Saturday, October 19, 2013

I've always let my dreams determine my life

I woke, as from a nightmare. I dreamt I ran into another artist in the supermarket, sobbing because her state had repealed gay marriage. I told her that since Jim White & I had been doing our "Gulf to Gulf" webcasts on global warming, I'd sobbed many times over seeing our projected unpredictable, awful consequences of global warming come true in the world and over the missed moments caused by the interactions of complex agents; that my jaw has dropped and continues to drop over how these independent agents can trigger unpredictable change: how climate change causes migrations, causes the rise of hate groups; how it causes poverty, drought and independent crazies responding to heat and despair who become semi-successful pirates and hackers who ruin other people's lives. And then I woke up, thinking and that's why I'm completing my dissertation on "trigger point theory as aesthetic activism."

Later, I added:

I started intentional dreaming as a very young child, when I had nightmares of pursuit and death. Over several years, I trained myself to dream that I confronted the pursuers and fought back successfully. Eventually, I got to the point where I not only survived but rescued others. Later, in my twenties, when I heard of how the Senoi people used their dreams, I went further, to "bring something back for the tribe." I have made an effort to do that ever since. What I do is slightly diff than intentional dreaming because I allow for the mystical aspect.

Now my task, defined by the University of Plymouth, from whom I would receive my PhD, is to translate and parse a practice based on dreams, crossing each T and dotting each i in terms any academic might clearly understand. They detail that task as follows:

"Central to the success of a practice-informed research are the categories of "reflection" and "contextualization." A rigorous analysis of one's own work is a very demanding endeavor, both personally and from an academic point of view. However, subjectivity (one's own art work) can form an excellent basis for questions that have directly arisen from one's own work processes. It is therefore important to look at one's own artistic process as a type of theoretical research.

"Reflection" as in "looking back" also includes a degree of "post-rationalization that should be explicit in one's writing. It is useful to keep a working diary to record artistic research methods and findings as one progresses with the practical work during the Phd. This record should also include the theoretical readings and influences from other artists in one's field and/or related fields.

"Contextualization" of one's own artistic work into a "school," a "trend," a "movement," is a hard one- it is however, absolutely essential in an academic work of PhD-standard. To achieve contextualization, one must be familiar with one's artistic or design community. What is the historical background to the community? Rigorous research is necessary here. "State of the Art" groundbreaking experiments, borrowed methodologies and aesthetic trends must be written about seriously. The reaction of the audience and the critical reception of ones own and of related works in the field must be formalized."

A little bit of reality leavened dreaming.

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