For Giseli Vasconcelos, Leandro Nerefuh and Rafael Frazão, of the anti-hijacking scheme.
1. THE HIJACKING OF SUBJECTIVITY IN SCIENCE FICTION FILMS
The woman is at a picnic, happy with her doting husband and perfect twin daughters. Suddenly everything begins to come down, everything is shaking. Reality is undergoing interference. Her sense of belonging begins to fall apart and she despairs. When she screams, in a state of panic, she wakes up in another place. In a futurist factory, where she finds herself standing in a dream cabin called Dreamatron – Fully Interactive Dream, and the name of her cabin is “Picnic in the countryside”. She is leaving the cabin with the feeling that she’s been abducted, when she meets a technician. He asks her if there were any repetitions in the dream before she returned, she says yes, and then he tightens some screws on the equipment and tells her to go back to the cabin, because there are still six minutes of the dream left. Upon returning to her husband, she tells him that she had a nightmare, that she was in a machine from the future, but that she would like to stay with him forever. Her husband kisses her softly while she smells something burning, coming from the other side. “Dreams for Sale” speaks of a fundamental issue that repeats itself in various other sci-fi films: the intervention of a system that hijacks subjectivity.
The hijack is mediated by the intrusion of suction dredgers in the most remote subjective territories (individual and collective) for the extraction of buried desires and dreams. During the suction, algorithms of control are implanted in the psychic mud and like a retrovirus, they are tied to the manufacturing modes of unconscious cells – and reproduce themselves. In the Black Mirror episode “Playtest” (2016), an interactive implant is introduced into one man’s brain, that scans his unconscious characters and turns them into avatars of a game, activates a techno-psychosis and causes the death of the character. In the film The Congress (2013) we see a crowd of people addicted to a drug whose effect is a virtual parallel life in a five-star hotel full of celebrities. But the main protagonist ingests a drug that returns her to the real, and this reality is deeply devastated. As for the movie Sleep Dealer (2008), the character hijacks the memories of others from their DNA that is connected to the internet. She hijacks the imaginaries of those who live on the Mexican side of the wall (Tijuana), which is the place of unlimited exploration. The director Alex Rivera says that his film deals with two themes that demonstrate his idea of the future: 1) technology as a device for people to get closer and connect; 2) the increasingly restricted and controlled borders of the globalized world. On the one hand, the world becomes integrated, on the other, it is fissured, mined, with scarce resources.
In Matrix Reloaded (2003) we see the architect – creator of the Matrix – talking to Neo about the Matrix situation: “A singular consciousness that spawned an entire race of machines. We don’t know who struck first, us or them. But we know that it was us that scorched the sky. At the time they were dependent on solar power and it was believed that they would be unable to survive without an energy source as abundant as the sun” Then they began to feed on human energy. “(...) There are fields, Neo, endless fields where human beings are no longer born. We are grown”.
In this conversation the architect tells Neo what happened with the world, after the supermining, when life was sifted, dreams and futures hijacked, to sustain the megamachine that humans themselves had invented.
In “Dreams for Sale” (1985) the character dies in virtual reality. “At least she died happy”, says the technician that couldn’t fix the dream machine. In most of the sci-fi films cited here, we see that the imaginary is replaced by artificial realities, by holograms that capture human sensation, perception and affection and gradually turn them into the only source of reality. The subjects of many of these films are avatars, virtual characters, or digital residues that are conjugated by the machines themselves. Many of them become aware of the hijacking of their subjectivity through dreams.
2. THE TECHNOCENE - HIJACK OF FUTURES
The technocene associates technoscience + corporate capitalism. One of its future projects is trans-humanism (singularity). We are gradually led to the field of cultivating humans – controlled by whom? Tech giants. Mega-machines that unconsciously persuade us for the treadmills of production and programmed consumption (zombification). We’re about to be superseded by our own intelligence, connected and controlled by the artificial intelligence of God – in the image and likeness of man! But this won’t eliminate borders, nor diminish poverty, let alone oppression. Slavery will probably become the generalized human condition, but always disguised as freedom, through a menu of market options (false freedom = alienated slavery).
The technocene is one of the strong arms of the anthropocene. It is one of its excesses, a saturated anthropotechnics, stretched to the farthest corners of the collective unconscious, until where there is nothing more to discover, only to explore. Technique overcoming anthropos, inverting the logic of enslaving machines. The machine enslaving anthropos. A black hole with an absolute degree of gravity. The bones of anthropos soften, the voice loses its reach, it creates its own ‘noisecracy’ – in a bubble that deflates and inflates –, like a catatonic breathing. The vital tone is giving way to depression. “Humans not born, but grown in monocultures”.
The extraction of metal from inside the earth is associated with the extraction of the mental from inside our bodies. Earth and body resent this, get sick. Humans go on incorporating the astronaut to deal with the decline of their own planet. Meanwhile the space stations try to accelerate panspermia projects with terrestrial DNA for other planets, but lack financial investment and priority. First it will be necessary to construct bodies with more durability and connect their brains. The promise “in 20 years” persists. As long as we haven’t arrived at “20 years” yet, the rulers of the world reengineer themselves to dominate the scene of the anthropocene, producing more capital with clean energy, the control of water, and cities, while exponentially leaping into the super-mega-hypercontrol society. The (pedagogical) sum of the hijacking of the future is more or less this one: TS + CC + AIG = HDF (technoscience + corporate capitalism + artificial intelligence of God = hijacking of dreams and of the future). The equation presented by this text is more or less this: TX + AF + NU = FFD (tecnoxamanismo [technoshamanism]+ ancestor-futurism + networks of the unconscious = liberation of the future and of dreams).
