with moving images by Zbyněk Baladrán & Barbora Kleinhamplová, Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Verena Paravel, Harun Farocki, Susan Hiller, Vladyslav Kamesky, Chris Kraus, Lap-See Lam, Annika Larsson, The Otolith Group and John Smith, as well as performances by JUCK and Augustin Maurs, and the unveiling of Serge III Oldenbourg’s ghost from Archivo Conz.
This non public event took place over the course of a night to which 20 artists, researchers, writers and students were invited to participate in a series of openly choreographed acts, conver-sations, performances, sounds and moving images that aims to challenge the very notion of ourselves as autonomous and in control. In the frame of this we were interested in shifting our attention away from the image as a form of representation, to the image as a material of psychic intensities and fields of individuation that enable communication not as a correct exchange of ideas and information, but rather as a clash of forces. By letting images, bodies and minds be influencing each other over the course of the night we searched for temporary moments that allowed social structures and identities to be fluid, paradoxical, and open, while at the same time producing an interrelated effect.
The first word that comes up … the first word is fake. Not consciously,
that is the first word that came up. I don’t remember
that I felt that way, so it may be that I feel that way now, knowing
that I was afraid that it was paper doll house … My father
used to call me a faker. I just remembered it. When I was little.
He used to spell it F A K E R, to my favourite faker he wrote in
a book once. […] I don’t know … the person that I’ve created.
That was fake.
Ok, we are playing a game now?
No hell! … uh-uh ... Is it like dying? … Oh, I felt that before.
Peg McGinnis during The Spring Groove Experiment at the Spring Grove Clinic in Catonsville, Maryland (1963)
Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt,
Heh – Die Welt, Ha – Die Welt, Haha – Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die
Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Heh – Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt,
Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Heh - Die Welt, Die Welt, Hehe - Die Welt, Die Welt,
Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Haha - Die Welt, Die
Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die
Welt, Die Welt, Die Weeeeeeeelt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die
Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Weeeeeelt, Die Welt, Die Welt,
Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die
Welt, Die Welt, Die Weeeeelt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt,
Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die Welt, Die
Welt, Die Welt…
Tarantella, by Augustin Maurs (2019)
Oh, I’m very excited.
Suddenly I’m a bit nervous. [laughing]
My pulse is now on 80. Let’s see if it will change.
My hands are all wet and sweaty.
It doesn’t matter.
What did you feel?
I don’t know. I feel many feelings. First I felt …
afraid. I didn’t know what was the game.
Here are big, white, similar to bars … I can’t describe
them further, what they could be. Here
they are spreading and fragmenting … hm, this is
Is that a bit unpleasant, or?
No, it’s not unpleasant … because I know you are
There was this short moment, I don’t know if you
already noticed it … where I was … where I got
scared, because I actually had a feeling that …
well, that if I really would have been under water
at this point, then it would have hit me with it’s
flapper and would have stroked me dead. And
this moment was such a confusing experience,
because it was bodily without … it was not physical,
but it felt physical.
Was that feeling similar to a dream? When you
are sleeping and dreaming? Or was it something
No, a dream was … A dream is better.
Because in a dream I can start swimming …
And are you scared in your dreams?
Yes sure, yes, yes, it can …
We are all scared in dreams … often terrible
things happen there. In dreams.
I would never ever dare to go there. And this is
what I wanted with this … to experience and to
overcome that, through these virtual worlds.
That, what I would never dare in real life. And
then, well it was awful … well I don’t know at
what point I screamed … but somehow it was …
You crashed, right?
I think, somehow suddenly … I didn’t know anymore
what was up or down, but it was so, so, so …
it was really, really realistic. As I said, I am still … I
have it up to here.
I’m totally sweaty or wet from the sea, whatever.
I’m totally shaky, that’s for sure.
What is going on?
I’m just feeling sick.
Here with your thumb, your index finger, here.
And you spoke about dreams before? You did
this comparesment between dreams and virtual
Yes, it is like a dream. It is like dream images, what
you can see. Because in a dream, you also … the
body … well you feel your body or the surface of
your body depending on if you have a warm or
an anxious feeling. And here your own body just
There were somehow two feelings. So physically
I felt here, well not here but there, but far away
in my head, I knew that it is a game. And yes, this
game really took me with it.
It like dreaming when you are awake
Fear of Flying, by Annika Larsson (2019)
What are you imagining now?
I’m thinking of a train that is
going over a bridge.
That’s nothing special!
Oh, it’s a suspension railroad.
I’m imagining a much nicer train
going over a bridge.
A cable car
But where is the bridge?
Oh … Sighhh
Sonja, now it is your turn
I can’t think of anything else.
