This week, I've been acquainting myself with the space and location, soaking in the sun and trying to understand beach culture. In the first week, I've been walking around the boardwalk, lying on my Turkish towel in the sand amidst the endangered snowy plovers, catching some gnarly waves in my speedo, picking up trash along the coast, and biking along the boardwalk... All whilst awaiting inspiration to spark. The difficulty in this project, for me, is location and culture. My work often deals with exertion, exhaustion, and physical trauma; I wouldn't exactly call my work "fun." And that's where I find myself perplexed in this project. How, Where, and Why does my work meet the beach?
The project I've proposed is called, LUCID: Daydreaming on the Beach, an immersive theatrical experience that investigates how our memories and dreams affect our mental health. Within my research, I'll delve into topics surrounding trauma, hallucinations, and panic attacks. The ultimate challenge will be integrating the relaxed, care-free culture of the beach with such heavy, serious topics.
On my drive from the east side of Los Angeles to Santa Monica, I recalled one of my favorite episodes of my favorite podcast, Radiolab. In that episode, Haunted Dreams, they discuss lucid dreaming techniques. One technique is a state test: frequently asking yourself in your waking life, "Am I awake, or am I dreaming?" This will become a learned habit that could possibly cross over into your dreaming state, granting you the possibility of controlling your dreams. Have you ever had a dream that you could do something that you couldn't do, and then woke up and felt the efficacy to do it? That happens to me. I dreamt I could do a backflip when I was a child, then I woke up the next day and tried it a couple times and accomplished it (after falling on my head a few times, but I did it). Same with Krumping (an expressive form of hip hop dance with exaggerated gestures). I know all this sounds bizarre, but I wonder if I could lucid dream and control the direction of my dreams, could I then control experiences and embodiments in my waking life? It sounds very Neo from the Matrix, but I'm curious.
During this residency, I will keep a dream journal to document my dreams when I wake in the morning, and maybe even some daydreaming experiences. I will also ask my collaborators to keep a journal for dreams. Stay tuned next week to see where my questions take me.