A sound, sculptural and performance installation that took place in November 2011 for one night. This is a video documenting the piece.

Artist Statement:

1. Hypnagogic hallucinations are episodes of seeing and hearing things as one is falling asleep. These dreams can be frightening and can often cause a sudden jerk and arousal just before sleep onset. As the subject drifts off to sleep, he/she moves into a state that combines the environment, of which the subject is still partially aware, with a dream-like state of sleep, in which he might see figures and hear them talking or moving. The experiences are often frightening. Hypnagogic hallucinations are usually quite vivid, and often involve vision. The visual hallucinations usually consist of simple forms – colored circles or parts of objects – that are constant or changing in size, frequently including people or animals as well. Auditory hallucinations are also common, but other senses are seldom involved. They occur between waking and sleeping, usually at the onset of sleep. Sleep deprivation, irregular sleep schedules, and medications all can predispose to occurrences of this phenomenon.

2. Anna is an insomniac. She has recently moved to a new town, and started graduate school, which has been very stressful. Every time she tries to sleep she is awoken by noises coming from her closet. Sometimes she sees colors and shapes, and when she closes her eyes she can imagine the creature stirring and emerging from the basement, which jolts her awake. When she does successfully fall asleep, her dreams are incredibly vivid and violent. She often performs meaningless, repetitive tasks in these dreams, which become increasingly horrific. She attempts to self medicate, but it backfires. She gets less sleep, and her nights are more restless. The dreams become more realistic while simultaneously more horrifying, making it harder for her to sleep. The altered state of her mind makes it more difficult to tell the difference between reality and her dreams.

3. Using imagery from my own nightmares and hypnagogic hallucinations, as well as experience with insomnia and other sleeping disorders, I have created the character of Anna. Throughout the semester I have explored this characters past (The Memory), her present (The Persona; YouTube Vlogs), her dreams (The Architecture; this installation), and her breakdown (The Articulation; forthcoming). This installation uses sound, sculpture and performance to provide an interactive environment for the visitor to experience. The space created confronts the visitor with images and sounds that cause one to be both curious and uncomfortable, forcing the actual exploration of the installation, instead of a simply examining a framed image.

Maia Melton
November 11, 2010

Loading more stuff…

Hmm…it looks like things are taking a while to load. Try again?

Loading videos…