Everything is spinning in my
Then imagine a train that’s
Namely, a locomotive on a railway
I don’t want to see or hear any
I am going to get into a train
and drive away,
Oh! I want to come too!
That’s a nice dream.
Bed Time Stories, by Harun Farocki (1977)
About four years ago, as I recall, something seemed different in my life. I had been happily married and busy and productive, and I was teaching school, and I have two teenage kids, and something seemed empty. I could not put my finger on it, so I discussed it with my husband, who is very busy, and was very busy, but he didn’t take much account on it, and I said I felt he was ignoring me. And I was dramatic and said I would leave him if he did not pay more attention to me. And I think I remember this was around October, so he said all right I will try to pay more attention to you. And I didn’t think it was sickness, as a matter of fact when I was admitted over here I didn’t think it was sickness. I thought he was sick. And that I was well. Well, all that kept on for about a year and a half maybe even two years, often with times of a feeling that there was something wrong with my life. Things were not turning out the way I’d expected, I don’t mean fairy book stuff, but really, I felt odd and kind of empty. So my husband said … well then I decided, well, if he is different to me there must be somebody else. And so he said »if you think there is somebody else ...«, and of course he cleared there wasn’t anyone else »... if it is somebody else then come up with something«. And I thought it must be something other than just having an affair, there must be something legal … illegal mess involved. So there is a lot to go into to tell you. But the thing that climaxed it was that there was a bank robbery in Merlin, and it just happened to be in the area where my husband works, and I was sure it has he. And I was terribly concerned they were going to do something worse, so finally I went to the FBI and I talked to a very important person there, and he took me seriously. Well, I was convinced! And he took me so seriously that he called an agent in Merlin and they dragged my husband, not dragged but arranged to have him go up, and he had take a lie detector test, and he came through with flying colours, because he wasn’t involved. And the person up there, that had been so very nice to me and was most sympathetic and concerned because I was suffering so, called me to tell me that my husband was not involved, that they cleared him and I said: He conned you! I didn’t sleep, all summer. I was sure that my husband was gassing me. That it was coming in through the attic or the water, or fossils or something … And I slept outside on the lawn, and I slept in the car on rainy nights. I was still working on my proof positive that my husband was ill and needed help. Then in working on that, I stumbled across family snap-shots. And still working… oh this will do it! It appeared to me that there were images in there, in the family snapshot, some pornographic images … somehow it seems contrived of my husband, under my foot, and really corny. Well anyhow, this was going to be the proof positive. When I had these, I called a psychiatrist and made an appointment for my husband, thinking he was indeed ill and here was the final proof. So we could save him from his terrible fate. So we went to a psychiatrist and the psychiatrist talked to me for about 15 minutes and talked to my husband and then he handed my husband the papers for me.
Peg McGinnis during The Spring Groove Experiment at the Spring Grove Clinic in Catonsville, Maryland (1963)
Today is my forty-second day of detention. These six weeks, when I look back, have passed at full speed, and when this day has passed, which will be the same as every other day, I will mark each spot of pure time, to tell myself. »Only eight more hours and it’ll be one more day.« I’m going through each day
very slowly, counting almost the minutes, and each day seems never to end, but when I look back, it seems to me that they have gone by so quickly, precisely because there is nothing to fill these days with.
The Prison Diaries, by Serge III Oldenbourg (1966-67)
Snail time, snail time, ba-baba snail time, snail time ba-baba, crawl across the
floor-a, crawl across the floor-a, look back at the door-a, look back at the door-a, time to do the snail,
time to do the snail, hold your little baby, hold your little baby, hold your little baby, hold your little baby,
till she turns pale, time to do the snail, time to do the snail, snail time, snail time, ba-dada, snail time
ba-dada, snail time ba-dada, snail time, snail time, snail time, snail time, do the snail.
Somniloquies, by Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel (2017)
I’ve been sitting here for ages. waiting for the ceiling, that you are looking at, to start moving, because I came into the, into this room last night and opened the window, and it made me jump actually, a gust of wind came through the window, and the ceiling started blowing around, all these different tiles and they, and the suspended ceiling started flying up and down. It is really, really nice to watch so I’ve been hoping it would be happening again when I’ve got my camera, but I haven’t got much luck so far. Heard a little bit of flapping, but nothing like last night, but anyway, I will give up in a minute. But … oh, you can hear something happening, yes, something is happening there. The reason that the ceiling is moving around, that part of the ceiling is moving around, is that basically we are in a hotel, and the hotel have just been decorated, just been renovated. I think they actually just opened this week, so it is obviously … strange I am looking through the camera so I can only hear things, but I can’t see where they are actually happening, but the lens is as wide as it goes so I don’t think … I am catching everything, but ok … the reason … the reason it is flying, as I say things needs to be fixed in this hotel, but it is actually a really really nice hotel, really comfortable, but just a little thing that needs to get sorted out. A bit of a -—— thing. Hold the ——stay out ————. But apart from that it is a really really nice hotel, so, very friendly and I fairly recommend it. It is the Bethlehem Inn, Bethlehem Inn in Bethlehem, Palestine. And … the reason it has been closed for a long time, being done out, and the reason for that is that it was …it was … what is the word? … requisitioned by the Israeli army in 2000 when the second intifada started, and they took it over and they were here for ages, so by the time they left it was completely trashed and had to be completely renovated, so as I said, it only just opened again. But … one of the reasons, the main reason that the army requisitioned it was that it …the hotel is actually on top of a really, really high hill, so it gives you a very, very, a very good view, spectacular view over the whole city and the surrounding, so.
