On Sleep

 

"Sleep, those little slices of death--how I loathe them."

- Edgar Allen Poe

I use the conventions of drawing and photography to explore, through tracking, tracing, measuring, documenting, recording, and imagining, questions such as: is it possible, without interference, to gain a deeper understanding of sleep while sleeping and, at the same time, engender sleep as a productive stage of art making? What can art tell us about the condition of being human--and more specifically, what can one learn through art making about the shift in self-awareness (consciousness) that occurs during sleep? And finally, what is the location of the sleeping Self?

 

My artistic practice is informed by overlapping spheres of knowledge in the arts, humanities, and science. The studio serves as a laboratory for exploration where I pursue answers to an enduring question that is central to all of these disciplines--what does it mean to be human? 



Within the scope of this question, I have focused on questions about the liminal space of sleep, where one shifts from wakefulness to the unconscious state of sleep, a universal characteristic of being human.

There are more questions than answers about why humans sleep and the functional significance of sleep; although it is clear, one must sleep for survival. The National Sleep Foundation reports that in a 75-year human life span, 25 years are spent sleeping. Unanswered questions about one’s state of mind, and the neurological processes that occur during sleep provide a fertile and largely uncharted ground for exploration. With recent advancements in science and technology, scientists know more about how the brain is active during sleep but the questions about what that fully entails are ongoing.



 

"...sleep forces a surrender from the productiveness of the day, but in working with and about sleep, I am able to work, to be productive, both night and day."

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