The first equation points to a technology developed from paradigms that focus on security and absolute control, with all its omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience, representing the God-machine. It survives, among other things, through the constant hijacking of human subjectivity, and makes use of suppressors of psychic suffering through psychiatric medicine (and biopiracy). In this view, the task of controlling the world belongs to a few. The war envisaged here is a war between giants with consequences for the whole of humanity. The paradigm is that of control (alienated zombie).
The second equation points to the search for other ontological (wasted) references to think about the production of science and technology and their development. This is conceived on the basis of technoshamanist, ancestor-futurist and hyperstitional criteria, that connect the collective machinic unconscious for the promotion of the emancipation of dreams and of the future, from the radical imaginary creation from the ordinary. It operates with the logic of autonomy and interdependence, the logic of interconnected communes. The fundamental ethic is that of “living well” linked to the animistic coexistence of substances, elements, earthlings, technology, planet Earth and Cosmos. The war envisaged here is a war against the owners of the world, as well as constant guerilla actions among civilian groups, many of them subsidized by competing corporations. The paradigm is that of freedom. But…
The documentary The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom by Adam Curtis features a number of inputs about the hijacking of dreams of freedom in the post-Second World War period, or about how institutions/corporations in the allied countries organized themselves to implement the idea of “democracy and freedom”, when the real interest was to take advantage of the international political vulnerability to generate more capital and extend their corporations and territories. It was a new colonization by worldwide corporations, that presented the dream of individual freedom as a banner, renewing the immanent-revolutionary desire to free the people of despotism and authoritarianism. A lively investment in individualism and competition, untangling the freedom from the communitarian coexistence, forcing it to fit into a logic of production and consumption controlled and protected by targets and numbers. The documentary speaks of politicians and scientists that promoted the notion that human nature is based on self-interest. This self-interested nature constantly monitors and creates strategies to win from or beat the other, and if it was pushed to the limit it would create balance in the social body. This project affirmed itself during the Cold War, when democracy positioned itself against communism, choosing to “potentialize” this nature as the basis for a new model of a free and prosperous society, that eventually constitutes an extraordinary system of social control, currently going under the banner of the fight against terrorism, and that in the technocene only intensifies its mechanisms of control.
These grandiose affirmations are key for keeping us alert to the machine’s current state of terrorism, that is steadily accelerating its process. Until recently the system more acutely criminalized the radical movements of islamists, afro-descendants or neo-communists, but now we are all painted with the same brush (everyone is a potential terrorist). In the terrorism of the machine we are all being controlled by algorithms and systems that are incapable of being absorbed by the human mind, but capable of manipulating (and punishing) humans through its dangerous techno-ideological legacies. Each man for himself against this terror-machine, as each one lives in its own individual tank, feeding the megamachine.
The onto-political dispute behind scientific and technological research is still the big question. For what uses, to respond to which questions, what are the criteria for its production? To remove it from this search – apparently with no point of return – for a God-machine, a restructuring of our metaphysical and fictional bases is necessary.
Fiction is normally seen as an imaginary ability with no capacity of inscribing itself in the real, or that only operates in a symbolic field. But ideas like hyperstition revert this interpretation, giving value to the operability of fictional inventions, investing in their potential of concretizing, in their plasticity, their capacity of materializing in the world. It’s a concept that inspires and equips people so they can appropriate the mechanisms of the constitution of reality, through the construction of fictions that can dispute the unfolding of future paths in science and technology, for example. The current state of things is also the result of hyperstitial phenomena, which a large part of the masses assume are the only sources of reality, but are linked to a monocultural project (growing globalization to the detriment of cultural particularities). Part of those who perceive the imposition of these fictional holograms on terrestrial relations leave the dispute because they’re incapable of creating fictions on this high level. We’re already living in a simulated world.
It is important to note that, in the context of science fiction that we have worked on so far, films announce the terrorism of the machine and the hijacking of subjectivity, but also lend themselves to anticipate possibilities for resistance. And when we speak of resistance it is inevitable to think of ontologies that are wasted by this individualist logic, proclaimed by a machine that promotes competition, that doesn’t give space to other perspectives that nevertheless resist.
3. ANCESTOR-FUTURISM AND THE UNCONSCIOUS NETWORK
Where have the projects of the future that failed in the past ended up? This future we are living now was disputed long before us, and all other futuristic projections were and are being deactivated in the name of this project of supercontrol.
To think ancestor-futurism is to perceive from the desire of the expansion of the universe to its points of agglutination and the formation of its orbits, which in turn was and continues to be able of generating intelligences that think all of this, or that have already thought it from the future. Radical ancestrality is a direct connection with the future, with the eternal return, with all the recombinations of space-time. It happens as if we suddenly changed our frequency scale and accessed a new horizon of events that would reconfigure the relation between past and future, interlacing its cords regardless of distances, and that would even detach time from space, to the point where it would be possible to access multidimensional states. We inevitably are the consequence of a another epoch’s future project, while we lay the foundation of the past for a coming future. This turns us into undeniable time travellers, since we are nodes of past and future existences. Meanwhile we claim the lost ontologies in the present existence. What type of ordinary consciousness would survive this expanded level of awareness? We have reached a point at which not accessing this understanding will undoubtedly lead us to ontological misery.
Here the networks of the unconscious enter into play. The schizo-analytic communication project between humans and others (non-humans). The relation of an autistic person with matter, the different stages of schizophrenia and their immaterial correspondents. I’m thinking about the video Assemblages and the text "The Arachnean", that explore the relation between autistic people and invisible elements, or natural elements, to invoke a sensitive interchange that escapes from habitual language but accesses animist communication. Instead of perceiving these relational dynamics as alienated from reality, the authors help us see them as an active connection between entities, a knowledge that is wasted by our society.
