DreamBank – Dreaming is not (just) human


Dream expert G. William Domhoff, a distinguished professor and psychology researcher at UC Santa Cruz, has spent decades studying dreams and their meaning. Over the years he has shifted his attention from understanding dreams to understanding the conditions and parts of the brain that create dreams. In his integrated neurocognitive theory, he hypothesizes that during the creative act of the dream our mental state is very similar to the drift of thought while awake. At that indefinite moment, the mind wanders without a precise logical thought, in an indefinite, unpredictable and creative path. It’s precisely this theory that DreamBank refers to, a generative artwork by artist Claire Malrieux that investigates the relationship between form and narrative, and between creative power and computational power. DreamBank shows itself to the public in an essential aesthetic form, and, like a TV in a living room, does not aim for any spectacularisation. The work draws from a bank of dreams and is based on a three-dimensional classification of emotions and on the neurocognitive study of the brain process of dreams. It is conceived of as an ecosystem that blends the semantic and emotional analysis of dream stories with reactive behaviors and graphs, gestures of an algorithm in a continuous and evolutionary learning principle. The dream (or infinite dreams) take the form of a graphic storytelling, generated and told in real time by the machine that discards the functional clothes in which we are used to seeing it, no longer as an instrument in the hands of man, it does not imitate but creates and tells, draws unpredictable forms, in a show whose mechanisms of creation constitute the autonomous visual realization of a precise visionary intention. Benedetta Sabatini