OF THE NIGHT
Topography of the Night - about the architecture in night dreams. The project searches for residents of (temporarily) inhabited landscapes and their night dreams. By means of a collection, description and modeling a series of nocturnal dream places, fundamental principles of nightly architecture are unraveled.
An architecture constructed from time layers (memory, imagination) and physical and emotional experiences.
Searching for universal ‘inner’ archetypes and spatial cultural differences. The night dream as a medium to capture and depict the perception and experience of our built environment. The night dream is a subconscious force that crystallizes our most distant spatial memories; every memory is surrounded by spaces around.
We are unable to relive exact durations, but there seems to be a total spatial experience of the moment being stored, appearing in our night dreams. By using anthropological tools such as in-depth interviews
through dream logs and architectural tools such as reflective images and models on different scales (scale models, 1:1 models) the project performs a topoanalysis. Through different conversation formats it is possible to zoom in on some of the collected dreams, insights are revealed about spatial typologies and
archetypes, metaphorical spaces, heterotopias and heterochronies, spaces of resistance, fear and desire,
the parental house, hidden, disappeared, forgotten or made up places. The project is developed and shared in different contexts such as exhibitions, residencies, lectures and publications between 2020 and today.
01. AN EXPLORATION ALONG
Between March 2020-2021
I investigated the nightdreams of residents around the N9
(the road between Brussels and Ostend and a cross-section of the
‘nebular city’, the living environment in Flanders between city and countryside).
It was part of the residency ‘VELDWERK I’ by Kunstenplatform Plan B,
a collective research project focused on rural space.
02. PERFORMING TOPOANALYSIS
topoanalysis DREAM 1: cornfield through the window, 2020 extract publication ‘VELDWERK I’ Kunstenplatform Plan B
04. TABLE SETTINGS
During SPATIAL DREAMING MATRIX, the scale models provide the anchor point for new associations and readings. Participants are expanding the represented spaces according to their own spatial experiences, approach and culture. The scale models can resonate with their own inner spaces (such as safe spaces, hiding places, public or private spaces, closed or open places, ... or spaces in which dreams of escape, anxiety, security and euphoria, ... occur). By sharing we are able to explore collective meanings, patterns and spatial archetypes.
Through a conversation method based on Social Dreaming Matrix (1) participants explore a collective spatial memory.
(1) Social Dreaming is a way of working with dreams. The focus is on the dream and
not on the dreamer. In Social Dreaming, the meaning of a dream is about the
wider world we live in. In a Social Dreaming, participants are invited to share
their dreams and, through association, explore the possible social meanings.
During Social Dreaming, the mind is freed from mundane discourse and analysis
to make participation meaningful. Dreams emerge from the individual, become the
content of the matrix and give meaning to everyone.
05. SPATIAL DREAMING MATRIX
05.1 SPATIAL DREAMING MATRIX #1
05.2 SPATIAL DREAMING MATRIX #2
06. SPATIAL DREAMING OBSERVATORY
In the SPATIAL DREAMING OBSERVATORY participants consider scale models derived from different
nightdreams, collected over the past two years. The modeled dreams are the starting point for an associative conversation toward themes and questions such as: In what spaces do we feel secure and protected?
Can we distinguish spaces of desire, resistance or fear? What typological and archetypal meanings can be identified? What does the spatial constellation tells us about proxemics (the distance and proximity of people and things in a shared space)? What metaphorical space can be derived from an existing space? What do these spaces say about (non-)randomness in the design of our built environment? ...
The participants each reflect on it from their own system of meaning and frame of reference (mythology, philosophy, anthropology, psychoanalysis, film). Rather than precisely grasping and interpreting the volatile nightdreams, the conversations are an attempt to gain a deeper and more nuanced understanding of our spatial experiences, handling and use of spaces.