An immersive installation, Phantasien is designed to evoke the altered states of consciousness of a mind slipping through transitions and boundaries, in and out of deep sleep.
It is on the whole probable that we continually dream, but that consciousness makes such a noise that we do not hear it. Carl Jung (1875 – 1961), Founder of Analytical Psychology
Each of us knows how it feels to dream. The content and purpose of dreams have been explored throughout history. People of different cultures and beliefs have, for example, linked dreams with the foretelling of events, tools in the fixing of experience in long-term memory and as a form of communication with ancestors. In fact, dreams may not have any purpose but their influence coupled with the unconscious have generated numerous references in literature and art and still captivate us today. Through their investigation into sleep and dreams, the artists discovered current research suggesting that there may not be a single moment during sleep when we are dreamless. Once thought to only occur during periods of rapid eye movement (REM), it is now believed that we experience different types of dreams during REM and normal sleep patterns. Periods of REM are characterised by bizarre plots, where as the latter are more structured and repetitive, with little imagery.
Through the medium of film, Phantasien explores the inner space within dreams and attempts to arouse altered states of consciousness. I:I (Jones:Higlett) have chosen the Hydrogen atom to physically represent the intangible concept of dreams. The most common element in the universe, from which all other elements are created, the Hydrogen atom has been brought to life using materials associated with Native American dream catchers.
The video slowly reveals the fragile nature of this construction as it moves under its own momentum. Filmed against a dense black background, the Hydrogen atom is isolated in space but accompanied by a soundscape of ambient and organic recordings. These include ‘found’ sounds extracted from the internet where they had been placed in the hope that someone would find and use them. Most of these sounds have been manipulated to mirror the change in imagination and consciousness of the dreamer. Phantasien is likely to evoke a different experience and response from each viewer. It is in this respect very similar to the entirely individual experience of dreams and while immersed in this space, we might experience anxiety, fear and joy - the most common emotions associated with dreams throughout the world.
Leona Jones and Richard Higlett are I:I. Working collaboratively since 2006, their combined practice is a hybrid of their respective ideas bringing together Jones’s work with the word and spoken performance, and Higlett’s endeavor as a visual artist, to bring value to practices considered as acts of folly. This exploration of the relationship between visual art and literature has most recently revealed itself in the work Phantasien.
Phantasien incorporates additional sound material by vo1k1 (‘Voxy Texture-All Things’ and Airy B Texture-All Things’, re-workings of Ruggea’s vocal track ‘All Things’).
Exhibition Preview Saturday 13 November 2010, 6-8pm. Free
Supporting new and experimental work by artists based in Wales and the Borders.