Sleeper                   2013


In 2013, installation artist, Bug,  abstract painter, Sue Simon and myself were invited to present a collaborative exhibition called ‘Sleeper’ at Vertigo Art Space in Denver.  We focused on our interpretations of dreaming and the dream state. 

Sue Simon’s more than two dozen paintings traced the ebb and flow of the dream cycle through the night.  QR codes linked viewer’s phones to short video plays that portrayed various aspects of dream states.

Bug’s enigmatic figure inspected a book on Gargoyles as his dream life played out in a video projected behind him.

    For my installation portion of Sleeper, I placed stacks of files labeled with various sources, such as Geography, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Sculpture, Ancient Cultures, Figures, Artists and Cultural Icons to represent the source material of consciousness.


    Rising above that were the portraits of six mass murderers emblazoned with the word ‘Sleeper’, suggesting that they had in fact been in the grips of waking schizophrenia and disconnected from a rational world. 

    Placed to either side of videos revealing my own imagined mental foibles, neuroses or hallucinations, were arial photographs of barren tundra landscapes.

    Above all were overlapping columns of images from the files below to represent the potential and complexity of knowledge, a potential unavailable to the Sleepers.  I connected some images using ribbons; personal connections at first, and then as days passed the connections became more open-ended and less associated to my experience. 

    My contribution for ‘Sleeper’ reflected on the speculation by psychologist, Oliver Sacks that those who suffer from schizophrenia may actually be prisoners of a dream state while conscious.

    Some marvelous things can happen in dreams.  We might spontaneously travel from place to place or from time to time.  We may encounter persons who look like strangers, yet we can experience them as someone we know.  Sometimes we are able to read the thoughts of others to see their hidden intentions.  We might hear messages from unseen sources.  Imagine if these things were part of our waking experience as well.  How would we deal with the invasion of those thoughts into our world and how might the others around us react when we do?

I Dreamed of Floating        2013

Acrylic on Canvas

6’ x 4’

I Dreamed of Flying        2013

Acrylic on Canvas

6’ x 4’

I Dreamed of Falling        2013

Acrylic on Canvas

6’ x 4’

Sue Simon & Bug

In three paintings   ‘I Dreamed of Floating’, ‘I Dreamed of Falling’ and ‘I Dreamed of Flying’ I addressed three states of dreaming and consciousness. 

Normal dream     Nightmare    Lucid dream

    In the first we are merely witnesses of the dream, having given up control. 

    The second state is one in which we wish we had control, but that is not possible. 

    In the third state we are actively directing the course of the dream, or so it seems.

There are times when our waking life is totally in our control, sometimes we are just along for the ride and perhaps occasions when we feel totally out of control.  For most of us, our chosen actions determine in which state we reside.  For the Schizophrenic there are no choices, for their day is lived moving in and out of these three states. 


Installation view    10’ x 10’