Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Day 285, on which John goes to sleep [12.10.10]

Dag to hundrede femogfirs. Tuesdays suck from now on. Cause I woke up today all happy and jolly, got out of bed, took the bus to school, said hi to my friends, then at the start of the first lesson I sneezed a giant sneeze and BOOM, a cold began. Started with sniffles, is now at DefCon-4 with a running nose and generally feeling like shit. So yay for me. Not an interesting post today either, sorry.

So, sleep. I've been having lots of photography ideas recently, because it's my latest obsession, and my new idea is about sleep. Sleep is a very complicated concept; it's the one part of our lives that is so private that even we don't see it. It's a large fear to everyone to have someone watching you while you sleep. It's what you'd hate. Someone standing over you and watching everything. Because we all sleep at the same time, sleep has become ingrained in our psyche as a time to relax and not worry about predators (in cavemen time, nowadays more like weirdos).

Plus, you don't know what you're doing when you're asleep. When awake, you watch and control your every move. When asleep, all that control you once had is gone and you're just left with your default functions (breathing etc) and a wandering mind. You can't even control what you think - you're off with the fairies, as it were. So who knows what you look like when you're asleep? You don't. No one does.

That's where my idea for a photography project comes in. Why not take photos - or videos - of yourself when you're asleep? That's a spooky thought. A freaky thought. What if you put up those photos or videos, project 'em big, put them in a gallery? Your deepest privacy is being violated, shown out to all. How will people react? How will you react, seeing people watch you sleep? How will you react when you see the footage of yourself sleeping? Seeing you snore, or talk in your sleep, or shuffle around? This is the stuff even your own body doesn't want you to see!

And that's what the photos/videos/exhibition will be based on. Something like that. Just an idea - something I'd like to at least try out with myself. Set up a camera in my bedroom to take photos every hour throughout the night. Or video it, then record me reacting to the video. Because that's key in the concept; how the person themselves reacts to how they sleep. Whether they feel violated, whether seeing themselves sleep changes their view on sleep and philosophical issues. A before-and-after type of thing.

Maybe I'll try that someday. I hope so; it's thought out enough. Until then, I'm off to sleep. And not be watched.



Karrde said...

shizuka yokomizo might be worth checking out on the subject of privacy invasion photography....

John said...

Ah, that's very interesting stuff! Especially her 'Strangers' set, the concept of telling them to stand outside their window t a designated time and taking a photo when they're unawares is such a clever way of looking into people's private lives. Thanks for the reference.