Dirty Pictures (Hotel Diaries), by John Smith (2007)
I went to bed early, being so tired. On referring since to the calendar in my diary, I see that the day and hour at which I did get into bed that night are down in the calendar as being the exact day and hour of the new moon. Is there really, as superstitiously believed by all nations, any connection between Luna and lunacy? I did not read in bed, but blew out the candle immediately. My head had scarcely touched the pillow when a man’s voice — a very pleasant baritone voice — proceeding apparently from the large armchair by the fireplace, asked clearly and aloud: »Are you awake?« I raised myself on my left elbow, and facing the direction whence the voice came, and feeling suddenly no longer tired, but brisk and most alert, I answered: »Yes, wide awake. Who are you?« (I have never in my life heard any »voices,« and should have been extremely startled at hearing one then had I been in my right senses. As it was, I was no more startled than one is startled by dreams, when the most astonishing and unlikely things seem quite natural and ordinary.) The »voice« ignored my question and went on: »Are you not the author of ›--‹?« (mentioning a book which, five years previously, had taken me six months’ incessant labour to write. It was of inordinate length and dealt largely with occultism.) »Yes!« I exclaimed in surprise. »But how can you possibly know of that? It never was published.« »Well, to prove to you that I do know it, is not the motto to the book ›--‹?« (The voice quoted in full the three lines of poetry which I had put as a motto.) »Perfectly correct! But how can you know? Are you--?« (I mentioned a publisher who had offered to publish the book if I would cut it.) »No, I am not.« »Are you one of his ›readers‹?« »No.« »Are you a ›reader‹ at any other publisher’s?« »No.« »Well, then, how on earth can you have read my book at all?« »I did not say that I had read it.« This rather nonplussed me. »Ah! Then you haven’t read it?« I remarked, after a pause. »Yes, I have-at least, extracts from it. The fact is, a friend of mine read it.« »Oh? Is he a ›reader‹ anywhere?« »No.« »Then where could he have read it?« »At --’ s.« »But if he isn’t a ›reader‹ there, I don’t understand how he could have read the thing at all.« »He isn’t a ›reader‹ there, but he works there. He read the book because they told him it was such an extraordinary one. It is he who told me about it, and showed me extracts he had copied from it.« »What is your friend’s name?« I asked. »He might not like me to tell you.« »Gh! I beg your pardon — I did not mean to be rudely inquisitive –– but the whole thing seems to me so inexplicable. What did your friend think of the book?« »It made the greatest impression on him—it changed his whole views of life.« (Now I wonder if it changed them for the better or the worse, I thought to myself: »I am rather curious to know that, but I am not going to court a second snub by asking for any further information whatever about that friend.«) »Yes, it changed his whole life. It made him join such-and such a community.« Again I longed to inquire whether joining that community had enabled that friend to find what he sought; but again, for the same reason as before, I refrained, and merely remarked: »Oh?« »Yes. He tells me everything, you know.« »So it appears.« (I was determined not to evince the smallest further curiosity about that friend.) In my room I had a copy of the work of art of a celebrated living artist-a man who is completely unknown to me personally, but for whose genius as an artist I have always had the greatest admiration. The voice said to me: »The young man depicted in such-and-such a position in that work of art in your room is this friend of mine about whom we have been speaking. He was the model from which that figure was drawn.« This statement interested me very much. I said quickly: »If you know so much about the creation of that work, you must be the artist? You must be --?« (I named the artist’s name—which for the remainder of this history I will alter to the fictitious one of »Ray Hall.«) The voice did not deny this indictment, and throughout the entire remainder of my attack of madness I was fully convinced that this man’s voice continually holding converse with me was the voice of that artist. I see now, on carefully reviewing the whole thing, that this voice never once actually admitted to being that artist; it merely never denied it, and always answered instantly to that name whenever I summoned it. How long exactly the conversation lasted that night, I cannot tell, but when the voice ceased talking to me I dropped quietly off to sleep.
