I am reposting this work to improve the annotation and the response
What have I done this week?
This week with the theme of play and abstraction, I have worked with the idea of dreams. I did some research and readings on dreams. After the research, I found out that many times, dreams are an interpretation of what we feel in our daily lives. This week, I decided to work with the idea of what we experience actually during the day and how that feels when we dream of it. I also researched and read that many times dreams are really abstract. They do not directly represent what we experienced during the day. The experience is rather abstract. Many times the things we watch and experience during the day occur in dreams in an abstract form. In order to portray my concept, I constructed a real world and a dream world in Maya and further took it to Unity. While the real world had realistic style buildings, street lamps and sounds, the dreams world had everything abstract. In order to portray the abstract nature of the world, I worked with abstract sounds and also put sound triggers near the poles which give out abstract sounds. These sounds portray how in our dreams, we are pulled in various directions through various sounds.
Why I have done it this week?
I have worked on the idea of dreams this week’s topic was play and abstraction and as I was really interested in exploring the topic of dreaming as something abstract. I personally felt, and also read that dreams are very abstract and do not portray reality most of the times. They are many times an altered interpretation of our experiences and combination of different incidents presented to us in an abstract form.
During my research and study about the weekly topic, I have been inspired by the work of various artists and painters related to dreams. Similar work has been done by:
- Francisco de Goya in his painting, “The sleep of reason produces monsters” in the year 1799, where the main character is sleeping and his sleep is disrupted with monster-looking creatures and the painting portrays a nightmare as the creatures hover over the main character and also come very close to him.
- Another painting, by Hieronymus Bosh, “The Vision of Tundale” which represents a nightmare like dream. The painting is a depiction of hell. This painting mainly focuses on the nightmare and various sorts of things happening in all areas of the painitng. Everything in this painting is really abstract and represents how a nightmare looks and feels like.
- ‘Two Children are threatened by a nightingale’ by Max Ernst in the year 1924 is a depiction of his own dream. He got inspired by the abstract dream he had and made it into a painting. In this work, the elements which are not related to one another are depicted in a single scenario. This painting explains how our dreams are different from our real everyday life and are really abstract.
In order to convey my topic and idea about dreams, I constructed 2 worlds in Maya. Both are simple street scenes. One is the real world that we experience in our day to day lives and the other one is abstract which represents dreams. I took both the worlds to Unity in order to work on it further. The real world has all real buildings, road, street light, sky and sound. The dreams world has abstract lighting, abstract buildings and poles, abstract sky, particles simulation of unity, overall abstract sound, as in our dreams even the sounds and voices are mostly abstract and I also put sound triggers near the poles to give the effect of an abstract world. The closer a person gets to the poles, the more intense the abstract sound gets and the farther the person moves the sound fades.
In response to the weekly theme, I have created a Unity walkthrough of a real world and a dream world. Through this week’s response, I have tried to portray the contrast between the real world and the dream world. I created the atmosphere for both the worlds and created a play through for both. The normal world is very normal and simple, but I have depicted the dream world to feel like a dreamy and abstract place. The sounds in the normal world are usual city sounds which we listen every day and the sounds in the dreams world Is really abstract.
Often, what we see and experience during the day, turns into a dream at night when we are asleep. A basic idea of this can be derived through the words of Rodolfo Llin, as mentioned in the book, ‘The Ambiguity of Play’, Rodolfo said, that,
‘when comparing the properties of the brain in waking and dreaming [they] postulate a single, fundamental mechanism for both, a cease-less inner talking between cerebral cortex and thalamus, a ceaseless interplay of image and feeling, irrespective of whether there is a sensory input or nor. When there is a sensory input, this interplay continues to generate brain states, those brain states we call fantasy, hallucination or dreams. Thus, waking consciousness is dreaming, but dreaming constrained by external reality.’
As I researched and studied more about play, I discovered that this work can be a part of exploratory play. In exploratory play, the user moves around and tries to experience the world with the help of senses. In this project too, there is more use of hearing senses and user experience, as the user is moving around and experiencing the worlds. I also learnt that, this work belongs to the category of solitary or independent play as categorised by Parten in the year 1929, because in this the user does not require anyone else to play and the user can play independently.
This project has helped me learn technically because previously, I was unaware of creating a world with various lighting and effects in Unity. I always used to work with my models and construct them and then take them to unity. Therefore, this project has enabled me to learn new technical skills. As I researched about the concept for this week’s response and I decided to work on the topic of dreams, I saw a lot of work done by various artists on the topic of dreams, I also got to study the play theories and As I iterated and developed the concept after research, I learnt how two concepts, one normal world and one abstract world can be combined together to create a new project.
I also plan to use this project further in the future by creating a detailed user experience of both the worlds, working with sound inputs and the visuals and combining them together.
- Brian Sutton Smith, 1997, ‘The ambiguity Of play’, second edn, Harvard university press, London England
- Brigid Costello, Ernest Edmonds, 2007, A study in play, pleasure and interaction design, Helsinki, Finland8
- Wikipedia, 22 October, 2020, ‘The sleep of reason produces monsters’, viewed 22 October, 2020 < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sleep_of_Reason_Produces_Monsters >
- Denver Art Museum, n.d, ‘The vision of Tundale’, viewed 18 October, 2020 < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sleep_of_Reason_Produces_Monsters >
- MoMa Learning, n.d., ‘Two children are threatened by a Nightingale’, viewed 19 October, 2020 < https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sleep_of_Reason_Produces_Monsters >