Crystal Gandrud & Nuala Clarke

Dream of the Drawing for Everything
Dimensions Variable

Code-switching is the language and landscape of Dream of the Drawing for Everything, an online installation by visual artist Nuala Clarke and writer Crystal Gandrud. The piece is a conversation between Clarke and Gandrud; it is a communication from psyche to psyches; a kind of history of dream interpretation, dream recording and oneirology. We chose the medium of the internet because it reflects the nature of dreaming— which is infinite.

Dreams and dream language (allusive, illusive, illustrative, mysterious) are inherently codeswitching. Attempts to translate or interpret code-switching leave the dream and dreamer both at odds and deeply intimate. The delight of code-switching lies in the moment of the shift, or the gap, between what is known and unknown. This moment in alternation is the terrain where dreams arise… and where they are remembered. We must dream in a language before we really know it. Then we can notice that we don’t really dream in language at all (although we do, some of us, often dream about language).  Interpretation/translation is a hollow attempt to comprehend meaning; it is not the same as fluency. Furthermore, dream interpretation, like words themselves, is merely a substitute for actual insight, which is ineffable.

There are currently 83 dreams in the Dream of the Drawing for Everything, with another 200 awaiting completion. We intend to open the project to many other dreamers as it develops. In our lifetimes, the piece could grow to thousands of dreams and dreamers. For exhibition purposes, there is a computer and keyboard to view the installation. Viewers can navigate through the piece as they like. This way of seeing the work further connects the nature of the internet with the nature of dreaming—which is intimate and universal.