The Dream Director : Luke Jerram

The Dream Director : Luke Jerram


Dream Director test sleepover, Spike Island, Bristol 2007

November 4, 2008

The Dream Director : Luke Jerram
Where do you go when you dream?

Watershed Commission
On Tour 2008 / 2009

Luke Jerram’s The Dream Director is a unique art event, installation and exploration investigating the hidden realm of dreaming.

Where do people go when they dream? What do they see? What do they experience? And can the shape of dreams be influenced as the dreamer is sleeping? These are the questions posed and explored by artist Luke Jerram in his participatory work, The Dream Director.

Jerram was commissioned in 2007 by Watershed through the Clark Bursary, the UK Digital Art Award, to investigate the complexities of sleep and dreaming. He built upon original research carried out with sleep psychologist Chris Alford at The University of West of England, to create a new installation that merges art, science and digital media.

The Dream Director invites people to sleep overnight in a gallery. Specially designed “pods” house the dreamers who don eye-masks that detect rapid eye movement, indicating the dreaming stage of sleep. Each pod is allocated a different bank of sounds, shaping participants dreams in different ways.

When the dreamers reach their dream state, their eye masks trigger ambient sounds via a computer, which are played into small speakers mounted into the pod, in an attempt to affect the nature and content of their dreams.

Prior to the sleepover, participants are asked to record what sort of dreams they normally experience. After the sleepover they are asked to record their dreaming experience for that night.

The Dream Director explores the boundaries of participants’ conscious and subconscious minds, prompting questions about the ethics of and possibilities for, creating art in dream space. It is also a new tool for sleep science and clinical applications that raises questions about the rules of interaction and boundaries of science and art.

“An innovative and aesthetically beautiful piece of work, which completely encompasses the viewer, fulfilling the main and crucial artistic aim, whilst spanning the realms of science and engineering, very entertaining and exciting.”
Previous participant in The Dream Director

Watershed is delighted to announce that The Dream Director is to embark on a national tour, visiting ICA (London), FACT (Liverpool) and De La Warr Pavilion (Bexhill-on-Sea) where a wider audience will be able to participate in future sleepovers.

Aside from the actual participation in the event as a dreamer, day-time visitors are able to visit a newly designed installation based on the sleepover of the previous night and access documentation about the Dream Director’s development including written information, images, film and audio.

• Tour details:

ICA, London | Wed 19 – Sun 23 November 2008
The Mall, London SW1Y 5AH
020 7930 0493
Press Contact: Yung Kha

FACT, Liverpool | Fri 16 – Sun 18 January 2009
88 Wood Street, Liverpool, L14DQ
0151 707 4444
Press Contact: Louise Merrin

De La Warr Pavillion | Fri 3 – Sun 5 April 2009
Marina, Bexhill on Sea
East Sussex TN40 1DP
01424 229 111
Press Contact: Sally Ann Lycett

Compton Verney | End of May 2009 (dates to be announced)
Warwickshire, CV35 9HZ
01926 645540
Press Contact: Ina Cole

• For further information on the tour and/or artist please contact Cat John at Watershed on 0117 927 6444 or

• Alongside the tour will be the launch of Luke Jerram’s book, Art In Mind. Tracing the artist’s research and practice during the last ten years, the book focuses on his investigations and experiments into the creation of artwork for the unconscious. Rather than a concise chronological history of his work, Art In Mind is an accessible discourse that, through anecdote, observation and journal, provides a fresh and intimate insight of the artist and his process.

• Luke Jerram designs artworks that deliver an experience to unusual perceptual territories. Retinal Memory Volume makes sculpture work using retinal after images, whilst Sky Orchestra involves lifting people into the creative space on the edge of sleep using surround sound played from hot air balloons flown over a city at dawn. Sky Orchestra launched the Sydney Festival in January 2007, and was commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company over Stratford-upon-Avon to mark its Complete Works Festival in June 2006. As well as the Clark Bursary, he has previously been awarded a NESTA fellowship and completed an AHRC Arts and Science Fellowship at UWE.

• Watershed started life in 1982 as Britain’s first dedicated media centre, with an arts cinema at its heart, Watershed promotes creativity, collaboration, innovation and participation from cultural, commercial and community sectors. It regards itself as a facilitator, a hub and a catalyst for the creative industries. It is committed to developing new skills and content by working in collaboration with artists, filmmakers, media companies, media groups and schools. For further information visit:

• The Dream Director at FACT is part of the DING D0NG Festival (12 December – 22 February).

• The Dream Director is a Watershed tour funded by Arts Council England.

• The Dream Director was developed as part of the Clark Bursary supported by Watershed, J A Clark Charitable Trust and Arts Council England in association with Situations at the University of the West of England.

• For more information about the project and the tour please visit:

• For more information about the artist please visit:

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November 4, 2008

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