Photo of Peter Kogler exhibition with photographer's shadow in image

Social Dreaming Matrix Notes #9

The 9th Social Dreaming Matrix (SDM) took place on Thursday 3rd December (9.30-10.15am), in between autumn and winter season of DCP.

9 participants

8 dreams

10 associations

It has been difficult to find time to write this note, as if dreams have been pushed away, that there hasn’t been space to dream. However, coming back to read my notes of the dreams that were shared in December, the memory of the SDM is strong, though details of the dreams seem somewhat fragmented. 

The matrix began with 3 dreams

  1. A convoluted dream, meeting a doctor, a group analyst, husband – we spoke of mental health. There was a large, tall Black man looking at a lovely view. I pressed the button, called a lift and was asked ‘Did you ever think you were not being told the whole story?’ We go into a space, a work space, military men are coming to find us and we hide. There are boxes and rubbish, will the dogs not sniff us out?
  2. A long dream, I remember fragments. Am in Korea with my family, I remember the room – a hotel/hospital. I gave birth and realised I left the baby in the room, so called the hospital to make sure the baby is OK. Went back, the baby was in a box, took the box to my grandmother’s old house. Opening the door, there were two cats, I thought there was 1 cat but another smaller cat inside.
  3. A dream fragment – vision of being in a city, quite dense, with snow on the streets. It’s dark from traffic, am with my oldest friends. Singing on the corner, it’s theatrical, but a normal life scene.

Followed by 6 associations (1 also a dream):

  1. Association: to care homes, mother in care home with Covid cases – the military men link to the vaccine race – what will it mean for people? The hotel/hospital link to clinical spaces.
  2. A dream and association: A white door left open for too long. Brown bears are coming through the door, not to do something good. I managed to push the door shut. It’s a heavy weight and ominous arms slipped past.
  3. Sleeping in a big house, I bring a bird into the space. There’s a decaying cat, difficult and good images of animals.
  4. Association: my cat that died is a presence in my dreams.
  5. Association: 2 SDMs ago, a cat that became very big was there and anxiety came up, being in touch with our wild selves.
  6. Association to cats and the box. Working with a patient for many years, who believed their birth was premature and they were put into a box, they saw this as a form of neglect. In their 60’s, they asked their mother about this and she was horrified they thought this had happened – they had been put in the bed to keep warm and close to their mother’s body. Difference between perception and reality.

Followed by a stream of dreams and associations

  • A dream with a big house, and a group of people. It’s during war, have to hide, people became small to hide inside furniture. Took a handle out and hid inside sofa. People hiding inside furniture everywhere.
  • Two associations to people becoming small
    •  I was feeling this morning full of emotions and ideas I wrote about. Being full with the wholeness of people.   
    • Theatre of Singing – a daily performance on Zoom. As we are rendered into tiny squares on screen, the more of us there are, the smaller we are. There’s a performance quality to zoom recordings, a kind of hiding.
  • An association to lots of dreams including one with a performance/audience. In a confined space, with school friends, my first love, watching a swimming gala. It’s a Venice-like place, gondolas made of velvet, going to the Opera. Bono is in the audience with his elderly mother. At the end she got up struggling, he was trying to help on one side. In the auditorium, older people are separated.
  • Dream fragments connected to buildings/cities. Feeling crowded in, with too much furniture. I thought I’d remove it, look closely at it, there is faded green paint, it is too old and precious to get rid of. Tall buildings in London, but not in London.  Tried to do angel wings in the snow.
  • An association to patterns in the dreams about separation – older people, care homes, man separated from mother at birth.
  • An association to Covid and the culling of minks in Denmark. They’ve been buried but are rising up to the ground surface causing a problem.

Reflections shared in the review included:

It felt a full matrix, dreams being squeezed in.

The hidden space is changing – current Covid restrictions and the increase of these.

With Zoom there’s the potential to be connected. But there is a compartmentalising of presence. A loss of a sense of place. Everything moving fast.

Narratives – letting go, theme of winter. What’s constraining us? The boxes delivered are discarded like shedding skin. Metamorphosis.

Social dreaming as sense-making / poetry in between spaces. In between knowing and not knowing. In transformation. Sense making on the move.  

As I read this note before posting onto the scrapbook, I am drawn to the idea of hiding, theatrical performance when on show, and the themes of winter – archive and conservation, holding on and letting go, transforming and transmuting. Perhaps I’ve needed to hide, or conserve these dreams from public view, so that they can now be revealed and we can wonder as to what sense we can make from these as we find ourselves in January 2021? 

Programme Director, Deepening Creative Practice

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