For my next project I have been thinking about dreams. My brain has been stimulated by an awesome book called ‘Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain’ by David Eagleman. In it he examines how our perception is not so much a result of taking in information, but creating an internal model what we expect, and then moderating it with our perception when the world violates our expectations. Dreams are one example of this, in which he looks at what he calls ‘sleepvision.’ He offers the idea that dreams are what ourvision does when it is not anchored by the outside world.
I am interested in what dreams tell us about lots of things. What we have in common, what is unique to each of us, do different types of people (age, places, gender) have different types of dreams. . . essentially, what does our ‘sleep vision’ do when it is free to explore non reality? And what does this tell us about our minds? How do the symbols of Freud’s dream theory play into all this? Interesting stuff.
One of my first steps is to figure out how I am going to go about gathering dreams, because, as I didn’t mention, I want to look at dreams from lots of people, not just me. There are obvious sources, like forums on the internet, though I get a little tired of gathering all my info on the ‘net’. It doesn’t feel as personal, somehow, so I am looking for alternatives. One thought I’ve had is posting some sort of craigslist ad, or facebook note (still from the internet, but somehow feels more connected or personalized for the project. does this make sense?) . .The problem is, how do I make people anonymous when they reply to my request for dreams? People probably don’t want me to see their personal emails when they are telling me about the most personal inner workings of their subconscious. Another step will be to figure out when people are telling me fake dreams.
However, I will figure it out, and in the meantime welcome suggestions. I have some Freud to read.