The Maniac: A Realistic Study of Madness from the Maniac’s Point of View, by E. Thelmar (1909)
Familiar materials had acquired a different »feel.« In the dark, the bed sheets at times seemed like silk. As I had not been born with a golden spoon in my mouth, or other accessories of a useless luxury, I believed the detectives had provided these silken sheets for some hostile purpose of their own. What that purpose was I could not divine, and my very inability to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion stimulated my brain to the assembling of disturbing thoughts in an almost endless train. Imaginary breezes struck my face, gentle, but not welcome, most of them from parts of the room where currents of air could not possibly originate. They seemed to come from cracks in the walls and ceiling and annoyed me exceedingly. I thought them in some way related to that ancient method of torture by which water is allowed to strike the victim’s forehead, a drop at a time, until death releases him. For a while my sense of smell added to my troubles. The odor of burning human flesh and other pestilential fumes seemed to assail me. My sense of sight was subjected to many weird and uncanny effects. Phantasmagoric visions
made their visitations throughout the night, for a time with such regularity that I used to await their coming with a certain restrained curiosity. I was not entirely unaware that something was ailing with
my mind. Yet these illusions of sight I took for the work of detectives, who sat up nights racking their
brains in order to rack and utterly wreck my own with a cruel and unfair Third Degree. Handwriting on the wall has ever struck terror to the hearts of even sane men. I remember as one of my most unpleasant experiences that I began to see handwriting on the sheets of my bed staring me in the face, and not me alone, but also the spurious relatives who often stood or sat near me. On each fresh sheet placed over me I would soon begin to see words,sentences, and signatures, all in my own handwriting. Yet I could not decipher any of the words, and this fact dismayed me, for I firmly believed that those who stood about could read them all and found them to be incriminating evidence. I imagined that these visionlike effects, with few exceptions, were produced by a magic lantern controlled by some of my myriad persecutors. The lantern was rather a cinematographic contrivance. Moving pictures, often brilliantly colored, were thrown on the ceiling of my room and sometimes on the sheets of my bed. Human bodies, dismembered and gory, were one of the most common of these. All this may have been due to the fact that, as a boy, I had fed my imagination on the sensational news of the day as presented in the public press. Despite the heavy penalty which I now paid for thus loading my mind, I believe this unwise indulgence gave a breadth and variety to my peculiar psychological experience which it otherwise would have lacked. For with an insane ingenuity I managed to connect myself with almost every crime of importance of which I had ever read.
A Mind That Found Itself, by Gifford Beers (1908)
Channel: CBS Programme: Live at the 53rd Grammy Music Awards,
Reporter Serene Branson: »Well a b-very b-very heavy, heavy bw-urtation
tonight. We had a very dw-erson … by, lets
go terrs-tayson ... goes to-thew they-hav-thepet ...«
Anathema, by The Otolith Group (2011)
It is really pulsating, how it is closing, and opening. It’s beautiful, it opens. […] I am really afraid, Jesus christ, I don’t know of what, but boy am I afraid. I can tell you a hundred, million, thousand thing that I am afraid of. […] They are all sharp. There were thousands of visual patterns of fear, and the first was not breathing. I was in … and I died. I was terrified. I went through. I was afraid of being thirsty, I was afraid of being alone. And I was not just alone for a little while, I was alone for billion trillion years. And then I was afraid of what time brought. And I was pock-marked, hideous, ugly, cobwebs and ugly and old and older and older and I was just bones old.
