All Of A Sudden
This project began as a linear film. However, the nature of dreams was too random for that format. Because subjectivity is confused within the dream world, where one can become someone else, or jump from one place to another suddenly, the project needed a more dynamic form.
Subjectivity, objectification, agency, authenticity, temporality, truth and meaning are all major themes in nonfiction media. Dreams themselves bring up many of these themes (What is real? What does it mean?). The politics behind who points the camera or microphone at whom or what, how and why (and does the “subject” know, and how does that change the way they behave) has a very complicated history. I believe it's important to continue to think about and address these issues in my work.
After reading about affect theory and relational fields, I came to see everything as part-object and part-subject, constantly in motion. I wanted to create a project that could embody these ideas. Collaborative art practice is one of the ways to circumvent a singular point of view by decentralizing power of the maker, so I decided to invite strangers to collaborate with me. I wanted to know what my Astoria Queens neighbors were thinking and dreaming about.
I completed two days of audio and video recording in the spring of 2015. I started before sunrise and went until after dark. I began by the East River in Rainey Park, and moved East throughout the day until I arrived at Steinway Street. I used a Zoom H4N with a Sennheiser K6 shotgun mic to record the audio, and a Canon 7D to capture video. Strangers told me their dreams, and also used my camera. Then, I cut together a nine minute video, but it didn't embody the spontaneity of the dream world.
I have since migrated the original ten dreams to this web version, accompanied by gifs made from digital and 35mm photos I've taken.
Knock on a door, and all of a sudden, you will be transported to another place.
About Rachel Brown