The networks of the unconscious are meshes of data transmission that communicate through a kind of entanglement of subtle threads, like colonies of small subterranean roots in communication, responsible for the absorption of nutrients and the sustenance of fungi or forests. This communication between the unconscious ones those unconscious isn’t interpretative, though it processes information on all levels: from inside to outside and outside to inside – a kind of deep web or P2P that transmits content not easily found on the superficial internet. This mighty and profuse mud of the collective unconsciousness suppresses ontologies that, despite all risks, insist on sustaining futures and worlds that have not yet been invented. Cultural massacres aren’t capable of exhausting this root exchange, but… It’s necessary to strengthen this communication of the networks of the unconscious in times of devastation. Davi Kopenawa speaks about these networks of the unconscious in his book The Falling Sky, in which he said that for the Yanomami, shamanic education necessarily passes through dreams. It’s necessary to develop a dreaming body, to become a ghost, so one can leave the body (sleeping or awake) and recognize other worlds. Not only the real world, but universes of various sizes, the very large and the very small. Such as the world of the Xapiris, who are very old but predict the future, that is, they are ancestors and futurists, as they announce the falling of the sky, the end of the world that has in fact already happened at other times. And he also says that white people don’t know how to dream, because they only dream about themselves and their goods, so they can’t see and they think these other perspectives are lies. It is because their networks of the unconscious are deactivated, too committed to the projects of modernity.
These connections between networks of the unconscious aren’t only made between humans. As in the case of the Wailpiris (Australian Aboriginals), so it is in many other Amerindian cases, among others, where dreams are indispensable for the demarcation of land, for instance, since it is part of the daily life of these peoples to dream of the Earth/Land and ancestry. Where they walked, what they ate, what projects of the future they constructed on the earth that isn’t known, but belonged to their past generations and should again belong to the future ones. It’s the work of dreams to pass through these areas that were once inhabited, or narrated in songs. These dreams are brought to the indigenous unconsciousness by the earth itself. It’s also the work of the dream (and not just of the dream) to think the future, the destiny of the world, the relation between human and machine. It is worth recalling, for example, the polemic documentary of Jean Rouch, Les maîtres fous, filmed in Accra, Ghana, where participants of the religious movement Hauka do rituals of a cognitive and performative character, about the new colonization and its colonizers with possession, mimetics and dance. The possessions include technological elements such as weapons and railroads that create a stage for reflection on these past and future relationships, mixing ancestral rites with new colonial elements.
The so-called “magical thinking” of native peoples is intrinsically linked to the world of dreams and its potential of constructing reality, as well as the production of knowledge. Dreams as technology of an ancestor-futurist vision – that’s not limited to the human, nor to the planet Earth, let alone to the neurotic daily life – although one can dream all of this. The less laboured, the more self-absorbing the dream. To dream is to become other. To strengthen the potential of the networks of dreams and of the unconscious is one of the possibilities to get closer to lost ontologies.
4. THEY ARE TAKING OUR SLEEP!
Why is dreaming a resistance? Maybe Jonathan Crary can contribute to this answer with his book Late-Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, when he warns us that sleeping has been considered an old-fashioned model that doesn’t make sense in modern society, according to corporate production and consumption systems. They are greatly invested in projects for the elimination of sleep:
At the initiative of Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) —the division of advanced research at the Pentagon—, diverse laboratories are conducting experimental tests on sleep deprivation, by resorting to neurochemical substances, genetic therapy and magnetic transcranial stimulation. The short-term objective consists of developing methods that allow a fighter to stay at least seven days without sleeping, and in the long-term the idea is to double this period, while preserving high levels of mental and physical performance. The current means of inducing insomnia have presented disturbing cognitive and psychic deficits (such as reduced attention), as happened with the widespread use of amphetamines in many of the twentieth century’s wars, and more recently, with drugs such as Provigil (modafinil). Now, instead of researching ways to stimulate wakefulness, science aims to reduce the body’s need for sleep. (CRARY, 2013).
It’s our job to drastically oppose projects of decreasing sleep and, instead, see dreams as a public space of onto-political production, exploited by control systems. Activating the network of the unconscious and the dream community is a potent form of resistance in our point of view, that allows us to understand disputed relations for the domination of the unconscious and equips us for this dispute. In this struggle we need to find command lines that activate our collective capacity for producing worlds.
5. RECOVERY OF THE ONTO-POLITICAL PUBLIC SPACE OF DREAMS
There are innumerable works done around the subject of dreams and they all interest us. From the ancient papyri that present treatises of experiences and interpretations of dreams of Babylon, Egypt, to the little known peoples with their mythologies and dream practices. There is a profusion of research and narratives in this field that we cannot account for here: Nordic shamanic practices; Amerindian and Aboriginal technologies; African tribal methods and Afro-descendant cults; Oriental techniques for dream-expansion; religious exercises; theories of psychology and psychoanalysis; literary, cinematographic and artistic production; scientific research into neurobiology; mystic narratives; REM sleep; paradoxical sleep; astral projection; lucid dreaming; dream experiences with functional magnetic resonance; dream machines and Google dreams, which employs user data for the random creation of images. Science fiction, as we’ve seen so far, has produced fantasies about dreams of all types: of anomalies, terror, androids, robots, ships that dream, planets that dream, of animate and inanimate dreamers.
Dreams continue to be a stimulating field of inquiry, even though there are thousands of years of dreaming and so many projects of exploring and commercializing the unconscious.