Peg McGinnis during The Spring Groove Experiment at the Spring Grove Clinic in Catonsville, Maryland (1963)
… and I said »ok, you stop right here, the party is over! Get up against the wall! Just because you’re steelworkers, you’re bums, you’re disgusting slime, look at your arms, blood dripping, I mean—plastic is leather, fuck you!« But my husbands started to kind of act really strange. He said »Come on Honey! Calm down. I don’t know what she is doing. I don’t know her, I really don’t.« Well it was then I realised I had to get rid of him. I mean, come on, this guy is a nerd. He doesn’t play along. He does not come over to my side. So naturally I called up a friend, and I said to him »you gotta come over and get me« And he came over, and then two weeks later he called me up and he said »Susan, what did you do with the gun?!« I said »what do you mean?« And he said, cause my mother found the gun with blood dripping. And I said »what?« You gotta talk to your mother and father, did you call the police? Well he said to me »Susan, I can’t believe you did this! I really trusted you. I mean I loaned you 200 dollars and now my wife thinks that I am crazy and she is crazy, and she won’t fuck me, and you won’t fuck me. What I am supposed to do?« Well, it was at that point that I knew that I had killed my husband. Or anyway, I could have. And that brings me back to that idea that I really wanted to talk about here: Antonin Artaud. Because Arthaud is really into astrology, you know. What’s that line? »Just because we are behind bars, doesn’t mean we’re not behind bars.« Yeah. »Just because we don’t think we’re behind bars, doesn’t mean we’re not behind bars. Just because we don’t think we’re behind bars, doesn’t mean we’re not behind bars.« And this is really becoming a very literary confession. Because I have this palm reader, you see. And that’s why every time I have done a re-enactment of this scene I have always worn gloves. Because I called him up in Paris and I said look I need some advise about Roger. And he said, Susie guess who I just got out of bed with? And I said »Who?« and he said »your first husband«. And I said »Ohhh«. Well, it was then that I knew that my Pluto was linked up on a very significant level to Artaud. And my feeling about all this was very insignificant. I mean how many other people have ever felt insignificant? How many people have ever been to jail? No, I am a person who really had to experience what it would be like to be in jail. But when I got there I was very unhappy because nobody would talk to me. Now if Artaud had been in jail he would have been a hero for stealing pantyhose, but I was insignificant. Leading me into this destructive self purge, this incredible self destructive self purge which sent me further and further out towards Pluto. And connected me on a very basic level to Artaud. And the illusion of being connected to Artaud. Which brings me to my second husband.
Foolproof Illusion, by Chris Kraus (1986)
I lie down in bed, on my left side, with my knees drawn up; I close my eyes and breathe slowly, putting my plans out of my mind. But the power of my will or consciousness stops there. As the faithful, in the Dionysian mysteries, invoke the god by miming scenes from his life, I call up the visitation of sleep by imitating the breathing and posture of the sleeper. The god is actually there when the faithful can no longer distinguish themselves from the part they are playing, when their body and their consciousness cease to bring in, as an obstacle, their particular opacity, and when they are totally fused in the myth. There is a moment when sleep ›comes‹, settling on this imitation of itself which I have been offering to it, and I succeed in becoming what I was trying to be: an unseeing and almost unthinking mass, riveted to a point in space and in the world henceforth only through the anonymous alertness of the senses.
Phenomenology of Perception, by Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1962)
But that is when the accident occurs: black flash, collision in the unregulated fringe where I am half asleep ... a silent blasting in my temples, my cheeks, and once again my eyes are open. ... That’s when there is a limitless lucidity, the room as screen dissolves, it loses its closed aspect, city, country, period, makeshift and hidden box—it radiates beyond me, everything begins to wake up, to be punctuated by waves, in sheets (which depends on the eyes and the inside of the eyes in a vibrating medium that seems as if it is beyond air). It is all at once an upheaval and a spawning living in a curtain of atoms, of blue points.
Drame, by Philippe Sollers (1965)
Magnified apples appear and disappear, Stem end and blossom end, And every fleck of russet showing clear.
After Apple-Picking, by Robert Frost (1914)
Mrs Fried’s woke in her South coast home. She had fallen a sleep in front of her TV and now found it transmitting the close down signal. She was just about to switch off when she saw something that made her hesitate. At first she thought she must be half asleep. She rubbed her eyes, and looked again. A ghostly highly blurred image was on the screen, in negative. It seemed to be a face, she said. She could see eyes and lips and it appeared to be moving. Quote, but the eyes were white, and the face was black. Unquote. She was conscious of a voice, but could not make out anything it said. Then, suddenly, the shape disappeared. In the morning she telephoned the BBC. But non-one would comment, quote, they probably thought I was mad, unquote, said Mrs Fried. She contacted a friend’s son. He was a journalist associated with a magazine called TV Choice. Although sceptical, the magazine decided into experiment. They placed small ads in the local newspapers covering the south east post of England. Did readers know of any strange sitings after close-down? Only twelve replies came. Five were obviously from, quote, cranks, mystics, or people nearly mistaken in what they saw, unquote, says TV choice. One man believed he saw John Lennon and heard him say: »Don’t worry!«. But the other seven replies, quote, there’re closer to scrutiny, unquote, the magazine feels. All said they have seen something similar to what Mrs Fried noted. In fact four replies noted sightings on the same day at a similar time. In several of cases a negative image was seen. The magazine plottered sender’s addresses on a map. A rough line could be drawn from the south coast across Surrey and out towards north London. This indicated the source of the emanations was moving. Was it a hoax? The journal comments, quote, It would have been a very elaborate, very expensive hoax indeed, and there is graved out as wether it is technically possible, unquote. And why, they ask, go to such trouble and then make no attempt to publicise the hoax? TV Choice has another suggestion to put forward, quote, As absurd as it may seem, unquote, could an alien spacecraft has swept across the south east of England, transmitting TV signal as it went? No, preposterous … A few days later another letter arrived at their office. Ernie Lees claimed he had a video tape of the message. He is convinced he has seen a face on his screen, blurred and unrecognisable it was. Quote, The face of an Alien, unquote. He wrote, it spoke to him in English. Its message, says the magazine, was so terrible, so disturbing, that Ernie Lees is afraid to reveal it. It predicted that something, quote, too ghastly, unquote, would occur to the earth …
Belshazzar’s Feast, by Susan Hiller (1984)
She said that there is power in vibrations, in fragility. That there is power in stories that are told over and over again. (This is where you meet the gaze of six night hags.) Their castles shall be overgrown with vibrating ornaments, their fortresses with desire and wet undies.
