Datafication and sense making of dreams. An alternative version of a dream journal, in an increasingly data driven world.
Recording dreams for analysis in itself is not a new concept and has been popularised in modern psychology as a way to interpret subconscious feelings and memories.
In a world where every aspect our lives can and is being made into data – heart rate, steps, interactions. We thought it would be interesting to datify our dreams.
Dreams are illusive, still science cannot fully explain how or why they happen. The process of plotting them out makes your brain try to look for patterns, trends. Unlike many of the parts of our lives we track with data, there is no controlling your dreams.
To create the piece we needed to collect our dream data. This started by long conversations about our dream spaces and themes. Examples of what happened in a typical dreams and created an abstract set of questions on scales to summarise the dreams.
We consciously made the left side of the scales the unknown, surreal and nightmarish side of dreams and the right side the known, comfortable, safe dreams.
For two weeks we would score our dreams every night, sometimes waking in the middle of the night to scribble down what we just experienced.
We would include the emotions, as well as who and what we could remember about the dream. During these two weeks we were talking more than normal, so it was interesting to see how our mutual friends and connections appeared in many of the dreams.
There was a creation of a new data set when we combined all our dreams together. Each tile around the edge is one of the 14 nights and each of us is represented by a different colour.
The centre pane has all our dreams from the two weeks. The points where there were links between our dreams on the same night have been highlighted with the circles.
Dreams are often forgotten, personal and immeasurable without context. Here we have changed all of that. Sharing our most private, intimate things. However without the stories and questions which have been answered, this abstraction of our dreams will make no sense.
Only the three of us can read this, knowing how it was made retaining privacy. Showing the powerlessness of data without framing. Even who’s colour is who’s is not shared.
This was a really enjoyable first project together and I cannot wait to have this printed out. Shows how we are capable of true collaboration and the skills we each have gained over the years makes the ideas of each other possible.
It has been insightful and brought us closer as friends in the conversations about our dreams and the process of making something together! Now we need to find our next project!
We are three school friends who often make and craft together but this is our first full project together. There’s myself Corinne – the Data Fellow, engineer and maker. Ellie – an Architectural Designer, crafter and punch needler extraordinaire. Gill (Rachel) – who is a musician, graphic designer and self taught wizard at making videos (check her stuff out here https://linktr.ee/wahlmusic).
We each use drawings in our jobs to convey information technically, however this was an opportunity to use these skills creatively.
If you are interested in this piece or would like us to be involved in future projects please reach out.