Below I present some experiences and reflections about what we did on dreams, in order to potentialize the formation of networks of unconsciousness. I introduce three actions as examples of training/treatment of dreams (anti-hijack scheme): two done in Rio de Janeiro (Casa Nuvem and CAPACETE) and one in Switzerland (through the Zurich University of the Arts, carried out in the Swiss Alps).
These actions were produced in the clinical and the art context, in the hybridization of these fields. I articulate dispositives of schizoanalysis, performance and technology (computational and digital). These actions are conceptually/politically based in current concerns with the anthropocene (climate crises, scarcity of natural resources, mining of the Earth for the promotion of technological- and control-society, end of the world, etc). It also dialogues with some parts of contemporary theories referring to speculative philosophy, perspectivism and post-colonialism, as well as with elements of science fiction.
These actions are like a methodological apparatus that serves to amplify the specter of narratives, cosmogonies, mythologies, fictional speculations and hyperstitions. Its guiding line is the construction of a training camp and the treatment of dreams. Training because the unconscious is a guerilla territory, with invasions from all sides, constantly sucked to feed the machine of terror and control. That’s why we need to train it, to form gangs, networks, dream communes, to make the signs turn, to widen the degrees of communicability. Treatment for thinking, like Davi Kopenawa, that society is sick, incarnated by an “evil spirit”, that operates the production of the world through the devastation of the unconscious and the homogenization of desire, despite the menu of false choices.
It is important to emphasize that these actions are experimental methodological nodes that can be recreated, remixed, sampled, etc., provided that they serve to activate the waves of communication between the networks of the unconscious and trigger the anti-hijack scheme of dreams. In the time of the anthropocene, it’s necessary to recover the Earth, as well as to recover the onto-political public space of dreams.
6. TRAINING METHODOLOGIES/DREAM TREATMENT - ANTI-HIJACK SCHEME:
Here I present the skeleton of the three actions:
6.1 - SCHIZOANALYSIS AND PERFORMANCE-RITUAL - FICTION AND NOISECRACY
Casa Nuvem - Rio de Janeiro (RJ) 10/17/2015. Course run by Fabiane M. Borges with the collaboration of Renato Fabri + Giuliano Obici. Action divided into five parts: 1) Dreams; 2) The translation of dreams (written); 3) Dream mining with Natural Language Processing - NLP (with Renato Fabbri); 4) Editing dreams with Simulacrum Voices (Giuliano Obici), 5) Schizo-drama (Fabiane M. Borges).
6.1.1) The dreams. Even before the first day of the course, the participants were encouraged to dream and remember their dreams during the day, to acquire the intimacy of dreaming, remembering and translating.
6.1.2) The translation of dreams (written). There are various ways of translating a dream: through writing, speech, recording, etc. In the case of this course we chose for writing language, so that it was possible to work with NLP and Simulacrum Voices. In total we received 26 dreams of the participants of the course over a 2 month period. Some examples of the written dreams we received:
“I slid down a slide in a playground in space, between starlight and deep darkness, until I fell into a room where a lover was intertwined with a woman’s legs, and when I observed the legs I realized: her feet were glands”.
“Bars of coconut soap were wet with dew, from inside these bars translucent and beautiful lizards come out, they lick their own faces and smile at me.”
“I rode my bike around a place that had landscape gardeners in the corner, middle and bottom working as builders. People came floating as if they were landing on Earth (like airplanes, with lightness, only on their feet).”
“People worked on a cure for a fatal disease on two large machines, there were various tests and I was dressed as a child. The maid rushed out and took off her old clothes, put on new ones and said: ‘There goes a car’. ‘I want to be on the street with the people’, she says, in her expensive new clothes.”
6.1.3) Mining of dreams with NLP – Natural Language Processing: a data mining done with Python by the programmer Renato Fabbri, applied to the written dreams of the participants. We used the filtering of phrases, reordering based on the alphabet and recurrent word count with or without word repetition, approximation by number of characters, or words that start and end sentences, among other things. The channeling of these minings produced a collection of derived dreams (not originals, but in reference to the originals), because it was applied to the 26 dreams together, not to isolated dreams. These oneiric derivations supported discussions about art and clinical practice, as well as about computational mining, resulting in a scientific article for publication in Computational Modeling.
Here are two examples of mining done with the written dreams of the course participants:
“I slipped glands
They frightened in
It’s not over
I walked builders
I dreamed I formed
Was a boy
Dreams coming down
I feel from him
I woke up breathless
I’m on my way
Up to the door
I to survive
It looked like tools
I wash the piano
There were tyrant
In him all
They set fire
I started there
But would destroy
I put hole
Was like that
Someone a lot
I wake up I wake up
I repair they admire
I dreamed cockroaches
On the microphone
We try new
We call to smoke
We enter we exit
We are external
We need people
I wake side
We were going to
He they broke
In the era
We had shipwreck
The were readable
We were swimming pool
We commented painlessly
In the like that
I complained huh
6.1.4) SV – Simulacrum Voices: a programme developed by the electronic musician Giuliano Obici, which simulates human voices through algorhythms that synthesize text in TTS (text to speech). It’s made with and by computers. The SV, that utilizes devices integrated in the computer, such as network, sound and video cards, produced an audiovisual instrument, redistributing the participants’ dreams. The dreams were mixed by the simulacra, bringing a futuristic atmosphere to the encounter, producing a sensation of delirious machines or memories forgotten in the past, taken up by synthetic realities, a dream-gambiarra [improvised solution] between humans and machines – and their simulators. Frame of the projection of Simulacrum Voices producing the pairings of dreams:
Video: Amanda Flou
6.1.5) Schizodrama: After these two processes came the third, in which I conducted a session of schizo-drama, simulating the previous paths, that is, producing the pairings of dreams and the oneiric derivations, but this time without using the computers. The idea was to test the dreams on different levels to evaluate the results derived from the participants.
