Image Credit: Good Bicycle, Bad Bicycle. Watercolour on Langton paper, 148 x 105 mm by Juliet Scott.

Part 2 Social Dreaming #5: Tuesday 22nd February: Wellcome Collection Reading Room

Facilitation and write-up: Camilla Child and Sol Szekir-Papasavva

24 people came to the matrix and 22 stayed
27 dreams were presented and 24 associations made

The Matrix

The dreams came fast and with associations between. Associations to the individual dreams, to the individual. We couldn’t all hear each other, there were quiet voices, louder voices. There were noises in the room, distracting. There was silence in the matrix, but not so much. Voices that asked questions and quiet conversations with neighbours. And a concentration on dreams as prophesies. Who dreams, how you dream. Not so much collective sense making. There are no dreams of joy.

It felt fragmented, the facilitators agree at the end. We are stunned. It is like the world. We cannot make sense in these moments. And now our notes are hard to follow, fragmented.

So here goes with the fragments.

The first dream this facilitator has clearly: the dream of the queen (but it was her lookalike). In her vault in her warehouse and with pallets, with the bullion in the vault. In a pink coat in fact. Is she guarding something? Then in real life, days later, the same picture of the queen. So what is the dream and what is the reality here?

Then dreams of running from, dreamed by women. The middle aged man, and then the boy who pushed her into a room. ‘The mother is angry, the father ok. I was upset I couldn’t stay.’ The associations are made around the personal, ‘They are people I know, they are vivid.’ ‘Dreams are what I repress.’ This facilitator wants to ask what it is that you are repressing for us all? I do say, ‘Are these dreams about running from a crazy man.’ This isn’t picked up.

A woman tells us that she doesn’t dream. How do you know this? We come back to her, time and again. And during the matrix a man conducts research and asks questions about the vivid dreams and who dreams. How often? When?

There are dreams recounted about seeing friends and then days later seeing the friends. About feelings of loss.

And then there is an anchor. An anchor dream which is told from the stairs, anchoring us in the real life. But the dreamer says ‘How and where and what on earth can I anchor myself to?’

Somebody tells us their ‘ordinary anxiety dream.’ It was to do with people walking up and down, about incoherence and coherence. In real life she tells the person about the dream. ‘And now they think I am troubled. We have had no conversation since.’ Perhaps we should tell dreams. Another is told of a premonition – the airline story. The real life mother told no longer to recount her dreams, just in case.

At one point the facilitators caught each other’s eye. Get them back on track? Try. ‘Oh, have I done it wrong? Sorry.’ No, not wrong, not at all wrong, we both think to ourselves. It is as it is.

There are dreams about unresolved situations. And the boy who was killed in real life, he dreamed he was dead on the floor before he died. ‘Can we predict from dreams, the associators ask?

‘My dreams are mad, like films. Such colour.’ Bright red, and royal blue.

There are more dreams, dreams of being lost and falling, falling from a great height. ‘I was 11, I broke into class and someone shot me. I felt as if I was dying, I wanted to live.’ ‘I dream of vertigo – my current nightmare.’

A facilitator says, ‘I dreamed I jumped and went higher and higher, but I had to come down, and I knew it wouldn’t end well.’

There are childhood dreams of facing the monster. Others of falling, escaping through portals, into different worlds. Someone says, at one point, that it seems like there is an immigration theme. Escaping, landing in different worlds, which may not be better. Nobody picks this up.

What are dreams for – we should pay more attention because they give us information about our society. Nobody wants to go there. Not with these dreams.

There are more dreams, of death, a funeral, of sexual repression, of fertility. Fantasies of being trapped in the corridor of the starship with a cousin. ‘An unethical dream’ the dreamer tells us.

The repression thought which triggers a memory of a repressed dream never told. An enormous bogey, that grew and grew. ‘I couldn’t tell the dream because of the shame.’

We close and review. It is hard now to stop talking about the dreams and wondering about dreams and the purpose of dreams and who dreams. We have straw polls.

The facilitators sit together after to think about how and what to write. How to write this extraordinary experience and give it justice. It is so like now in the world we agree. It is simply not possible in this turbulent world where so much changes so quickly to make any sense of it. It is as it is.

The last Social Dreaming Matrix #6 will be held on Tuesday 28th February 2-3.15pm in the Wellcome Collection Reading Room.

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Events and engagement, Reflections and Practice