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Dreaming with our eyes open

I brought Suraj to Domino Park tonight, at 9pm for a living dreamscape.

I think that the parameter to host this experience late at night really sets the scene quite well. At least for what I was aiming for!

In my visual dream study for Suraj I ended up referencing the film C'mon C'mon quite often, I think partly because it was shot in black and white. The film has a dreamy feel. How can I create a dimly lit, dreamlike space for Suraj?

I picked Domino Park because at night it turns into a mystical landscape of shimmering water. In hindsight, I should have not picked a site that was the topic of a heated in-class discussion because I think we got distracted by the Domino Sugar Factory.

This dreamscape was less about content and more about feeling, mood, and being in a place that is turned off. Suraj's dreams are about home, history, family, and loss.

I designed the experience to be entirely over the phone. This didn't quite work out because when Suraj said he was in the park, he was actually waiting for chicken fingers across the street. It was also quite noisy with the train rumbling overhead and the wind gusting into the mic. I had a hard time hearing him too, and had to ask him to repeat what he said multiple times. After a while, he walked into where I was sitting, and we ended up continuing our conversation in person, which was nice.

The idea behind hosting the experience over the phone was that I wanted Suraj to be in this serene place having an intimate conversation over a device so that his mind could float to other places. I think we maybe achieved that in person, but there were a lot of things to get distracted by. I wonder if we would be less distracted if we were focusing on a conversation over the phone.

We talked about home, about being away from home, about returning home, about changing and growing as a person, and Suraj thought this was a serendipitous coincidence because he was thinking about all these things in the context of his thesis. Of course it wasn't serendipitous, I designed it! I wanted him to think about all these things so that he could think about his memories and recall a dream state.

We ambled around the park and ended up reading the history of the sugar factory on the construction gate. What a sad development project for such a fascinating and storied place.

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