We applied a noisecratic method, where each participant accessed the written dreams of one another, constructing rhythms, intonations, repetitions, exchanges of dreams through talking, screaming, telling secrets. When the dreams were properly exchanged, as with noisecracy it begins with a dream, but during the process it mixes with signs and interlaces the narratives, I asked that the group divide itself in two. With everybody sitting on the floor, I put a candle in the middle and each group had to tell their dreams together to the other group. Speaking together still in the noisecratic programme. The other group listened and returned what they had heard in a noisy, non-harmonious way, that is, without consensus or previous discussion, and so on. We repeated this centrifugal sequence until a kind of delirious, absurd narrative was created. Then I asked each to leave the circle and alone choose at least the mood of the mixed dreams that was fixed most in their head, and then reduce this to a plausible size, an atmosphere, a mood, a character. And so we formed pairs to exchange these atmospheres, moods, characters, and from this relationship a derived dream-narrative was constructed.
An example of a dream derived from the schizodrama process: “I was on a path, which I knew I had to pass through to survive, but this path was all messy with a great deal of objects and more objects that blocked the passage. One voice said ‘it’s no use insisting, it’s no use insisting.’ But suddenly I touched an object and it fell apart, and in fact I was able to go wherever I wanted to, I just had to touch the objects so they would be undone.”
6.2 HIJACKED FUTURES X THE ANTI-HIJACKING OF DREAMS. An immersive course of 10 days - “Clinical practice and Art’ at CAPACETE, Rio de Janeiro (RJ), carried out by Fabiane M. Borges and Leandro Nerefuh in collaboration with Giseli Vasconcelos, Marcelo Marssares, Paola Barreto e Rafael Frazão – http://capacete.org/?p=1950. (Note: Peter Pál Pelbart was also invited to participate, but unfortunately we couldn’t subsidize his stay in Rio de Janeiro).
For the photos of the whole process (by Rafael Frazão:) https://www.flickr.com/photos/22405820@N08/albums/72157666726214083/with/27179169320/ Here the dreams passed through different manipulation techniques (language of alchemy):
6.2.1) The dreams. Even before the first day of the course, the participants were encouraged to dream and remember their dreams during the day, to acquire the intimacy of dreaming, remembering and translating.
6.2.2) Translation of dreams (writing). On the first day of the course each participant was asked to if they could bring in writing the dreams of the previous night. These dreams were passed through various manipulation techniques during 10 days. In total there were 28 dreams.
6.2.3) Day 1 – We organized four different rooms for the first day: Reception – Anomie – Noisecracy – Recounting derived dreams.
First room – Reception: everyone seated in a circle, with their dreams in their hands, receiving the first conceptual and practical clarifications about the programme.
Second room – Anomie: In the second room we asked everyone to put their dreams in a metal bowl. The dreams were mixed up. Then redistributed. If someone would pick their own dream, it was decided beforehand to put it back in the bowl and exchange it. We requested that people read the other’s dream they had in their hands many times, until they recorded the images well. Then the dreams were returned to the metal bowl, and we set fire to them. Everyone was around the bonfire of dreams, until it went to ashes. Next we were putting a blindfold over the eyes of each and dressed them with a black trash bag. From there we were leading the participants through noises, sounds and with caution, as they couldn’t see anything, into the third room.
Third room – Noisecracy: In the third room were projections, amplifiers, microphones, speakers, light, instruments, mixers, and the people were asked to begin to tell the others’ dreams, one by one, louder and softer, screaming or whispering, singing or with gestures. The people still didn’t fully know each other, the space had a heavy noise, the microphones passed around to pick up the stories, amplifying them. After this state of noisecratic trance, we asked that each one (all still blindfolded) form a small group of two or three people, and put together a new dream, departing from what had stayed in their memory (all of it with the colaboration of Caetano Maacumba and Marssares). The groups took off their blindfolds, recognized each other and composed the derived dreams. So we went into the fourth room.
Fourth room – Recounting derived dreams: The fourth room was the same as the first, only modified. Each pair or small group presented their derived dream to the whole group, finally composing the dreams that would support the process of the next nine days. 6.2.4) Day 2 – We organized three different rooms for the second day: Derived Dreams – Process of Performatization – Conversation
First room – Derived Dreams: We put three large boards there, covered in paper and split into three categories. First board: Environment. Second board: Character. Third board: Incidence. We asked the participants to write on each specific piece of wood, according to their memories of the derived dreams. The people put them down as they remembered. Then we took the wooden boards to the second room.
Second room – Process of Performatization: With cloths on the floor, lights, microphones and electronic, digital and acoustic instruments, the participants were invited to reorganize themselves into pairs or small groups, different from whom they were with the previous day, to see together the environments, characters and incidences, and to translate this into a performative language. The groups created scenes without using logical language, while images, films or videos related to dreams were projected on their bodies (research of Rafael Frazão).
Third room – Conversation about the process: talking in a circle – food and drinks.
6.2.5) Day 3 – Spectrometer course with Paola Barreto Paola Barreto started the meeting talking about her thesis about the Cine Fantasma [Ghost Cinema]. The participants received a kit to create their own spectrometer. The speculation about ghosts was brought to the course and materialized with noise emitted by equipment. The study of ghosts created the aura necessary for the idea that we were acting on things that are invisible, but present, even if not everyone was able to finish their spectrometer.
