#DreamJournal
September 14, 2016 9:00 PM   Subscribe

Artist Jon Rafman (previously), who works primarily with digital art and the Internet as his medium, has been keeping a dream journal. He's been illustrating those dreams with low-fidelity 3D animations, and posting them to Facebook. Despite the amateurish quality, they capture the disconcerting, shifting, surreal nature of dreaming very well. 13 June 2016, 12 May 2016, 6 April 2016. Content Warning: violence, some risque themes, unsettling imagery.
posted by codacorolla (30 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
A few years ago I thought of doing this, but with claymation. But then I thought about a bunch of my last few dreams and they were too full of context to be possible. Like how could I show that that duck had also been my high school teacher in the past?

Anyway, these are pretty weird, and I understand why they're low-fi 3d animation, but I am sure they would be WAY better if they were impossibly time-consuming claymation.
posted by aubilenon at 9:31 PM on September 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Some of the best depictions of dreams I have ever come across. Truly captures the disturbing illogical terror of the unconscious mind.
#Boobs, toilets, and decapitations
posted by blairsyprofane at 9:43 PM on September 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Latest weird dream:

I forgot all about my Ornithology class until the day of the final exam. I likely missed class each week due to being mind numbingly high (this is the portion closest to my actual college experience). Kanye was the professor and he has real problems with folks who skip class. So I have to rejoin the Army, where I'm assigned to skyscraper ledge cleaning duty. So much bird poop. So much. if only I'd learned more about avian diets from Dr Kanye I could get off the ledge sooner.

Please animate for me as I lack any graphical art ability.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:47 PM on September 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, these are great, although the sample clips are missing College Final Exam and I've Missed Every Class terror. And also escape vehicle turning into pedal powered escape vehicle.

I'm running as fast as I can and going nowhere come on steps push me forward just once. Neither can I talk all of a sudden. Mwah mhuh mhaw.
posted by notyou at 10:09 PM on September 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


This looks like a version of The Sims that I would actually play.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 10:41 PM on September 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


I almost never remember my dreams but they are not even remotely similar to these films. Is there something wrong with me? Everyone is acting like these videos are spot on but I find nothing relatable in them at all...
posted by Doleful Creature at 10:48 PM on September 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


My dream last night was my cousin calling me on the phone to invite me to her wedding, but she was talking funny and had to repeat the date a bunch of times. It was going to be on Christmas. And then I woke up, and I know she's actually engaged but I don't know the date, so my first thought was "I wonder if she sent me an oneirogram" (which is a word I apparently made up while waking up, but apparently my sleeping mind knows its greek roots okay)
posted by aubilenon at 10:48 PM on September 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


I haven't seen these yet (I will, later) but the description sounds like LSD Dream Emulator.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 10:56 PM on September 14, 2016


I almost never remember my dreams but they are not even remotely similar to these films. Is there something wrong with me? Everyone is acting like these videos are spot on but I find nothing relatable in them at all...

For me, they're relatable because of the way that they convey dream logic, where even though ridiculous things are happening, and those things may not even have narrative cohesion, there're still elements that tie those disparate scenes together. Put another way, even though a three eyed dog eating a hotdog out of someone's glasses, and then a person turning into a motorbike who takes a girl to a sewer grate where she's covered in slime don't make any real sense, they do seem to go together because of... sequencing, I guess? I tend to have fairly vivid dreams that stick with me, and often that feeling of nonsense-logic is common among them.
posted by codacorolla at 11:22 PM on September 14, 2016


I had a dream the other night where I was reading a book. When I woke up, the only sentence I could remember from it was, "It was like bringing a Kel to a Kenan fight." I feel obligated to write this novel.

Also, Jon Rafman rules and so do his weird videos. I'd also strongly recommend his 9 Eyes project, a selection of bizarre and beautiful screenshots from Google Street View.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 11:31 PM on September 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


I think real dreams are more subtle and realistic. These work too hard at the superficially strange and surreal. Miyazaki can show a quiet shot of some trees and evoke the atmosphere of dreams far more vividly.

These are a bit like Spock trying to talk illogically. Which is not at all a bad thing, btw.
posted by Segundus at 11:38 PM on September 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think real dreams are more subtle and realistic.

