Dream of Insomnia Workshop

Dream of Insomnia Workshop

Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Susan Hiller, Notebooks of the participants in Dream Mapping, 1974; pencil, ink, watercolour; 23 x 36 cm (open).
February 3, 2012
Dream of Insomnia Workshop

17–18 February 2012

Curated by Éric Alliez in collaboration with Annie Ratti, Andrea Lissoni and Cesare Pietroiusti

Villa Sucota, Via Cernobbio 19
22100 Como

T 031 3384976
[email protected]


In July 2011, Susan Hiller held The Dream Seminar II at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti. Not without a hint of provocation, the artist proposed reviving a project of the seventies in which she asked the participants to “take part in intensive group workshops focusing on individual dreams.” It was a question of showing through dream that repetition is not a re-presentation, a re-make, or a re-cycling in the form of an infinite retrospective devoid of perspective, since, on the contrary, repetition only serves to express a singularity, which makes the difference, by shifting the dream into life.


It is this experience that we wish to extend in the Dream of Insomnia Workshop, subverting the limits and boundaries of both dream and life. Drifting to the edge of sleep, where insomnia, sleepwalking, and other mediumship take us into the night’s intermediary zones, we will convoke a critique, between theory and practice, of dreams and their interpretation—a critique, which no longer belongs to “the subject” of psychoanalysis.


Critique therefore in the primary sense of a topography of impure reason; but also Critique and Clinic, in a more experimental sense, of the dream as a highway of the unconscious that mixes desire with interpretation, at the end of which we will rediscover the dream, no longer as a dream of sleep or a daydream but as an insomniac dream.


The workshop is structured around lectures and artistic performances.


On Friday, the 17th of February, lectures will take place from 10am to 7pm. At 10.15pm, John Duncan will hold an all-night performance (a solo concert and video projection) entitled Narcomantic. An experiment in hypnosis and dream manipulation of a voluntary audience as they sleep. Please register in order to attend the performance by John Duncan.


On Saturday, the 18th of February, lectures will again take place from 10am to 7pm.


Lectures and performances:
Dream of Insomnia
Éric Alliez (Professor of Philosophie et Créations Contemporaines en Art at the University of Paris 8 and Professor of Contemporary French Philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy, Kingston University, London) 


Il genio sonnambulo
Andrea Cavalletti (has taught Aesthetics, Italian Literature and Contemporary Literature at IUAV University, Venice) 


All-night performance by John Duncan (artist)
(Please register in order to attend the performance) 


Tracking the spirit of the Dreamings. Ritual Dreamers and Warlpiri Artists from Lajamanu
Barbara Glowczewski (has a professorial research tenure at the CNRS and coordinates the team “Anthropology of perception” at the Laboratory of Social Anthropology at CNRS/EHESS/Collège de France) 


Dreamwork: an artist’s perspective
Susan Hiller (artist) 


Word Text Vortex
Karl Holmqvist (artist) 


Alexis Didier, “the most amazing clairvoyant in modern times”
Bertrand Méheust (was a teacher of philosophy and is a member of the management committee of the Institut Métapsychique International – IMI) 


Oggetti inesistenti
Cesare Pietroiusti (artist) 


Romanticism and horror films: how dreams became (again) a somatic matter
Olivier Schefer (writer and philosopher and Professor of Philosophy of Art at the University of Paris I, Sorbonne) 


I sogni dei reclusi del carcere di Palmi
Nicola Valentino (co-founder of the cooperative Sensibili alle foglie) 


Interventions by the young artists who participated in the XVII Advanced Course in Visual Arts in July 2011.


The workshop will host the presentation of the publication of the young artists who participated in the XVII Advanced Course in Visual Arts edited by Mousse Publishing.


Attendance at the daytime encounters is free. Please register to attend the performance by John Duncan by calling +390313384976 or writing to [email protected]


The workshop will be held in English with some interventions in Italian.


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Fondazione Antonio Ratti
February 3, 2012

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