6.2.6) Days 4, 5 and 6 – Everybody went to the countryside home of Camilla Rocha Campos and Marcelo Marssares for three days (with Ducha’s bus). There we camped and proposed three processes: First - Exercise of writing and remembering: Giseli Vasconcelos did a dadaist dynamics with the group, asking them all to take pen and paper, be silent and begin to write about derived dreams in accordance with the inputs and the temporality that she indicated. The process was based on the memory of the previous processes, what we called memorable drafts.
Second - Selection from the memorable drafts: The drafts were also mixed and redistributed. We asked the participants to remain silent, and in a state of concentration they underlined the images and scenes that most caught their attention on the paper they held in their hands. The highlighted texts were distributed again. From then on, the participants spontaneously read the preferred underlined parts of their redistributed texts, while these phrases were entered in the computer. The drafts became a script.
The memorable draft turned into a script of dreams, that served as reference for the creation of a working process open to the public:
“A salt desert
Cloud of smoke
It’s upside down
Inversion of gravity
Liquid that turns acid
A rope on a concrete pillar
A room with red film fluid
The song of the cicada that pierces the stone
The liquids are a house of humidity
Black almonds of the images fertilization of tsunamis
As if it’s gold as if it’s mine
The investigator opens such a state of perplexity
The boaster and the drunk meet in the same place
Fear another tsunami for what?
Wolf dog with mouth in the belly and teeth of waiting
From where comes the glitter a head
Listening to waves
Writing of listening”.
Third - Ritual on the beach: We asked the participants to bring from home ritualistic elements, costumes and fabric for a ritual on the beach, already thinking of characters and dreams. We went to the beach with Ducha’s bus. The beach was deserted. We set out in a kind of procession, walking along the beach, until we found a suitable place to concentrate and have a meeting of dream-characters.
6.2.7) Days 7 and 8 – Construction of the presentation piece: Upon returning to CAPACETE, we began the elaboration of a presentation (total work in process format) for the general audience. CAPACETE became the setting of the dreamworld of the participants who had the script of dreams in their hands and already had some intimacy with the scenes and characters produced during the immersive process. Each question about individual or collective performance, ritual, costume, ambience, food, drinks, processes, was in reference to the script of dreams.
6.2.8) Day 9 – Public presentation: All the rooms of CAPACETE were occupied. They actualized the elements present in the dreams, such as coarse salt, tsunami, salt pillar, plants, food, videos, sounds, light, projections, instruments, collage. Many things from the dream-script were concretized in some way in the five occupied rooms. Each person from the audience had to bring a bag of coarse salt to be allowed entry, it was placed in a metal bowl until it was filled up, then it was dumped on the floor of the rooms and on the shoulders of the public. Outside the entrance there were people selling cachaça and coarse salt, on top of the debris. The walls in front of the CAPACETE School were taken over by words from the dream-script, the entrance was a ritual of passage with a bath of salt and rue. Inside a closed kitchen was selling drinks of the end of the world and a dark soup with potato fingers sticking out from the plate, a lot of bonfires with smells, a smoke machine, the bodies of the visitors were tied together, their eyes covered, and they were taken to the other rooms by some of the participants. The pillar of salt stood motionless on top of a mountain of coarse salt for almost five hours. The large room was occupied by dreams that were spoken, sung, touched, with noises, silences, with explosions of batuques [percussion instruments], scented herbs, some standing, others lying down. The third room was occupied by silence, a projection of videos produced during the immersion, a place to lie down and keep quiet; the upper room was occupied by a character who listened and massaged those who went there. There were five hours of the dream ritual, where the characters, the texts and the moods were updated.
6.2.9) Day 10 – Closing of the course: Day for discussion of what happened, cleaning the space, organizing the material, embraces, farewell. Participants of the process and final presentation: Franciele Castilho, Julia Lameiras, Mariana Kaufman, Raisa Inocêncio, Sue Nhamandu, Oliver Bulas, Mariana Marques, Anna Costa e Silva, Luisa Marques, Thelma Vilas Boas, Cecilia Cavalieri, Rodrigo Krul, Patricia Chiavazzoli, Livia Valle, Kadija de Paula, Caetano EhMaacumba, Ian Erickson-Kery, Aurélia Defrance, SoJin Chun, Julia Retz, Camilla Rocha Campos, Giseli Vasconcelos, Marcelo Marssares, Paola Barreto, Rafael Frazão, Leandro Nerefuh, Fabiane M. Borges.
Some images of the process:
Photos: Rafael Frazão
6.3) HIJACKED FUTURES VS. ANTI-HIJACK OF DREAMS IN THE SWISS ALPS. Immersive course “Clinical practice and Art” at the Zurich University of Arts, carried out by Fabiane M. Borges, with organization/production by Melanie Matthieu and Riikka Tauriainen on 8 and 9 October 2016, on the Swiss Alp Fessis-Seeli. Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/22405820@N08/albums/72157673706597872 Audio: https://archive.org/details/hijacked-futures-vs-anti-hijack-of-dreams
6.3.1) The dreams: It was requested that the participants (mostly students of visual arts of the Zurich University of Arts) began to note down their dreams one week before the course, and that each would bring a transcript (in English, since the course was going to be given in this language) of their most meaningful dream.
6.3.2) Ascending the mountain: We climbed the steep mountain, walking about 2750 metres. It was minus 10ºC at the top where we exchanged our dreams. We memorized each other’s dreams by heart, then set fire to our dreams.
