There has been a nightmare that has been plaguing me because it was so visually stimulating that I felt this urge to depict it. I could not give the vision justice in a painting so I pretty much gave up. The nightmare goes as follows: I was falling for a massive chunk of the dream; falling in between a system of pipes, but the pipes had spikes as well as other individuals who had managed to clutch for their lives and were thusly ferociously grasping at me for aid as I fell. Finally, I splashed into a body of water with relief. Then assessing the situation I realized that the water was not only grotesque but also filled with dead bodies. I looked to the distance for an escape and woke with the realization that all I could see through the eerie fog was an infinite grid of these pipes and speckles of corpses.
My goal for this project is 1.) to attempt to accurately share the emotion felt during this dream and 2.) to discombobulate the viewers perceptions (this is a general goal I am currently struggling to achieve with all of my art). However, all I may be able to do is allow people to feel a nightmare.
My idea is to set up my old bed for the viewer/participant to lie down in. However, when a head touched the pillow it will activate sensors that will control spooky effects. I am thinking about sounds from under the bed, and isolated/dark lighting. I was also contemplating adding a stuffed animal that one could squeeze to get it all to stop.
If I were to depict this nightmare, I would need to somehow simulate falling with noise, moving lights, or something of that sort. I could set the actions in a time line, lights go off with a solitary eerie light, falling, a splash, possibly a stink, and dying groans/screams of people near and far, and then maybe (if I want to be more complicated) either activate cardboard pipes to lower or shine lights on previously hidden piping. I could make the whole set up more intense with dry ice and probably numerous other cheesy and over complicated special effects. My hope is to figure out an accurate way to represent the fear and dismay invoked in the nightmare in as few sensory displays as possible.
I am currently working on a painting of this nightmare, attempting to depict the horror in a serene and beautiful composition. (Not to boost, but I think I may have succeeded). I am trying to decide if it is necessary to follow through with my original idea of having the viewer interpret the painting one way and then having their perceptions unsettled by other sensory clues. I could hang the painting and somehow inform the viewer to get comfortable in the bed in order to interpret the artwork.
That was a long explanation of where I am.