Social Dreaming Matrix #12

Winter: SDM #12  Saturday 30th January 2021 

9 participants


Hosts: Juliet Scott (note) and Heather Stradling 

Dream #1:  The dreamer is at a talk and expected to introduce it.  There’s an old fashioned pull up and down screen for projecting the talk and they have to deal with technology at the same time.  At the same time finding space in the room to introduce the talk.  People are in pods in beanbags and cluster around. New trustee (not an actual one) is there who was being bitchy.  Chocolate sprinkles being delivered for a coffee machine.  In a flat with dark wood, plants on the roof. Travelling down through a landscape a long, long slide. Lots of people in front of the dreamer. A train. A cable car shaped like an egg.  In a square on Zoom and sees ex colleagues.

Dream #2:  the dreamer is in a castle and there is a queue to get in.  There are people in the countryside around oblivious to poverty.  Trees hung with coats and people laughing and playing.  The dreamer wants to join them as it is boring in the queue and when they get to the end of it the garda in charge hasn’t got room and pushes the dreamer to one side and their friend goes in without them.

Association #1:  being left behind.

Dream #3:  in the dream my friends are spending endless hours preparing for a hiking trip.  What kit to take – shoes, socks, sticks. Finally the dreamer was ready and dressed appropriately and everyone had left without them.

Dream #4: the dreamer is walking in large building, some kind of organisation with a close colleague no idea where are going to. A large event and was picked out with my colleagues to do some something we weren’t prepared for. Not trusting the colleague and feeling exposed.

Association #2: to the curatorial work yesterday and the individual and collective sessions.  There were two rooms I didn’t have access to. Everyone was gone and I felt fearful I couldn’t join and felt everyone else was doing something great without me. 

Association #3: paying attention to jumble of time and place and not being in the right place. Not quite sure when something is, old fashioned technology. Confusion about being in a place. Thinking I am prepared and have the right ticket and that turns out not to be the right thing.

Dream #5: Needing to do something, organise something and bring it together but the dreamer can’t remember what IT was specifically.

Dream #6: the dreamer is in a bus terminal with their friend in Korea. They are going to the airport and entered a camping site and ordered noodles while waiting for the bus.

A raft of associations.

Association #4: to popular/postcard images of tourism, the slide, the castle, walking holiday, the noodles in the camping site. 

Association #5: legitimacy, whether it’s okay to be incoherent, fragmented and messy. To the noodles and what resources are available.

Association #6: confusion between stories and reality. Matrix blue pill story goes on; red pill truth (or vice versa).  What kind of story do we need to tell. Does it need to be polished like the touristic Swiss Cottage or can it be fragmentary.   

Association #7: being in China. A guide with us, not my normal kind of tourism experience but impressed by the way tourism was managed also noticing the people picking up the rubbish, wondering what sort of life they lived to maintain this perfect construction.

Association #8: picking up the rubbish, the sewage and the rabbit shit in the bath at another matrix. Tendency to see it as external to us. That we have to do the work of picking up. Sometimes we need to do that kind of work and it leads to confusion. 

Association #9: Saw someone dragging their dog along on its lead, it had done a shit further along the road and they had put it in blue bag, walked along a bit and then deposited it.  Angry at this double pollution, better just to leave the shit.  

Association #10: the mess we create in the creative process, a lot of mess, there’s loads of stuff.  A process of clearing out and screening.

Association #11: between collective and individual. First thing was to judge the person with the dog shit but then realise the values that make them behave that way come from a broader system.  Realise how difficult it is to balance these different positions.

An first attempt was made to close the matrix whilst one of the hosts still had the mute button and association #12 was made whilst this was happening about more countries being added to the restricted list for travel because of the new Covid variant.  Following that the matrix was closed.


  • Enormous difficulty hearing what was being said. People were quite quiet and missed a lot.
  • I had difficulty arriving
  • There was an inside out thing going on.
  • Revealed the messily and interwoven connection between the work and the unconscious, less split, less disconnection between the two.
  • Experience the matrix as thinking and understanding together.
  • Moving between sound and no sound.
  • What happens when you can’t access everything.
  • In creative processes we don’t understand what is going on, is it still okay to go with it.
  • Struck by how the different social dreaming matrices interweave with each other. 

Reflections on writing these notes

When writing I realise I enjoy the aesthetic value of writing up each dream in the person of  the  dreamer such as ‘the dreamer was walking, the dreamer felt alone, the dreamer…….’. It gives a sense of the dreamer in relationship both to the matrix and to their dreamworld. Maybe something of the individual and the collective that have continued to be present this week along with needs for excessive polish versus the exposure of working messily and out loud.

Image: Collage by Rachel Kelly

Programme Director. Artist; curator; consultant weaving together the arts and social science in engaging ways.

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You don't have permission to register