6.3.3) Noisecracy: The people spread around the mountain top and started telling the dreams of the others to each other as they remembered them. They exchanged dream information, shouted, whispered, went to the top of rocks, talked loudly to the echo of the mountain, or hid behind a rock and only spoke when someone approached them.
Photo: Riikka Tauriainen
6.3.4) Sleeping together: everyone slept together in a cabin in the same room, with 16 mattresses side by side. The idea was to be able to bring to the dreams the images that were produced during the day and to try to observe if some signs would repeat in the dreams of the participants.
6.3.5) Noisecracy 2: We did a second session of noisecracy, bringing the elements elaborated on the previous day, and those that came during the dreams at night. We exchanged images again, in order to end with authorship and privilege the signs that were repeated the most.
Photo: Riikka Tauriainen
6.3.6) Community of dreams: We passed through a plain where everyone blindfolded their eyes, and I asked them to find partners in silence. Only after encountering people could one begin to elaborate their derived dreams, without rationalization, only departing from three requested characteristics: 1) environment, 2) incidence, 3) character. Four groups were formed and each of them produced a complex oneiric narrative, without ending, as two days is very little time to propose any outcome.
Photo: Riikka Tauriainen
Example of a derived dream from the Alps: We are in a tree with a newborn child, this tree is bigger than all the other trees, we are traveling through the desert with this tree. Its branches protect us. They protect us from all the things. We are all the things. The newborn child is all the things. And there is light. The throats are smiling. All the things fall into a hole in the ground. The boat goes in the direction of the desert and transforms itself into a wonderful garden. More trees appear in this wonderful garden. The trees move towards the light. We are all smiling with the newborn child. We are all the things in the hole in the ground of the desert”.
7. SOME ANALYSES AND RESULTS OF THE PRACTICES OF TREATING AND TRAINING OF DREAMS
During 2016 and 2017 I did various immersive dream courses. I chose these three examples because they are more closely related to the subjects that we are dealing with in this text: science fiction, the anthropocene, speculative theories about the end of the world, perspectivism, post-colonialism, etc. During these experiences we realized that, if some conceptual bases were established to serve as a support for the exercises, the dreams began to be guided by these bases and began to produce a kind of oneiric elaboration in regard to them. The courses of two, three days aren’t as effective in providing the notion of the formation of networks of the unconscious as the courses with a longer duration.
Here we first need to talk about the precarity of this investigation. We aren’t working with state of the art technology, but with individual projects of computational programming or do-it-yourself electronics, that our partners have been developing. Their research meets with our dream work, but isn’t exclusively made for this, and as such it’s necessary to create some adaptations to make the different projects function. In the case of the examples discussed in this text, we can speak of four operators: 1) the use of electronic DIY equipment, such as the spectrometer of Paola Barreto; 2) the mining done with NLP (Natural Language Processing) by Renato Fabbri; 3) Simulacrum Voices, made by Giuliano Obici; 4) using digital technology of the noisecratic programmes made by Rafael Frazão.
1) In the use of electronic DIY equipment, inserting the project of Paola Barreto’s spectrometer was fundamental to introduce the dimension of listening to the invisible. The participants learned to make the electronic device and then listened to magnetic fields and make the relation with spatiality as a trigger for drifting. The idea that there are pieces of concentrated energy that also produce noise, or noisy readings, generated a moment of excitement and conceptual lucubration: spectrology, phantasmagoria, magnetic fields, dream energy, the reality of dreams, etc. Not everyone managed to finish their spectrometers, but all experimented with the DIY device.
2) Mining with NLP and Renato Fabbri opened a new field of work, putting the dreams of the participants into a precise analysis of repeated words, recurrence of terms, references to gender/race/class, etc. At the same time, the programme produced a literary language, defining unconventional uses for mining, such as forming new phrases from the start and end of sentences, bigger and smaller words, cacophonies, etc. The result of the mining can serve various areas, from artistic use – film scripts, theatre pieces, poetic, literary or musical production, or a work in process – to therapeutic use, since it activates a dream community that is simulated by the computer, but connects unconscious signs, turns around their meanings, creates shared memories among participants, even though it is done by programming.
3) The use of Giuliano Obici’s Simulacrum Voices started a discussion, soon after its demonstration, about entheogens, futurism, human decadence, human-machine coupling, artificial intelligence, network intelligence, etc. A network of the unconscious was activated, eliciting strong impressions and intimate conversations between participants, who talked about what it was like to recognize their dreams in the chorus of simulated voices and what this brought to the group. As with Natural Language Processing, here a derived dream world was activated with and by the computer. The participants’ dreams were remixed by the programmed robots, that narrated and then shuffled them, making new narratives. This brought a cyborgian dimension to the meeting, and awakened an atmosphere of anguish related to the dreams of robots, or the hijacking of human dreams by machines.
4) The use of digital technology in the noisecratic programmes made by Rafael Frazão helped to create an immersive atmosphere, created overlapping layers of narratives and helped to amplify the signs. We generally used some microphones, a mixer, effect pedals, projectors, video mapping, etc. In some cases we managed to work with up to nine overlapping layers of narratives, that acquired oneiric consistency and could provoke a state of trance if heard for more than 40 minutes. This atmosphere was created by the participants themselves, and then listened to by everyone. Below, in the noisecratic programme, it’s possible to understand better these over-layerings and their communicational reach. It’s important to point out that the use of equipment also creates derived dreams, part human, part machine.
