FREE TO ATTEND. No registration required.
Join us Friday, June 16th at 7pm at Pegasus Downtown when Psychologist Mark Blagrove discusses The Science and Art of Dreaming (Routledge, 2023) with Berkeley author/artist Richard Russo. A short video of the work of co-author Julia Lockheart will also be shown.
Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event.
About the book:
The book examines the biological, psychological and social causes of dreaming and outlines recent advances in the study of nightmares and lucid dreaming. It offers a compelling re-reading of the dreams of Freud’s patient, the feminist hero Dora, and illustrates how the playfulness, originality and metaphorical content of dreams link them to art – and especially to the cultural movement of Surrealism, known for highly valuing dreams. It also describes how films have drawn on dreams and dream-like processes.
The book has resulted from and describes Julia and Mark’s science-art collaboration DreamsID, in which they hold public discussions of dreams during which dream content is linked to recent memories and concerns of the dreamer. During the discussions, Julia returns the dream to visual form by painting it onto pages of Freud’s famous book The Interpretation of Dreams (with publisher’s permission). Her fascinating artworks incorporate Freud's words as found poetry. Once finished, the artwork is given to the dreamer, who displays it to family and friends, eliciting further conversations.
The experience of holding public dream discussion and painting events (including online ones during the pandemic) has led Mark and Julia to propose that sharing dreams on waking may enable self-disclosure and mutual empathy. They discuss this proposed post-sleep function of dreams in light of theories concerning the role of dreams in memory and emotion processing during sleep. They also discuss it in the context of evolutionary theories, which hold that due to evolutionary pressures, humans have become domesticated, with reduced emotionality and within-group aggression but increased pro-sociality and empathy between people. The sharing of dreams may have played a part in this human self-domestication, alongside the creation and telling of stories and fiction.
The book aims to encourage this sharing of dreams to promote imagination, creativity, self-reflection and closeness to others. This is mirrored by the book’s engaging format, with each chapter starting with a dream narrative and accompanying painting of the dream, to highlight aspects of each chapter themes. Artworks from the book will be shown in the talk.
About the participants:
Mark Blagrove is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Sleep Laboratory at Swansea University, UK, a past-President of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. He graduated in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University, and has researched sleep, memory and dreaming for over 35 years. Since 2016 he has undertaken public Ullman dream discussions, with artist Julia Lockheart simultaneously painting each dream as part of their DreamsID.com collaboration.
Julia Lockheart is Associate Professor at the Swansea College of Art, University of Wales Trinity St David, and is also Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has a BA in Fine Art from Saint Martins School of Art, London and MA in Fine Art from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her PhD researched writing in art and design, at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts. She has painted dreams during Ullman discussion sessions as part of the DreamsID.com collaboration with Mark Blagrove since 2016.
Richard Russo is an author, artist, and dream explorer in Berkeley, CA, where he is currently Associate Director of the Dream Institute of Northern California. He is a past president of the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD); the subject of his presidential address was “Photography and Dreams.” He was also editor of the journal DreamTime for more than a decade, and has curated more than a dozen shows of dream-inspired art.
He has published short fiction as well as numerous articles about dreaming. His books include Dreams Are Wiser Than Men (North Atlantic, 1987) and The Rough Guide to Dreams (forthcoming). With Lily Pond, he edited two literary anthologies, Yellow Silk: Erotic Arts and Letters, and The Book of Eros.
Russo studied photography with John Spence Weir and Robert Brown at the University of California Extension, and has been actively working with photographic imagery for several decades. Early influences include Robert Frank, Minor White, Jerry Uelsman, Duane Michals, and Arthur Tress. He has also done extensive work in collage, and explored other media including artist books and sculptural objects.
He has a long-standing interest in dream imagery, dream-inspired art, and the relation between creativity and dreaming. Dream images are a small but important part of his photographic work. Recent group exhibitions include “Sea of Dreams” (aMFa Gallery, Berkeley, 2012), “Luminous Worlds: Art of the Spirit” (O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Mill Valley, 2013), “Golden Gateway to Dreams” (IASD Annual Juried Dream Art Exhibition, Berkeley, 2014), and "Black & White & Gray" (O'Hanlon Center for the Arts, 2015).