Weird Dreams, Weird Analysis

Weird Dreams, Weird Analysis

We’ve been having weird dreams. We became plants, and our viscera swallowed our legs before pushing them out our torsos and we walked across the sky. We sprouted wings and reunited with a family we didn’t know we had. We were buried up to our necks in a beach until we taught the grains of sand to move.

project overview

Weird Dreams, Weird Analysis is a new transdisciplinary arts and humanities collaborative project gathering creative practitioners in the arts, theory, and technology from different continents and professional contexts to speculate on the political potentials of the Weird as an aesthetic category and new modes of (psycho-schizo)analysis sufficient to it.

In 2023-2025, we will gather and share our work in symposia, group exhibitions, and experimental web and physical publications.

project statement

It’s not so much that we’ve lost the ability to dream, but that our dreams have become so alien that we do not recognize them as our own. Or that if those are our dreams, then we must be somewhere else than we thought we were.

One part art exhibition, one part therapeutics, and one part research seminar, one part analysis, Weird Dreams, Weird Analysis uses the idea of the “weird” to chart novel aesthetic, political, and epistemological dimensions of subject formation and objecthood. For instance, Bifo Berardi demarcates a phase change in the history of the unconscious that’s been churning since Web 2.0. With the pandemic, we pass through another psychic threshold. These days, we are confused by the vectors of desire and its sublimations: nascent tendencies toward interiority balance against “extremely online” hyper expressivity, going goblin mode disintegrates into self-flagellating doom-scrolling, a lockdown induced transformation of sexuality and corporeality alongside a blooming of depressive anxiety, “rise and grind” fading to “quiet quitting”.

If we aren’t where we thought we are, we must ask not only where do we dream of going from here, but also: how is it that we got here? How can transdisciplinary approaches to art, psyche, ecology, body, and technology help us dream weirdly enough to generate subjectivities sufficient to the challenges of climate change, infrastructural collapse, and social upheaval?

Distinct from the unheimlich, Mark Fisher writes about the weird as an encounter that makes us feel that “something is there that shouldn’t be”. The weird is not just something that doesn’t make sense, it is a recognition that there is too much sense, or too many ways to make sense for a specific moment. The weird creates portals to the outside that remind us that even when we are alone, we are not by ourselves. And even when we are here, we are also somehow somewhere else. We intend to explore weird dreams by asking how weird and adjacent aesthetics of the new (techno, cyberpunk) and the old (goth, metal, tradcath) grapple with deeply sedimented conservatism and colonial hatred while fashioning instruments for receiving and interpreting messages from above the clouds?

Following psychoanalyst Sándor Ferenczi’s transdisciplinary analytic method ultraquistics and Felix Guattari’s indisciplined diagrammatics, weird analysis necessitates disciplinary concoctions that refuse to integrate, find a solution, or create a hybrid. Drawing on heterodox traditions of psychoanalysis, the practical, experiential, and aesthetic dimensions of this collaborative project are indispensable. To this end, Weird Dreams, Weird Analysis gathers a transdisciplinary array of artists, makers, designers, and theorists.


Garrett Laroy Johnson

Garrett Laroy Johnson is a Chicago-based sound and media artist, researcher, and theorist. His transdisciplinary work engages Guattarian process theory, politics and the production of subjectivity, computation and materialism, and post-psychoanalysis.

Phillip Thurtle

Scholar Phillip Thurtle researches the affective-phenomenological domains of media, the role of information processing technologies in biomedical research, and theories of novelty in the life sciences. His most recent work Biology in the Grid: Graphic Design and the Envisioning of Life (University of Minnesota Press, 2018) analyzes the cellular spaces of transformation in evolutionary and developmental biology research and the cultural spaces of transformation in popular culture.

Associated Programs

social media flyer for weird dreams, weird analysis

Weird Dreams, Weird Analysis: gallery exhibition

October 24-28, 2023 | 00:00-23:59 | Design North, Phoenix Arizona

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