Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: dreams

Unanswered Business Emails: Teledreams

Here’s an email I sent, which was never answered. It’s from a business idea that me and Jenny H are running.

Dear Steven,

Greetings from AlterDream. As you can guess from us not having our own domain email yet, we are a small start-up. Unlike most start-ups though, we have a big and nearly untapped market of potential customers just waiting for us, and we would like to work with you on this. As our name implies, we represent an alternative to the current industry, which we feel has grown insular and detached from its customer base, even though no competitor has (yet) risen to challenge their authority. We believe, as you do, the customer has a right to choose who they dream with, just like they have a right to choose their phone operator.

Let me give you the pitch we give our potential customers, almost all of them still subscribed to the network in an agreement they believe is binding. Are you tired of the network? Did you have bad dreams last night, again? But are you somehow still worried about signing up for some garage-run indie lucid that will curse you to low-resolution dreams with even less coherence and structure? Are you worried about their cost-cutting, that they would save money by regurgitating old träuma? We know your pain. We’ve been there. At AlterDream, we seek to provide high-quality dreams to our customers, available at the tips of their ears when they hit the pillow. You can see us as the Neflix of dreams, if you like.

So you might be wondering, what could a brood dreamscultptor want with you? Well, here is our business secret, something our customers do not (yet) know: to save money on production cost, casting, and symbolism, we are letting several people have the same dream simultaneously. We have the tech for most of the senses, but what we don’t have is good solutions for voices in your head. In short, we want you, as the best telephone company in the UK, to run the telecom side of our venture. Imagine offering new customers the dream deal.

There are many details to be smoothed out, of course, and many numbers to be run, but I hope I have enticed you. Do call back soon — the offer is not indefinite.

Best,
Johannes Punkt, head of Recurring Motifs

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OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS in Pictures

A few pictures of OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS in situ:

By Lena Bohman:

YOU WAKE UP WITH THUNDER IN YOUR SKULL. THERE IS A DREAM AT THE EDGE OF YOUR COGNITION. IT FEELS JUST OUT OF REACH, LIKE IF YOU TRY TO REMEMBER MORE IT MIGHT ALL FADE. THERE WAS SOMETHING IMPORTANT IN THE DREAM. HOW DO YOU TRY TO REMEMBER IT? RETELL THE DREAM? LET IT COME BACK ON ITS OWN?

YOU WAKE UP WITH THUNDER IN YOUR SKULL. THERE IS A DREAM AT THE EDGE OF YOUR COGNITION. IT FEELS JUST OUT OF REACH, LIKE IF YOU TRY TO REMEMBER MORE IT MIGHT ALL FADE. THERE WAS SOMETHING IMPORTANT IN THE DREAM. HOW DO YOU TRY TO REMEMBER IT?
RETELL THE DREAM?
LET IT COME BACK ON ITS OWN?

RETELL THE DREAM YOU HOLD THE STRUCTURE OF THE DREAM IN YOUR SKULL, BLUEPRINTS OF A MASSIVE BUILDING. YOU TRY TO REMEMBER IT ALL, BUT THE CHALK MARKS DISSOLVE, YOUR DREAM GIVES WAY TO REAL WALLS, CEILINGS, FLOORS. YOU'RE IN YOUR BED. GO BACK TO SLEEP? OPEN DREAM JOURNAL?

RETELL THE DREAM
YOU HOLD THE STRUCTURE OF THE DREAM IN YOUR SKULL, BLUEPRINTS OF A MASSIVE BUILDING. YOU TRY TO REMEMBER IT ALL, BUT THE CHALK MARKS DISSOLVE, YOUR DREAM GIVES WAY TO REAL WALLS, CEILINGS, FLOORS. YOU’RE IN YOUR BED.
GO BACK TO SLEEP?
OPEN DREAM JOURNAL?

By @jakespecialk:

TAKE A PHOTO BEFORE IT FADES THE FIRST POLAROID COMES OUT WITH ALL THE TEXT ON IT, BUT IT BLEACHES TOO QUICK TO READ. THEY ALL DO THAT. MAYBE YOU PUT THE FILM IN BACKWARDS. BREAK SOMETHING? TRY TO HOLD ON?

TAKE A PHOTO BEFORE IT FADES
THE FIRST POLAROID COMES OUT WITH ALL THE TEXT ON IT, BUT IT BLEACHES TOO QUICK TO READ. THEY ALL DO THAT. MAYBE YOU PUT THE FILM IN BACKWARDS.
BREAK SOMETHING?
TRY TO HOLD ON?

TRY TO HOLD ON WAS IT A DREAM YOU HAD? IT WAS MORE LIKE A LONG MOVIE OF A MEMORY YOU HAD, BUT IT WAS NOT YOUR MEMORY. YOU REMEMBER: THE WORDS YOU COULD USE TO DESCRIBE THE WORDS YOU WOULD USE FOR THE DREAM. WORDS LIKE ELDRITCH, HOLLOW, FLUID. NO, IT WAS A MEMORY THAT HAD YOU.

TRY TO HOLD ON
WAS IT A DREAM YOU HAD?
IT WAS MORE LIKE
A LONG MOVIE OF A MEMORY YOU HAD, BUT IT WAS NOT YOUR MEMORY. YOU REMEMBER: THE WORDS YOU COULD USE TO DESCRIBE THE WORDS YOU WOULD USE FOR THE DREAM. WORDS LIKE ELDRITCH, HOLLOW, FLUID.
NO, IT WAS A MEMORY THAT HAD YOU.

OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS are Manifest

The signs are ripe like fresh fruit. If you’re in St. Louis or somewhere within a four-hour radius of it with time to kill, find Tower Grove Park, the corner of Grand and Arsenal, and begin your journey with OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS.

Pictures to come.

Make Room for OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS

OTHERPLACESINDREAMS

I bet you’re all wondering why I gathered you here. It’s simple: you’re in the St. Louis area and I have something that will interest you. Within the next week or so, a contract of textboxes will appear in the South Grand neighbourhood. Or rather, the artist will make the textboxes appear. They will become appeared.

OTHER PLACES IN DREAMS is a project by Lena Bohman. Text: Johannes Punkt. Artist: Lena Bohman. Technical Assistance: Rachael Telleman.

It is a sort of Choose Your Own Adventure, where the story is something to do with a dream you just had, and you want to remember it. You have to make choices and then read what those choices lead to.

THIS IS THE PLACE IN DREAMS THAT IS INSIDE, DREAMED BY SOMEONE LIKE YOU

I am very excited about this. This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever been involved in.

THIS IS THE PLACE IN DREAMS THAT IS OUTSIDE, WHERE IT DREAMS, LIKE IT MIGHT RAIN OR SNOW OR HAIL

I will make another update when the thing kicks off for real. When I do, you should find yourself in Tower Grove Park, at the corner of Grand and Arsenal, and you shall read

PREHENSILE NONSENSE, BRIGHT BLUE WORDS WRITTEN ON THE SIDEWALK WHICH YOU CANNOT READ OF COURSE

If you go on this adventure, please take pictures and send them to me. Please let me know what consequences your actions have, and what emotions are wrought from this paint.

Good talk, friends.

The Night that Led to Lilac Mist Next Morning

The sun had just set behind a hill but Hafiz knew that if he got on a quick camel, or if he could steal his neighbour’s moped, he could drive out into the desert and watch it set once more. This time of year it would roll gently along the edge of the hill as if it was made for this before plummeting into the depths below and casting the world in darkness. For now, the sky was a watercolour palette in the process of being washed out, blue streaks mixed with pink and red, green over white, everything eddying together. He shook his head and walked toward the sunset. Marya would be home by now, and she had said tonight was the night.

~

(When you sleep, your dreams escape through your mouth. Sometimes they get caught in your throat, trapped between dimensions, and they get into your blood and escape through your eyes instead. If you open the eyes of a dreaming person they cast colourful images on the nearest wall and it’s the most dangerous thing you can do, because raw dreams are not meant to be recycled like that. Somewhere faraway there is a legend of a man who gets a piece of cheese stuck in his throat, which makes his dreams go awry. The faraway people have got it wrong; likely the piece of cheese would pose no harm at all, because you can’t get cheese in your bloodstream. It’s offensively wrong.)

~

When Hafiz reached her hosue, he calmed himself down a little. Climbed the vines up to her balcony on the third floor and watched the colour fade from the windows opposite, and then waited. She would notice him soon enough. He could hear her cat meowing from her bed. And when she did, she would put her hands around his throat. He relaxed his muscles one by one, like they did in certain kinds of yoga. Deliberately falling asleep.

What I Needed

I found what I needed once, in an old dream like a discarded dress in the back of my wardrobe. I picked it up. It was monolithic, covered with five different kinds of black, and it seemed to have its own climate. When I touched it, it was hot to the touch, and my hand felt alright, like it didn’t need to exist anymore, and while it was inside it, it ceased. And when I pulled my nonexistent hand back out of it, a part of me woke up, and that is the part that is talking to you now.

“Bladerunner”

The book industry, starving and destitute, yet unwilling to spend any money on things that were not surefire cash cows, started getting into reboots. It started small: The Count of Monte Cristo escaped from a modern prison. And what if the Arab Meursault kills was a terrorist? But it escalated, because who wants to read lengthy old works? Do androids really dream of electric sheep? Do androids dream? Androids? Dream? Young authors tried to get a shoe in by telling their own stories, baking old words into new genres, but most just succeeded with stuffing zombies into Pride and Prejudice.

Dream Journal Entry #7

I was the ambassador to Portugal, where they speak a language of broken glass and smashed wristwatches. I was shaking as my predecessor looked me in the eyes and said, by way of picking long and see-through shards out from his throat, “you mustn’t die inside a dream. The body treats it all as if it’s really happening.” The last shard gone, and the innards of a mechanic watch on the floor, he walked out into the river. I woke up. There was an earthquake. There are cuts inside my mouth now. Does writing count as speaking? I woke up.

Dream Journal Entry #6

I fall asleep to nature shows, my childhood kryptonite. I would be treated to Attenborough, my parents would go upstairs for alone-time; I can’t believe it took me fifteen years to understand that ritual. I dream of walking in on my parents having sex. My mother twists her neck to look at me. My father is pumping and unbothered. They make small cricket chirps, and I’m seeing this all from the height of a 4-year-old – most of the action is obscured when I’m close enough to the bed, thankfully. Then my mother bites Dad’s head off with her giant mandibles.

Dream Journal Entry #5

The sex dreams, I never have. If a dream stays with you long enough, it transmutes into some weird memory that no-one else remembers. There is biting, thrashing, scratching, growling. I kiss, and you kiss back. You whisper, “You may do whatever you feel like,” and for days that echoes in my skull. Things aren’t real unless they can touch me (and I touch back); so why can’t you touch me? You mustn’t be real. I’ve done this before; I’ve never done this before. You’re not a dream. You must have happened. We had twenty-four hours like an action movie.