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© 2008 Elizabeth


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It came to me in class.  In the class that I was supposed to present my project.  After searching for weeks, inspiration finally caught up with me, tapped me on the shoulder, and said “I’m here*!”

I don’t want to do something “practical.”  It get’s boring after a while.  I wanted to do something experiential, observing the actions of the outside.  Thus, I conceived of Journey, a piece about the process of reaching a destination visualize with excerpts from twitter feeds flowing across the screen.

The class, however, brought up a wonderful concept, what about a piece about dreams. Rather than a quest of words, to express an surreal environment composed of the collective dream. Writing this now, I think of Satoshi Kon’s Paprika. Of course, I am looking at a far more mediated and abstract experience.

To increase the immersive experience of this, I want to build this in a three dimensional frame work where participants can move through the dreams of others.

Each person’s dream is a single particle, generated randomly across the screen and traveling in a direction dictated by the flow of the post. With each frame, the particle iterates one down the chain of words the person is speaking. One possible visualization would be that, if their word is positive, they travel up, if the word is neutral, they continue their path, if the word is negative they travel down (this could be visualized in colors). As soon as the program parses through the final word of that post, that particle disappears.

This is running in real time, so that particles appear as they are posted and dissapear as they are completed. Longer posts have longer paths. The number of particles on screen is a function of the number of posts made and their length.

Clicking on a single particle reveals the full text of that post on a pop out sidebar.

This is all terribly abstract right now, but at least I have a direction. The major plus is that I have an excuse to do something terribly surreal. Huzzah!

To Do:

  • Write form for people to enter dreams. Possible variables:
    • What did you dream
    • date of dream
    • context
    • Where were you during this dream? (drop down menu)
    • How did it make you feel (check boxes?)
    • How often have you had dreams like this
  • Research 3D libraries
  • Explore Twitter feeds
  • Work on parsing through feeds and word association
  • Die a little inside

Possible sources of inspiration:

  • Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series, particularly the cover art by Dave McKean
  • Lovecraft’s Dream Cycle (+2 nerd cred)
  • Satoshi Kon’s Paprika
  • Books on Dream Interpretation

*I turned around and said, “You’re late.”

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