The Dreams’ Time Capsule takes the form of a relational project staged through survey-based participatory events; it reflects the movement of time and the oneiric memories we carry into our waking life. The delivering phase, while offering the donors their record after years as gifts from their past, it encourages following reflections on their past expectations towards the future, fragmentations, generational gaps, and tensions dictated by the distance of time.
Stage one – collecting events:the first stage of the project was a series of events where visitors were invited to enter an inflatable structure – the Dream Capsule – placed in various art galleries and external spaces around the world. The structure created a sense of intimacy and solitude – participants entered, usually alone, and were asked to recall and record on a microphone details and memories of dreams that they had experienced. The capsule’s journey began in 2011 in Turin in Italy, and it has since physically engaged participants in many cities in Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
Stage two – delivering: the project now plans, as was always intended, to send back the dream recordings to the people who donated them. The delivering period offers the donors an insight into their previous expectations about the future, generational gaps, and tensions dictated by the distance of time. In addition, there is the parallel effect left as a trace to the audience: during and after the participatory events, visitors were asked to keep a ‘resonant memorandum’ to pay attention to their ‘oneiric’ activity. The delivering phase while offering the donors their record after years, it may reflect their past expectations towards the future, fragmentations, generational gaps, and tensions dictated by the distance of time. The audio archive has become an open laboratory on the relevance of social and political changes into the personal and intimate sphere of citizens. In fact, the project has traced personal and emotional reactions during the first democratic vote in Egypt after 30 years Mubarak’s dictatorship, and the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. Being a process-based research of about ten years, the project embodies a series of further considerations in “a posteriori” approach intertwined with the more than two thousand donors’ expectations of their lives and social and economic changes in the society.
About the capsule. The inflatable structure was designed to immerse the visitor in a unique experience of intimacy and silence, which favours the story of a dream and its audio recording by a directional microphone. It was purpose built by the artist and designed in collaboration with the Italian designer Michele Tavano. It had to be easily transportable and was able to be folded into a small suitcase. The aim of this first stage was the creation of a database spanning different continents countries and cultures. The project focused on the relationship between the individual and their society, between the private and the collective spheres, and addresses increasing states of anxiety and fragmentation in the contemporary global community. Since its inception in 2011, the audio archive generated by this project now contains over 2000 recordings of testimonies in many different languages. The format of a pop-up exhibition allowed the “time machine” or Time Capsule, to travel across the world. It provided a unique space for people to donate their own dream memory. This gave them the chance to share intimate and personal dream-visions that in sharing become social acts, but also to be involved in the co-creation of the archive: all participants visited and shared their experiences in the same structure that travelled across continents. Participants were additionally asked to give their date of birth, nationality, and their email address. This last one was very important, because the intention is to contact them again, ten years after the start of the project. That is now, in 2021/2022.
The project was partially supported by the Arkitekturmuseet, Stockholm