dream-recreation is a very cool use of virtual reality :star_struck:

~ArthurG

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The latest Voices of VR podcast is very relevant here: Voices of VR #757: Dream Logic & Symbolic Storytelling of Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams + Grieving the Death of Parents

Graham Sack says that dream analysis and the language have film have co-evolved together as visual forms of symbolic communication, and he wanted to further that exploration in an experimental narrative series funded by Samsung VR. Sack and Sensorium produced a four-part series called The Interpretation of Dreams translating some of the original dream analysis case studies that either inspired or were included within in Freud’s book called “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Sack translates the personal symbols that appear in these dreams into a surreal dream logic that unfolds visually as it cuts back and forth between Freud and the patient unpacking the symbolic meaning of these dreams.

I saw all four episodes of this series at the Vancouver International Film Festival in September 2018, and then had a chance to unpack Sack’s process of translating these source material into an immersive VR experience. There’s something about the affordances of virtual reality that makes it a perfect medium to be able to explore the inner symbols, myths, and dramas that are playing out within someone’s unconscious psyche…

~ArthurG

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Another great dream-recreation in Tiltbrush by my friend Elizabeth Honer:

Still shot:

Link to brief Instagram video

Elizabeth’s commentary:

More adventures in #VR Dream Drawing: I originally had this dream and drew it in Photoshop in 2013 (on the bottom). I recreated it in Tilt Brush this week. It’s an odd one for me; I don’t remember a lot of how the dream actually looked. It was a long conversation between me and someone else (I can’t remember who) about parenting (even though I’m not a parent) and the phrase “add a bead” came up a lot. Also, it took place in the dugout of an empty baseball stadium at night. Brains are weird.

Visually, this is how I felt about the dream when I woke up from it, so there was a lot more going on than I remember now. Communion - and church in general - had been an exclusionary and patriarchal experience for me until I found my current church, where everyone is included and women are in many leadership roles. I may have been trying to reconcile those two realities. Not sure about the tree - I just like trees.

It is a fascinating experience to recreate my dream content in waking life and walk around in it. It makes it feel more real to me. I’d love to do the following: 1) See if this process influences my dream retention/lucidity, 2) Find a VR platform where I could invite friends into my dream space, and 3) Explore some less pleasant dream material eventually. #dreams #dreamdrawing #vrpainting

~~

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“some people in NEOS have weird VR-induced dreams, & then…they build their dreams on NEOS, to help them relive them/interpret them” ~
Guillermo Valle Pérez [Twitter:@guillefix].

I thoroughly approve of this.:grinning: Here is a video of a lovely example posted by Guillermo on Bookface (sorry…but unfortunately that’s where it’s posted).

~ArthurG

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My friend Elizabeth made an amazing video and painting of her very evocative Church - Graveyard dream.

Painting:

image

Link to video (1:45)

Her description:

I had this dream several years ago (the original drawing is first, swipe right for the VR paintings). I was with two other women in a church graveyard, standing around an open grave. The first woman pushed the second woman into the grave, and the second woman laughed up at us because she thought it was funny. We thought it was funny too, and laughed with each other. Then the first woman disappeared. I looked down into the grave again, and saw that the second woman had turned into a skeleton which was laying on a rusty metal grate. I peered through the earth into the grave next to hers, and saw endless skeletons on rusty grates stacked on top of each other, seeming to go down into the earth forever. The whole thing took place on a really nice sunny day, in the graveyard of a church that looked like a little jewel box in the distance.

I’m still trying to figure out what this dream was about. I think part of it is about recognizing the influence of past generations. I also recall having several dreams about death at the time, and most of them were filled with anxiety and fear. This dream was strikingly different in tone, which I have always found fascinating.

I did not dream about the interior of the church. But as I was recreating the scene in Tilt Brush, my conscious mind wanted to know what was inside. A standard church setting didn’t feel right, and eventually I landed on this mystical tree growing out of the same dirt from the gravesites. I’m honestly not sure whether this imagery belongs in the dream; it feels neither right nor wrong to me. I am interested in seeing how my conscious and subconscious visual material interact with each other as I work on 3D dream drawings. This was an interesting dream to work on… after I had constructed the grave, I would go into it and look up at the sky, which felt unnerving. But eventually, that feeling wore off. (Mostly.)