JUCK <3 LILITH, by JUCK (2019)
Endless steal-blue eyes and they would look like a button, one screwed in and one screwed out, and you had to be very careful, her vision depended on it. She only came out once every eight months, looked around, saw that her eyes were screwed in and screwed out right. Took a little walk, whistled through her toes, and with all three hands one her hips, went back in for another eight months. I don’t know how she did that. She must have had a pipe-line to a store because she ate regularly. Had to eat just like we do. One thing was crazy about that woman. She had to drink rusty water. Oh yes, all the kids in the neighbourhood running after rusty water. hmm. funny. One of natures mistakes. One of natures mistakes. Wirehair she had, yes. Animals, couldn’t get near her. Her backs went up, the stiff, the grimmest. They … Oh I’m sorry have another cup! Have another cup. Would you like something a bit stronger? Hm? Cider? At first we were all afraid of her. All the kids had to stay home, couldn’t pass her house, then we dug a fallout shelter. And everyone that passed her house had go down in the fallout shelter. Take a shower before they came out. But that was ridiculous, she was not radioactive! I knew that from the beginning. She’s been there too long. Besides we all watched her grow up. She is only young, you know. She was a baby. She was a baby, she had little wires hairs. I knooow. And she was put together in three. In sections of three. Very nice girl! Oh, very nice girl, no-one ever saw her mad. God knows what would have happened if she got mad. Huhh! I hate to have her point at me. Well yes, her finger is lit up. Some sparks flew. Yes her toes too, she couldn’t wear shoes. No, she wore scooped out cement blocks. I know, very heavy that’s why she was so tired. Her name, oh! Hilarious Strompet. Stromp, not Strump. No, very funny wom ... oh Hilarious was an old roman goddess, I guess, or at least she was a princess or queen. I know the Strompets were normal. Normal pair. Can you imagine having an electric monster like that? Poor Hilaria. No, nobody knew her well enough to call her that. Sad, isn’t it. All through life Hilarious, without a nick name. Huh, such waste somehow.
The Dream World of Dion McGregor, by Dion McGregor (1964)
Third floor, room 259. About 300 feet. Inside are two bedrooms. There are bunk beds in the bedroom, made of wooden boards, the color is brown. Inside there are sheets and pillow cases, pink patterned with small flowers. In the room there are two cabinets filled with some underwear and books.
Oriental Travesty, by Lap-See Lam (2016)
In a lucid, heavily incorporeal torpor, I stagnate, between dream and wakefulness, in a dream that is a shadow of dreaming. My attention floats between two worlds and blindly sees the depths of a heaven; and these depths interpenetrate, mix together, and I don’t know where I am or what I’m dreaming.
... I float in the air between being awake and being asleep, and another species of reality arises. I, in
the middle of it, don’t know which is which.
The Forest of Alienation, by Fernando Pessoa (1913)
Have you still not arrived?
How fast do you fly towards the ground?
Wohoo, I can steer. I can fly between the houses …
fly between the houses. So … whooops!
That’s us. Everything alright?
I just bumped into a house. Now I am …
Do you want to get up again?
Did you bump into something?
No! Well … [laughter] I want to. There are many
Where are you at the moment?
I’m down now. Well … whoops. What is this?
That’s a chair.
Ahhhh. Wooooh! ooohhhh! Ahhhhhh!
Are you ok?
Ahh, this is so beautiful. Ooohhhhhh! But indeed
I’m a little bit tired from all the flying.
Oooohhhhhh! The mountains. Whoooooop! Now,
I am completely alone in the mountains. I will now
try now to get up, let’s see if that works …
Should we help you? Or do you want to try alone?
No, no, no, no! … Uiiiiiii! … Ahhhhh! … Ohhhhhh!….
Ohhhh! Heyy! There is a helicopter. Probably it is
looking for me. I am here! Whoop! Uiii! It is so small.
