Notes from Festival Social Dreaming Matrices #2: Wed 18 Oct 2017

Wednesday 18th October 10.30-11.45, Wellcome Collection Reading Room
Hosts: Franca Fubini and Matt Gieve(NB. We changed our designation from Facilitator to Host)

Context:
25-30 participants present
19 were dreams presented

Content:

Several key themes emerged from the dreams and association of the second dreaming matrix. The matrix was preoccupied by apocalyptic visions; of flooding, dangerous animals, of tornadoes and of zombies. Associations to this pointed to a real concern over environmental crisis.  What have we created, and who is responsible? A dream of a toddler teetering under the weight of hunting rifle lead to questions of inter-generational responsibility. Is the younger generation too irresponsible to take on the baton or has the older generation neglected its responsibility to its children?

Other dreams painted a picture of powerlessness, of being made of paper, of a mother-in-law being pressed in to undergoing an operation she did not understand. Many images and accounts were also heard of the fragility of human life, of real and dreamt deaths within families. The fear of disappearing without a trace (in a sink hole, or washed out to sea), of never being found and of no one knowing what became.

This lead the matrix to think about the relationship between dreams and memories and the reality or reliability of either and in so doing came to consider the memory function of an archive. Can this be reliable, can we preserve the past, or like memory does it distort over time, do we choose what we want to remember (as the victor writes history)? A dream of a Rhino charging across the street into the dreamer only for the dreamer to look down and see the rhino is just a drawing on a piece of paper lead to the questions of whether an archive can remain powerful or potent or does it become inert and unable to act in the present? Moreover is memory of the past bearable? Or are there many things that we would like to forget?

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Sam Nightingale

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Events and engagement, Reflections and Practice