In my original project proposal for dreamspace, I wrote that my intention was for the piece to be an artwork of the subconscious, a contemplative space, and an archive of dream material. Though the final piece varies some from my original proposal, I believe it does successfully accomplish these three goals. It is an artwork of the subconscious because its purpose is aesthetic and experiential rather than “productive” and it utilizes a sampling of my actual dreams collected daily throughout the year 2014. It is a contemplative space with cool, calming colors, slow drifting animation and poetic, liminal writing. It is an archive of my own dream material from one year and while in this current iteration, it is only my dreams, it is a model for a much larger collection.
Based on user testing and feedback, the experience of interacting with the piece is as I had hoped – an invitation to slow down, drift, and engage with material that can be a source of inspiration or meaninglessness, just like dreams. The experience is meant to evoke the experience of dreaming but also the remembering, recalling, telling, writing and interpreting of dreams which varies widely dream to dream, night to night and person to person. This is supported by the aesthetic of the piece. When the user first visits dreamspace, they arrive at a simple page with a heading: “welcome to dreamspace: click for dreams”, a sea foam background color and nothing else on the page. The background gradually fades into a lavender thistle color. When the user clicks, dreams appear in a similar palette making some visible, some difficult to read and some illegible. As multiple dreams are are activated, they often overlap, though the user decides where each dream begins based on the click point. This overlapping creates a collage of words and colors. All of the dreams drift off the page from the click point to the right. Eventually, all are lost.
Iterating the project throughout the semester and receiving critical feedback from peers was also helpful in the creation of this dreamspace. Earlier versions included Dream Machine v2, which explored visual and animation ideas, Dream Generator, which explored interactivity, and Dream Machine v3, which explored interactivity as well as obfuscation. These sites, in addition to peer feedback, influenced my aesthetic, conceptual and technical decisions. For example, I received feedback that the dates included at the beginning of the dreams on Dream Machine v2 connected the dreams to a specific time and place and that removing the dates created a disconnection that more effectively abstracted the dreams.