The ability of artists to use programs like Tilt Brush to recreate their dreams as a 3D environment that can either be displayed as a video or explored directly in virtual reality is quite an exciting development.

~ArthurG

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Here’s a fun 5-minute Youtube video recreation of a lucid dream: I was taken to space court

~

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The Dreamworlds of Danny Bittman has a number of examples of his work (including stuff directly inspired by dreams, all trippy/dreamlike). Very gorgeous videos, highly recommended.

Danny Bittman is a self-described virtual reality artist, filmmaker, and developer but that barely relates what he actually does. He makes whole words from voxels, brainwaves, and dreams. Using VR creation tools like Tilt Brush and Blocks, he has created immersive experiences for Marvel, Google, Hyundai, Nvidia, and more. He was also part of Google’s pioneering artist-in-residence program. Currently, he animates and directs freelance projects such as Taryn Southern’s innovative “Life Support”

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Twitter user @guillefix tells me people in NEOS VR “have weird VR-induced dreams, and then they wake up, and instead of keeping a standard dream journal, they build their dreams on NEOS, to help them relive them/interpret them” I approve!

Groovy video of one example: and full of terrors (1 minute YouTube video). I approve of this! :smile:

~ArthurG

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In @kristenlamarca’s Bookface group she posted that Season 13, episode 7 of It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia has a lucid dream theme. $2 on Youtube at that link, but it’s also available on many streaming services. You can watch a brief preview here.

~ArthurG

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Undone is a very dreamlike series on Amazon that uses rotoscoping to good effect. I loved the story and the characters and highly recommend it.

Vox review: You’ve never seen anything quite like Amazon’s Undone. We mean that literally: This visually stunning show is a trippy sci-fi drama and a lovely story about a woman dealing with trauma, all in one.

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Hey Arthur,
I also love dream art.
It’d be cool if we had a Dream Art Bulletin Board where we could post our drawings, paintings, videos…
What do you think?


Here are a couple of mine.

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Hi Cor, I like your idea! Maybe at some point the Night Club Powers That Be might decide to have a gallery section for Night Clubbers to share their own dream art, but meanwhile this thread is suitable for that purpose. I’d love to see more dream art posted here, whether by Night Clubbers or found elsewhere.

Thanks for sharing your art :slight_smile:

~ArthurG

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Recently I enjoyed the movie Lucid (2018). “Zel, a lonely young man’s life changes when his enigmatic neighbour offers to help him overcome social anxiety.”

I have quibbles with it – e.g. I wish they had gone into more precise detail on reality checks – but I liked that it dealt fairly realistically with lucid dreaming, and portrayed it as producing psychological growth if approached in the right way.

~ArthurG

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Great tip, Arthur. I’ll check it out. Thank you.

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Here I have a short videos, it is a different esthetic…
https://anitapantin.com/moving-drawings
Maybe is more Bardo…
I am coming back to this theme…
I am very interested about the possibility that CGI offers for LD.
Game engines are very interesting but I don’t know about more contemplative journeys, the majority of games are about violence.
That is why I mention Andrew about making images in our Night Club. He said that we need a lot of money…
Many good projects start with more love than dollars…

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Thanks for sharing those short films, lepantin. They seem reminiscent of some liminal (hypnagogic/hypnopompic) dreams to me.

I am very interested about the possibility that CGI offers for LD. Game engines are very interesting but I don’t know about more contemplative journeys, the majority of games are about violence.

I agree, and would add a) game engines (or games) can be used for anything, not necessarily violence; b) some dreams are violent. There are some real gems in media like videogames and virtual reality, beyond the all-too-prevalent violent content.

Anyway, here is a 1-minute dreamlike gem by David Lynch (which, amusingly, is an old Playstation 2 advertisement, but you’d never know it from the content).

~ArthurG

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Thank you for the Maestro David Lynch link!

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Over in Zucktown, Night Club member Richard Gilbar posted “Try watching Sponge Bob season 1 episode 15 “sleepy time.” Hilarious and quite apt for our group.” The description of the episode reads ““SpongeBob suddenly posses the ability to visit the dreams of his friends,” which certainly sounds intriguing (and a superpower I’d love to have!) but I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet.

~ArthurG

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These images are just awesome, thx for sharing.

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