One of my dreams that I remember most vividly involved me jumping from asteroid to asteroid on a Kawasaki motorcycle made entirely of gold in pursuit of the people who killed my partner from police academy, followed by my fusing with that partner's soul into a single star-consciousness that was pissed off about having to do something for the other half's dad on Father's Day.
posted by invitapriore at 11:47 PM on September 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


For someone who doesn't remember their dreams, this stuff is crazy as fuck.
posted by ZaneJ. at 12:27 AM on September 15, 2016


Look out, Mr. Peanutbutter!
posted by rhizome at 12:30 AM on September 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think film might be the only medium that can really fully capture dreams. Transcribing a dream, more often then not, just comes off as an incoherent series of events. "I was in my house, but then I was also in this abyss," a good writer can make the viewer actually feel that, but there's something far more immediate about being thrust into that world, visuals and all.
Also, as for the animations: Poser is a hell of a drug. Poser: not even once!
posted by Green Winnebago at 12:53 AM on September 15, 2016


blairsyprofane: "Truly captures the disturbing illogical terror of the unconscious mind. "

"You have reached the end of your free trial period."
posted by chavenet at 12:54 AM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


My dreams almost always consist of being visited and/or abducted by aliens. Nearly every single time. Last night I was reading Metafilter and falling asleep and had a very short dream in which I was being awakened by a woman screaming as a shadow person in the shape of a grey took her away, and the dream then suddenly tore away like film running out but immediately came back, and I was on an operating table while three greys walked toward me from a doorway. These dreams seem to happen all the time, and range in intensity: from someone in the dream merely mentioning aliens; to seeing the outline of a grey from the corner of my eye; to seeing UFOs; to running away from "something" (although my brain tells me it's a grey and this happens almost consciously, as if I'm watching the dream like its a television program and my internal monologue is telling real-life me something); to actually being abducted and either running through the ship, hiding, or being experimented on. Thankfully, since I've had these dreams regularly since I was a kid, I've trained myself to get out of them really quickly. In the dream world this is typically shown as everything shaking really quickly, sometimes with people within the dream world mentioning the shaking. I've learned recently that my entire body shakes IRL as this is happening in the dream.

Other than those, my dreams are about me fighting people and for some reason I can't throw punches. I throw them but they are unbelievably weak and do nothing. The sensation is very bizarre. I also have dreams that are extremely mundane, like where I'm doing a spelling test. Sometimes these dreams feel like they go on for hours. A lot of times in my dreams I'm hiding from people, or sneaking around and being stealthy. Other times I'm arguing with somebody and becoming really angry, or that person is being very mean to me in a weird way. I have weird dreams involving girlfriends, where they'll be kissing somebody else and staring right at me while they do it and I'll get upset and walk away, then they'll walk up to me later and tell me they love me and ask why I'm upset.

Ugh, dreams. My real dream is to own a house on some land by a creek, have a few dogs, a nice family, some money put away. That's the only dream I want to have anymore.
posted by gucci mane at 1:35 AM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


My dreams almost always consist of being visited and/or abducted by aliens.

You may not be dreaming.
posted by Coda Tronca at 3:06 AM on September 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I think much of the work that goes into making dreams weird happens as we wake. Sitting in my office isn't weird, and confronting a family member about our past isn't weird. Thanks to the magic of the internet I can even jump from one to the other with no transition. But the almost awake mind wants narrative continuity and the thing that it uses to bridge the two (a face emerging on my track ball mouse) - that's where the quality weird comes in.
posted by idiopath at 4:40 AM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


This was fascinating. My dreams are nothing like this - and I had no idea people had dreams like this. It's a weird and unsettling thing to find out right after waking up.
posted by umwhat at 5:36 AM on September 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


My brain can usually pick up when something is too ridiculous and I wake up. Other times, I wake up because I saw something that should be fun to do - a melody, posters, logos, etc, and go on and do them (even if it's 5am, although generally I take some notes and go back to sleep).
Of course, sometimes it doesn't, and it's usually on the really bad ones.
posted by lmfsilva at 5:41 AM on September 15, 2016


oh man, these are great!
posted by Greg Nog at 6:07 AM on September 15, 2016


Doleful Creature: I almost never remember my dreams but they are not even remotely similar to these films. Is there something wrong with me? Everyone is acting like these videos are spot on but I find nothing relatable in them at all...
umwhat: This was fascinating. My dreams are nothing like this - and I had no idea people had dreams like this.

My dreams are somewhat like the videos except there's a constant shift of viewpoint/context: I'm watching a film, then I'm in the film, then I'm talking to someone, then I am that person.