Whooooops! Hahahahahahaha!!! Hahahahahaha!
Now I am sitting on the street, I think on the highway.
Ooooohhh! Na? Whooops! Hahaha! Ahhhh!
I’m chasing a car now. Ahh, ah, sooo ...
Yes, you don’t hear so well in there.
Because it is so loud in there ...
It is so much traffic there.
Fear of Flying, by Annika Larsson (2019)
It is the land of beginning again, we thought we’d like go there, everything starts all over again, if you have a good day, you live it over, so you find you’re reliving all your days again, yes it’s highly commercial, you pay a certain amount, and then, yes I do believe you can, you can stay there you can live there yes, yes you can yes you can, I like that yes, it was nice, I don’t know I’m a little afraid to go back, I’m afraid to go back, sometimes it’s not as nice as you think it was, it’s scary that’s what it is, it’s scary, it’s scary, there are some things you didn’t understand, now you understand it, yes don’t go
back don’t go back, don’t go back don’t go back don’t go back, I don’t want go back I don’t want go
back I’m afraid of going back, I’m afraid of going back, no no no no, you can if you want to you can if you
want to, I don’t want to I don’t want to, I’m afraid of going back, I want to go ahead I want to go ahead I
want to go ahead I want to go ahead I want to go ahead, we don’t want to, fix the future fix the future, I
want to go to the land of, coming events, land of coming events, I don’t want the past I don’t want the
past I’ve seen the past I’ve seen the past, I hate it, I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it I hate it, I want the future, future, future perfect future perfect, get me one of those, get me one of those, get me one of
those, get me one of those, get me a pass to the future perfect land, I want to go the future perfect land,
I want to live there, I want to live there, I want to live there, I want perfect future, the present is squalid,
future land future land, let’s go to future land, future land, oh that’s terrible, oh that’s terrible no, that
would be my house in future land, oh what’s that woman doing sitting there in that room, that woman
can’t sit there in my house, she’s threading a needle, she’s putting little beads on a needle, each bead is
an hour of my life, but I can’t stand it, she’s only got one trunk full, look at that there they go, slow up lady, slow up lady, oh she’s putting my days on the thread, maybe if the, if the thread breaks you’ve got to rethread it, scrabble around and pick up all my old hours and days, oh please break the thread break the thread, drop some of my days drop some of my days, drop some of my days drop some of my
years, oh would’t it be grand, wouldn’t it be grand if she dropped some years, if she dropped some
years, drop some years lady, unthread those needles, unthread the needles unthread the needles,
drop the beads, drop the beeeaaaa …
Somniloquies, by Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel (2017)
Am in a kind of gym or barbershop. At some distance from me, Dm., wrapped up in
sheet, is being massaged or having his hair cut. A phonograph is put on for him. It is a record I made to amuse him—I’m singing an aria (from Bor. Godunov, perhaps), but it is less funny than I had hoped, the tune is quite unrecognizable and even the »ha-ha« laugh into which I break off at the end
Insomniac Dreams, by Vladimir Nabokov (1964)
Sleepless night. The third in a row. I fall asleep soundly, but after an hour I wake up, as though I had laid my head in the wrong hole. I am completely awake, have the feeling that I have not slept at all or only under a thin skin, have before me anew the labor of falling asleep and feel myself rejected by sleep. And for the rest of the night, until about five, thus it remains, so that indeed I sleep but at the same time vivid dreams keep me awake. I sleep alongside myself, so to speak, while I myself must struggle with dreams. About five the last trace of sleep is exhausted, I just dream, which is more exhausting than wakefulness. In short, I spend the whole night in that state in which a healthy person finds himself for a short time before really falling asleep. When I awaken, all the dreams are gathered about me, but I am careful not to reflect on them. Toward morning I sigh into the pillow, because for this night all hope is gone.
Diaries 2nd Oct, by Franz Kafka (1910)
This morning I woke up in another part of my brain ... When I opened my eyes, I woke with a feeling of confusion and a sense that something indiscernible had shifted during the sleeping hours and now I was somewhere else, not in another place physically, but something similar. The »I« of my self had crawled through the thickness of memory and consciousness to some other plane in the structure of the brain and emerged within a new gray coil. When my eyes opened, I felt I was viewing the once familiar room through a four-foot thick piece of slightly yellowed glass ... I fought the urge to lay down and return to sleep in order to regain my proper place, to shift back into a developing place where for thirty-odd years I’d been waking up.
Close to the Knives: A Memoir of Disintegration, by David Wojnarowicz (1991)
I, Zhuangzi, dreamed I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awoke, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then Zhuangzi dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether a butterfly is now dreaming it is me. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there is necessarily a barrier. This is called transformation of things.
The Butterfly Dream, by Zhuangzi (400 BCE)
All right, then, is there anything new? Is he ill?
I’m afraid so. He’s had a very disturbed night.
Has he woken up?
(after going to D’Alembert’s bed and feeling his pulse and skin) It won’t be anything.
You don’t think so?
Believe me. The pulse is good ... a little faint ... the skin is damp ... his breathing is easy ...
Is there nothing we can do for him?
So much the better. He hates medicines.
So do I. What did he eat for supper?
He didn’t want anything. I don’t know where he spent the evening, but he came back concerned
He has a slight fever—it won’t lead to anything.
As he came in, he put on his dressing gown and his night cap and threw himself in his armchair,
where he dozed off.
Sleep is always beneficial. But it would’ve been better if he’d been in bed.
He got angry with Antoine for telling him that— we had to pester him for half an hour to make
him get to bed.
That happens to me every day, although my health is good.
When he was in bed, instead of lying peacefully the way he usually does, for he sleeps like a
child, he began to turn, rolling around and waving his arms. He threw off his blankets and started
to talk out loud.
What was he talking about? Was it geometry?
No. It all sounded delirious. At the start it was a lot of nonsense about vibrating strings and sensitive fibres. It all seemed so foolish to me but, since I’d decided not to leave him during the
night and not knowing what to do, I went up to a small table at the foot of his bed and started to
write down everything I could catch of his dream talk.
Clever thinking on your part. Can we see the result?
Of course. But I’ll stake my life you’ll not understand any of it.
Are you ready?
Listen—»A living point ... No, I’m wrong. Nothing at first, then a living point ... Another living point
attaches itself to this one, and then another— and from these successive conjoinings a single
living unity results, for I am certainly a unity. Of that I have no doubt ...« (As he was saying this, he
was feeling himself all over). »But how does this unity create itself ... (»My friend,« I said to him,
»what are you doing? Go to sleep.« He stopped talking. After a moment of silence, he started up
again as if he was talking to someone) ... »All right, philosopher, I can grasp an aggregate, a
tissue of small sensitive beings, but an animal ... a totality, a unified system, on its own, with an
awareness of its own unity? That I don’t understand. No, I don’t understand it at all ...« Doctor, is
there something in all that you understand?
D’Alembert’s Dream, by Denis Diderot (1769)
Who do I mean when I say »there’s nothing wrong with us«? The fat ones. The ones who are out of
all compass however precisely they are located. The ones who are not conscious when they listen to
Les McCann. The Screamers who don’t say much, insolently. The churchgoers who value impropriety.
The ones who manage to evade self-management in the enclosure. The ones without interest who
bring the noise of the new general interests by refusing. The ones who refuse to subdue muted noise
and mutating grammar of the new general intellect. My Cousins. All my friends.
Fred Moten in Anathema, by The Otolith Group (2011)
It happens to me that I walk around the office upside down: head down, feet on the ceiling. I can’t reach my files. I don’t know why they stay on the desk and don’t fall down on the ceiling. Sometime I expand so much that I can’t get through the door. I blow up until I fill the whole room. Then I have to wait till the end of the working day to deflate. When I go to the copier, often I can’t find the way back. So as not to lose face. I act like I’m visiting the office of a colleague and feign interest him. Corridors very often change their angles and lengths. Sometimes it takes days to get from my office to Liquidations. With every blink of my eye I become someone else—the CEO, the receptionist, the accountant. It’s always me, after all. Sometime I try keeping my eyes closed longer resting at the same time but in the dark distorted office supplies start to appear behind my eyelids, changing proportions, growing and shrinking and I’m afraid to rest. I think there is some kind of hierarchy operating here that’s based on sexual prowess and subordination. They’ve never let me in on a conference. I go to the toilet, but the corridor leading to it keeps getting narrower. I keep going as long as I can move. I fell it squeezing me. I go to the toilet again. There’s no one here. I’ve been working here several years and I’ve never met anyone. Sometimes I don’t pay attention and go through a door badly. The door jam splits me vertically into two pieces. Then it’s hard to be one and be in one room. Behind every door is a different room. Behind every door is the same room. I’ve been working here a long time. I haven’t found the exit yet. The angles of all the corners in the rooms are sharper than 90 degrees. I know that for sure. Due to that, the whole building is collapsing on itself. When I open a door a crack and the right conjugation occurs, I can see along the corridor through the ventilation shaft and on the reflection in the mirror in the ladies’ toilet to the back of the seated CEO. I gave notice. My colleague are looking at me askance because of it. It makes me giddy.
Work of Eye, by Barbora Kleinhamplová & Zbynek Baladrá (2014)