social dreaming illustration

Social Dreaming Matrix #1: Friday 24th June, 2016, 2pm-3.15pm: Wellcome Collection Reading Room

Facilitation and write-up: Juliet Scott, Mannie Sher

An additional social context was offered for this matrix as it took place the morning after the UK’s referendum on leaving the European Union. Many participants came from the Wellcome Collection States of Mind exhibition.

32 people attended

20 dreams were presented to the matrix

30 associations were made

A number of dreams had transport associations – a London tube train where presents had been left on the seats but were actually bombs. An association made to this was with the ballot boxes… were they a present or bomb waiting to go off.   The top deck of a bus where the dreamer found themselves between the people at the front (posh men, establishment) and the people at the back (tattooed, thuggish).  The people at the back turned out to be the ones who looked after her. In another dream there were a lot of people in a taxi. A journey made to the Social Dreaming Matrix by train and travelling backwards.

A dream was presented with a father who died in 2012 but the dreamer needing to physically care for him, fathers walking. A facilitator notes her need to talk to her father about the referendum news, earthquake like changes.

There were a number of dreams containing rubbish or waste, a need to clear rubbish. The Nazis were after me in the house but I still had to go out to take the rubbish out.  Rubbish has a social dimension, it is the responsibility of local government and if we don’t clear it we will die.   In associating the Nazis were heard as “’Nasties” and the responsibility coming with this tumultuous change that the nasties don’t get out.  Life is dependent on the rubbish being cleared out and we have all this nuclear waste to deal with.    See what happened in Japan it’s got to be put somewhere.

An association was made to Thomas Crapper who invented the W.C. The moment civilization happened, when we became separated from our waste.  The rubbish – the bullies in a dream are receptacles for rubbish.  The dreams are discharging the stuff, the matter we cannot process in waking life.

The boundaries between dreams and reality were blurred in the matrix and the relationship between the two. One participant nearly fell asleep on the stairs but tried to stop herself in case she fell into another dream/nightmare.

Hotel rooms featured as transitory, waking in a hotel room waiting for the information to come on waking; trying to find the toilet and realizing it was real. Getting lost walking to school through the fields and another image of the environment the moon and the Summer solstice on Tuesday

There was a confluence of tearful and joyful; the happy and the sad; 50:50 (in the context of the 52: 48 referendum result?); half and half; good and bad.  The presents and the bomb; the opposing groups of the people on the bus (the dreamer in the middle of them); dreaming/not dreaming.

One participant is pleased to hear other voices with different accents and it is clear that many are not British and the relief that there is integration in this temporary structure.

Review

The review of the event offered a sense of hope, participants were very glad that they came. A young person spoke about how she had come planning to tell her dreams but found herself unable to speak during the matrix and only able to say something now it was closed.

The first dream that was presented offered a question on the purpose of the event, a psychological treatment, the Baptist Church and the Jewish Aunt with a stain on her dress (her breast). In the review participants spoke to how precious it had been to share their dreams with strangers.

We are having an archival moment, things get frozen in time and the dreaming was part of the how the event (the EU referendum) is remembered.

The people who sat on the stairs, on the edge of the matrix, it made it harder to speak but instead they found themselves falling asleep on the cushions and getting into dream mode, they enjoyed this picking up of the fragments from the centre of the group.

“Perhaps tonight we will swap dreams with each other”.

Next Social Dreaming Matrix Thursday, 30th June, 2.00 – 3.15pm at the Reading Room.

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Events and engagement, Reflections and Practice, Responding and Researching

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