Tuesday 14th June, 9.15-10.30
Facilitation and write-up: Juliet Scott, Mannie Sher
This is the write up of the first social dreaming matrix in the series set in the context of cataloguing the Tavistock Institute’s archive and what is happening in the world today. Albeit not open to the public, the purpose of this opening matrix was for the facilitators to experience what the SDM would be like on the day.
Five dreams were presented in the Reading Room. The dreams slow down about halfway and associations became dominant, a couple more dreams were presented later on.
The initial group of dreams described intimate spaces like bedrooms/an attic room/encroached-upon carpet/rug with personal things on it/hotel room/door of the room/ broken handle/Smart car with grandparents in it and a GoPro recording device attached to it. A later dream was of a mobile phone game where invading fruit is fended off with knives and in the final dream a multitude of boxes waited to be archived in a cellar.
D1: I had a powerful dream and the feelings stayed with me for days after. I’m in my bedroom in the attic. My husband is there but so is a parent in the community with whom I have a dispute about children. I’m pushed up against him. He was just there. There is a gap between us, but I’m not able to breath. The dream stayed with me, leaving me with feelings of suffocation and fear – not of the man, but a fear of suffocation.
D2: A Smartcar was bought for me, but I couldn’t use it, so instead I use my bicycle.
D3: I’m staying at a hotel in order to be at this social dreaming matrix. In the dream I try to close the door, but a piece of the door was missing and I couldn’t open or close it. It did not feel like a threat; instead, I am trying to make some sense of the lock. I forgot the dream actually and only remembered it when I got here downstairs.
D4: I am encroached upon in a wide open space. I’m on a piece of carpet – my carpet – and I need to fall asleep. These are my personal boundaries and I need to protect them. I’m in a boat (immigrants?); on a carpet and people are taking things away from me. I’m living on a carpet which is the marker of my boundary. It is outdoors and I am feeling uncontained and trapped. There is a variation of this dream in which I’m on a raft and being taken away.
D5: I’m packing my bag, but things are falling out; I can’t get to them; my efforts are futile – I can’t make sense of it.
D6: Mother to daughter: Can I take your dreams to the SDM? Daughter dreams of playing a game Fruit Ninja – it is a futile game involving slashing of fruit with a machete. It brings up aggression. “I didn’t want to put into her head the thought of violence”.
The first feelings and associations expressed were of suffocation/fear/not wanting to stay with the feeling/difference and suppressed conflict. The car remaining, i.e. not wanting transitions because we are faced daily with massive transformations and transitions, paying the city congestion charge, preferring to stick with what we know – the bicycle and a familiar route to work. The car stays outside the house, the grandparents in it.
The piece of handle (from the door of the hotel room) is more fragmented than you’d expect – more of a puzzle, not a fear. Futility was another aspect of emotional experience.
The dream brought by the daughters of one of the dreamers, the slashing fruit/ killing fruit was associated with games as practicing real life and adult or older perceptions of protecting her from these experiences, not wanting to put ideas into her head. For the young generation it is a concept and a game. For the older generation it is an idea leading to guns and shooting. Video games as practicing relatedness a bit like the participants in the SDM.
Being ‘it’ and not being ‘it’ and the possible shame of the actions in Orlando, probably couldn’t manage the conflict. It is like the two sides of this room (Reading Room) – impossible-to-contain splits leads to violence.
Fending/fighting off as recurring association related to the European referendum and the weekend atrocities in Orlando. Congestion/suffocation dealt with by cutting off. How can we open up and make our boundaries more porous, the description again of the hotel door, neither open nor shut, the handle somehow losing its function. Working/living with porous boundaries also a preoccupation of running a Social Dreaming Matrix in a more public place the Reading Room. What is the ‘third space’.
D7: I’m overwhelmed at work – the boxes had to be catalogued, but then all piled up and they are not catalogued.
There were interconnections made between Go-pro (video film recorder and storage) and information overload. The hard work of archiving and retrieving decades of information, to lose the material is a generational issue. Dreams as a place of safety from all of the overload; a need for privacy as there are more demands on us. Paradoxically with more information it feels like things are being taken away from us
A new social reality is evolving which is not limited to geographical boundaries, to do with the porousness and influences we cannot control – from the internet and elsewhere. They could be a force for both good or bad, breaking it down – because influences can come from anywhere. A new social reality which is not limited to geographical areas.
The Social Dreaming ended with an association on dreaming and time pressures – we should perhaps keep a dream diary and use it as soon as we get up. Normally we get up and get going straightaway; we need a moment to hold onto the dream.