If you two have dreams completely unlike this, what are they like? Are you guys like the Aphantasia guy perhaps? I've heard that Aphantasia might be more common than we think.
posted by memebake at 7:36 AM on September 15, 2016


This morning I dreamed about the color purple--and along with it, the music of Prince--came up from the Invisi/Under-World to the Display World...eh, impossible to explain, unlike those Never-Went-to-Class dreams.

Yesterday, listening to a WTF Marc Maron podcast while preparing peaches for the freezer, I learned that Werner Herzog only has about one dream a year. (That's how he put it. Most of us would agree that he only remembers one dream a year.) (The dream he recounted was a real doozy, though.)
posted by kozad at 7:37 AM on September 15, 2016


Yeah, these are nothing like my dreams. My dreams are never acid-trippy, don't have monsters, and unlike Pan's Labyrinth or this stuff. My dreams tend to fall into not being ready for the final type stuff. There's certainly illogical/dreamlike elements like the time sequencing being strange. Or, one of the more common ones I have involves usually some sort of rescue/chase/being chased scenario which is a pretext for me sort-of-flying/parkour/low gravity type jumping around some scene. The only thing unrealistic about it is (a) the fact I am in that situation and (b) gravity is skewed. But whatever I am running from is usually nondescript and not some monster or a rainbow-colored dogman. It is so strange to me think that people have dreams where they have details like an egg-frying turning into a smiley face or a pretty girl will monster teeth.
posted by dios at 8:15 AM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's interesting that some people think these are trying too hard to be surreal because my dreams are at least as weird if not weirder. Though the ways in which they are weirder is more in weird time-shifty, dimension-hopping ways that would be difficult to put on screen. Trying to describe my dreams makes me sound like a toddler trying to recount the avant garde slasher movie he saw by accident after wandering downstairs at 3AM, though, and is very boring, so I won't!
posted by sonmi at 8:22 AM on September 15, 2016


Childhood dream (which I still recall vividly) -

I am in a study at night. Fire in the fireplace blazing. A stereotypical English study: comfy leather chairs, books, a few portraits on the wall. There are several knick-knacks, chachkies, whatevers all over the room, on coffee tables and side tables. Being a child I go around and pick up each object, look at it, move on to the next one. I become aware of an ominous presence behind me. Upon turning around I see an orange tabby cat. Though typical looking in every way, I know this cat is powerful and evil. The cat tells me -imparting the words in my mind- that I have one minute to return the objects to their exact position. If I fail to do this my back will cave in. Knowing that his request is impossible, I instead try to bark at the cat to scare him away. But I lose the ability to speak or make any kind of noise. My suspicion is the cat used his powers to render me silent. Fortunately I wake up before my back caves in.
posted by blairsyprofane at 8:29 AM on September 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


dios: Or, one of the more common ones I have involves usually some sort of rescue/chase/being chased scenario which is a pretext for me sort-of-flying/parkour/low gravity type jumping around some scene. The only thing unrealistic about it is (a) the fact I am in that situation and (b) gravity is skewed. But whatever I am running from is usually nondescript and not some monster or a rainbow-colored dogman.

I've had these dreams a lot as well, but my difference is typically that the environments are fantastical. One I remember vividly, which is entirely similar to what you described, took place in an unrealistically large forest in which I jumped from plant-to-plant.
posted by gucci mane at 8:51 AM on September 15, 2016


I find when I miss my antidepressant medication (venlafaxine, if anyone is interested) I have very vivid semj-lucid dreams, with smell, colour and sound. It would be almost worth missing a dose now and then if it weren't for the other symptoms. They are nowhere near as exciting as the ones described here though.

Last night I was living in early 1970s Camden, in a semi-derelict house with a huge lilac tree growing from the roof, and scouring through the antique and junk markets for stuff that would be worth a lot nowadays. I was also lugging around an ugly, very heavy baby which I insisted to everyone was called Loki. There was also a lot of arguing with taxi-drivers.
posted by Fuchsoid at 12:23 PM on September 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm fairly certain I don't have aphantasia.... I do have a very vivid imagination, and I remember most of my dreams when I wake up. My dreams just aren't that surreal, or violent. They usually flow together and make sense. Sometimes I can fly or talk to animals, sometimes I dream about sex or being in nature, or occasionally ghosts or something paranormal. But never as disjointed or strange as his dreams.
posted by umwhat at 7:27 PM on September 15, 2016


« Older Intimidate, obfuscate, deny, litigate   |   Baptism of fire, fear and blood Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments