Social Dreaming Matrix Note #5

Day 2 of Autumn season, Thursday 8 October 2020, 9.30-10.15am

9 dreams

10 associations

The matrix had few silences and a steady stream of dreams and associations. It began with five dreams:

– A deconsecrated church, with a group meeting for the first time but split into two. People arrive tentatively from different entrances, smiling, embracing and dance in a circle of closed bodies. The inner and outer circles move in opposite directions, bodies held up by the speed, getting faster and faster. There is laughing, joy and the ability to float.

– A theatre hall full of people clapping and cheering. It is not clear but one by one, there is a separation between the stage and congregation of people.

– A little house, standing precariously on a remote hill in the countryside. The dreamer digs a hole, not knowing what for but realises it is to escape, you never know when you might need it.

– The dreamer scours through an office, deciding they need paperclips. They wonder outside, looking for some. A familiar auditorium, then they’re in the stationers. This leads to the memory of the next dream…

There are grand shops and the dreamer is looking for something unknown. In the basement of a large company, they, with their sons, go to sleep in the doorway, with people going in and out. Customers awake the dreamer, there is a spillage nearby and a security guard appears, making accusations of stealing.

Four associations then followed:

Decommissioned spaces and memories of grand edifices, now defunct. Being guarded and maintained as a ritual, their purpose is no longer valid.

Space is prominent, meandering through, often the space was experienced strongly, if not recognised in the dreams.

The experience of navigating different spaces in the Ambient Jam yesterday (improvisation led by Entelechy Arts) – the most spatial experience of Zoom yet.

Ambient Jam – this energy would have smashed against the wall if the group had been together in person. The energy transcended screens, and it could be released, flowing freely on a global level, with one member in Hong Kong.

A part-remembered dream followed – There was a familiarity with different spaces and rooms between them. The dreamer was on the phone to someone, having questions of care for their mother and discussing deprivation of liberty. They met an artist from Ambient Jam, a cycle mechanic, holding a big red cycle on a bench, answering the questions from the phone call. The dreamer’s father had been prawn fishing, delighted to catch some. He was old and frail and someone said he might not be safe. He was affronted.

An association was made to a story seen on TV, of an elderly man, a hoarder, being moved out of his home temporarily, to clear up and make the home nice again. The man, staying in a care home caught Covid and died.

The next dream spoke of an MRI scan, with the dreamer having something wrong with their legs. They wanted to look but weren’t shown the image. The dreamer didn’t understand, so left frustrated. A further dream took place inside a ruined building in the countryside. It is hot and sunny, with large groups of men running through the ruins, they feel like a mob and reminds the dreamer of Pamplona, the people trying to beat each other to win.

An association was made with Ambient Jam yesterday – the title was ‘Two Worlds’. Two kinds of worlds that are difficult to connect, such as institutional care and the individual’s needs. The MRI looking for something, we don’t know what for. The rooms, the men not paying attention to the destroying of history link to difficulties of two worlds cohabiting.

Four final associations were made

– to media narratives currently about the behaviour of young people connected to the men in the ruins and the Ambient Jam. We’re all running wild, some more visibly than others. 

– The digging of a hole and sleeping in an entrance was linked to the looking for ideas or solutions that we know are not, feeling like a second wave of Covid is coming and nobody knows.  

– A documentary about social media, on how it exaggerates people’s positions, polarising in different directions, leading to potential explosions.

– And the deconsecrating of history, large, important institutions and their struggle to find a clear direction in a fast-moving environment. The fast pace of social media leaves little room for reflection, slowing down, having more care.

The final dream offered was a dream fragment of three friends, with one friend injured and struggling to keep up. The other two friends waited and helped – there was no question of not waiting.   

As the matrix moved into review mode, relief was expressed for the final dream, reassuring of the capacity to notice and to care. The members of the matrix talked about some difficulties with dreaming, insomnia, work pressures preventing sleep, the two worlds of being awake and asleep, coming together in delirium. The difficulty with dreaming when fatigued and the conversation reflected that maybe our existence at the moment makes dreaming difficult.    

I am struck with the flow of the matrix contrasted with the discussion afterwards about a lack of dreaming and sleep.  We are now over the half-way point of this prototype year of DCP and perhaps this longer break we will now have before the next season, will give some time for good rest, healthy sleep and dreaming – a chance for some reflection and integration of the diverse inputs, to feed the next wave of activity. It also got me thinking about the worlds, the spaces we construct, the boundaries, the rituals and the holes – and the space for care.

Programme Director, Deepening Creative Practice

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