The mixture of dreams or the noisecratic programme: the noisecratic mixture of dreams generates a kind of centrifugal force that produces the separation of signs and promotes a decantation of elements, separating them by density, thickness, or, in our language, characters, environments, sensations, recurrences, etc. As this situation takes place, the owner of the dream gradually loses authorship, putting their data in the rotor, making it detach from themselves and others, until new pairings begin to form, that will determine the derived dreams. This method can also be used so that people get to know each other in another way from the rationalized exchange of information, but rather through an improvised, illogical, imaginary exchange of information, where everyone takes part starting from their personal profile. It creates a noisecratic environment. At first noisecracy produces a sensation of estrangement, but after a certain amount of practice, another kind of communication is triggered, like another language, where people begin to speak and respond in a seemingly delirious atmosphere, but it’s actually being composed of dream-signs that activate different perspectives, from where begins the construction of dream narratives of collective sign coupling.
Derived dreams: The derived dreams (or narrative dream constructions of collective sign pairing) are the initial phase of the work. When this moment is reached, the method in use somehow forces a connection between the unconscious signs. To form the network of the unconscious, something like an intranet (something specific and local), these signs must be unfolded, analyzed, inflated. We consider these signs as archetypes or entities, and start to think about them as if they brought messages from logos. This association of signs beings to relate, sometimes in association, other times in differentiation. But the narratives that are generated support the next steps of the process, that is, as noisecracy produces an immersive and cathartic effect, these signs enter the network of unconscious and begin to be repeated in the dreams of the group. As such the derived dreams begin to support new dreams that, when added to the intimacy of the group, begin to work as a collective narrative, that can be used for whatever purposes: political, artistic, research, etc.
Dream communities: At the course given at CAPACETE in Rio de Janeiro, we ascertained that from the third day of immersion the people began to dream with one another and also oneirically explore the signs that were appearing in the course of the previous days. In this case we began to understand the dreams as a public arena, in which symbolical and interpersonal encounters took place. Participants who were already involved with dreams before the course, very quickly began to constitute a kind of parallel world where the dream became priority. The people started to value dreams and bring this dimension to their daily conversations: they became a reference of subjects and analyses, laughs and thoughts. The constitution of a public dream arena denotes a potential that we wasted, as a rationalist and nihilist society, but that shows ample signs of existence, when it’s triggered in a concentrated and immersive way. This public territory isn’t valued, but is a place of exploratory invasions in the society of control and of the terrorism of the machine. Advancing in the constitution of dream societies strengthens the anti-hijack of dreams scheme, while it propels us to a network of protection and hyperstitious constructions, more connected with animist desires, that is, with “the others”, the non-humans, since one of the references of this work is exactly the dream community of the Aboriginal Warlpiris. The pursuit of these immersions is also to trigger a cosmopolitics that not only humans take part of. In this sense it’s worth mentioning the book Linhas de animismo futuro [Lines of future animism] , that deals with the discussion about animism and cosmopolitics and seeks to include non-humans in the public arena of decision-making. Dreams are fundamental for the understanding of these other singularities and forces produced by going deeper into the dream world.
8. CLOSING CONSIDERATIONS
The first part of this text began by presenting some science fiction films whose theme is the hijacking of human subjectivity, or the intrusion of a system of control within human dreams. Shortly thereafter our society is presented as mediated by the Technocene, which is one of the strong branches of the Anthropocene, and how it promotes the hijacking of the future. It confirms the idea that the excessive extraction of natural resources from within the Earth is concurrent with the extraction of the “spirit” from inside our bodies, and this is leading us to climate disasters and to ontological misery.
Afterwards, this text presents a pedagogical equation, in which it defines the onto-political bases that support the text’s propositions, affirming that they are part of the grammar of liberation of the future and of dreams. They are: technoshamanism + ancestor-futurism + network of the unconscious. This is placed before the techno-ideological bases of the society of control, responsible for the hijacking of the future and dreams, that are: technoscience + corporate capitalism + artificial intelligence of God. It’s clear that these equations are in conflict and dispute the network of the unconscious and the future of the Earth. It is suggested that the great ideology of freedom and individuality, promised after the Second World War by the industrial corporations of the allied countries, was a big trap, that culminated in a terrible system of control.
Then the text emphasizes the importance of fiction and its capacity to create worlds, taking it out of the constraints of the symbolical and imaginary universe and introducing it to actual concretization. Fiction is then presented as one of the most powerful instruments for the production of reality, just like hyperstition, which is the capacity to create fictions in groups, and materializing them in reality. Here the text returns to the films, claiming that these fictions present the terrorism of the machine, the cornering that the society of control is imposing on the whole world, at the same time as they present innumerable forms of resistance or escape. Based on this idea of fiction as something determining, the text introduces ancestor-futurism and networks of the unconscious, presenting them as metaphysical projects of forced amplification of our ontological bases and restructuring the idea of communicability between the many unconscious, presenting it as a radical operator of ancestralities and futures between humans and the others (who are not humans, but other entities). Here questions related to spectrality enter, parallel universes of signs that pass through language and invisible fields that are inaccessible with this level of petty consciousness, as Davi Kopenawa demonstrates when he says that white people only dream about themselves and their goods and because of this they don’t see anything and think that everything they don’t see is a lie.
The final part of the text shows dreams as one of the most powerful portals for the rescue of lost ontologies of the past, as well as the production of freer futures. Departing from various references, the text suggests a methodology of treatment/training of dreams, starting from a relation between art and clinical practice. At that point some work methodologies appear, coming from such practices as the noisecratic programme, derived dreams, dream communities, etc. Each of these leads us to a higher degree of understanding about dreams as an onto-political public space, which must be urgently rescued for there to be a possibility for subjective resistance to the terrorism of the machine, and for the liberation of the future to be strengthened through the anti-hijack scheme of dreams, because the freer the dreams, the more capable they are of generating worlds.