Dreambridge is the name of my business, and ‘dream-bridging’ is what I do. It is what I teach. So, what is ‘dream-bridging’? The Dreambridge I refer to in my work is the bridge that connects Dreams and Creativity.
Every time someone decides to create something in the waking world that is based on, or inspired by a dream (an experience during sleep), they form a bridge between those two ‘worlds.’ Crossing that bridge then becomes part of the creative process. At the end of a dream-bridge, a new creative product is finished that can be shared with the community. There are many wonderful stories that demonstrate what I call ‘dream-bridging.’
Every inhabited continent has a history of a link between dreams and creativity, and dream art has been abundant in many cultures, whether the artist or audience has been aware of its original source or not. In other words, sometimes artists, or audience members simply aren’t aware that dreams were the source of the art. The unconscious mind works in mysterious ways, so it isn’t easy to measure how many artists have actually been inspired by their dreams without interviewing them. On the other hand, the record does show an abundance of situations when artists from all fields and domains have described a dream-creativity connection that involved what I call ‘walking a dream-bridge.’
A few famous examples of visual artists who’ve consciously and intentionally walked a dream-bridge are: Henri Rousseau with his painting The Dream, Salvador Dali with his surrealist work, and video artist Bill Viola with his stimulating recreated dream environments. Except for in the case of the surrealists, who aimed to reconcile dreaming and waking consciousness into one surreality, it hasn’t been popular for most visual artists to openly discuss the subject of what I call ‘dream-bridging’ very often. Some visual artists have been pleasantly surprised when I’ve asked them about dreams, as if I stumbled upon a deep and precious secret. Other visual artists I know are very open about the way they work with their dreams and bridge them into their creative process.
Some famous examples of dream-bridged writing includes: The Epic of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, The Odyssey, the automatic writing experiments by surrealists Andre Breton and Phillipe Soupalt, the plays of Jean Cocteau, the short stories of Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and Isabelle Allende’s House of the Spirits.
Actor Jessica Lange has likened the experience of acting to being in a waking dream. Director Mike Nichols has compared the art of acting to dreaming in that they are both linked to the unconscious. He said that both acting and dreaming share a nature that helps tell the truth because they are connected to what is happening underneath the surface of what people say to each other.
When films were invented in 1895 by the Lumière brothers, they were often compared to dreams. More than 200 American and French silent movies involved the subject of dreams before WWI. In the 1920’s, studio productions such as Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr., and Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush, showed characters in stories going to sleep and having dreams. Experimental surrealist films on the other hand, like Dali and Bunuel’s Un Chien Andalou in 1928, usually tried to capture dreamlike states without plots. Robert Desnos, a 1920’s film critic, wrote that the reason people liked the movies so much was because they craved more time to dream when their eyelids were open.
In modern film, the works of directors John Sayles, and David Lynch have been influenced by dreams. Films by writer-directors Akira Kurosawa, Bart Freundlich, and Robert Altman have directly ‘dream-bridged’ their own dreams. Christopher Nolan’s 2010 action/science fiction thriller Inception, though mostly inaccurate in its depictions of the dreaming process, created a lot of exciting conversations about dreaming, and aroused a fresh interest in what is actually possible with lucid dreaming.
Tartini’s The Devil’s Sonata came from his dream of releasing a demon from a bottle on a beach, on the condition that he help him finish writing his sonata. The dream demon then grabbed his violin and played the finished piece, which Tartini attempted to ‘dream-bridge’ as best as he could. You may have heard that Paul McCartney dreamed the melody for Yesterday. It’s also true that John Lennon often wrote songs in the middle of the night, when he would wake himself up from various dream states because that was when he said he felt most creative. Johnny Cash was inspired by a dream to add Mexican bullfighting trumpets to what would become his triumphant hit song Ring of Fire, and Billy Joel said he has ‘dream-bridged’ melodies for his musical compositions.
By now you may have heard that Elias Howe’s sewing machine was inspired by a dream, and that Larry Page dreamed about what would later become Google. Did you know that some of the roots of modern science also came from dreams? For example, Rene Descartes, who was born in 1596, had a dream in which he had several insights regarding the foundations of a most admirable science… later to become his Discourse in 1637. Although few of his contemporaries accepted that his method with its logical operations came from a dream, Descartes took a pilgrimage from Venice to Lorette so he could give thanks for what he considered supernatural guidance in the name of science.
Although these examples are impressive, ‘dream-bridges’ are not limited to eminent creators. In recent years, studies have shown that ordinary people who aren’t necessarily ‘creative’ are also often stimulated by dreams in their waking-life creativity. Maybe in the future, with an increase in Dream-Arts education, we’ll have an even higher rate of conscious, creative ‘dream-bridging.’
References (complete reference list found within this one reference)
Morgan, A. K. (2011). Investigating experienced links between dreams and
creativity in the work of professional creative artists. (Doctoral dissertation).
ProQuest/UMI. (Publication No. AAT 3454126). Retrieved from HERE