How very lovely to get a year's artist-in-residency for your dream diary blog, as artist Robin Whitmore just has. Throughout 2007, his daily Dream Diary, an ongoing project in Blogger, will be showing as a new installation at the Dock, an art gallery in Carrick on Shannon, Ireland. The images will be projected one after the other on the staircase wall, accompanied by the descriptions narrated through audio speakers set into a specially constructed settee. The Dream Diary is set to run for the whole year, showing his illustrated dreams from 1st January to 31st December.
It will be interesting to see how the potentially interactive nature of the Blog format will work, alongside other related workshops and projects being planned, both in the gallery and online. It is easy enough for an artist to post his/her work online in a blog, but even if the work attracts comments, the viewers are not actually participating in the process of creating the ongoing work, or contributing to its final outcome.
A lot of Robin's work is very interactive, frequently taking place in settings where people contribute directly face-to-face, for example, providing anecdotes which are then translated into images, or offering their assorted body parts to be moulded in coloured cellophane, to create a complete life-size 'statue'.
A Dream Diary is different, as dreams are intensely personal to each individual, but at the same time, everyone has them. I think it is the fact that even though Robin's drawings are really interesting and often quite funny, because I know they are someone else's dream, it's more difficult to comment on them in a public blog. You don't know what real-life events might have informed the drawings and don't want to ask too personal questions or say the wrong thing... though I did have to point out a scary resemblance to Charlton Heston up a mountain in The Ten Commandments once, as it was too disturbing to go unsaid... (compare his entry for December 17th 2006 'The Mountain Top' with the blue Mr Heston above, if you don't believe me...)
I won't quite be waiting with bated breath, as that sounds a bit painful over the course of a year (might suffocate, don't want that!) but I will be really interested to see how the interactive aspect works out in this project. I think there must be a lot more potential for artists to use this element of blogging as part of the actual process of creating art, rather than using it as a static online gallery.
Dream on! (oh no, wasn't that an Aerosmith song, big hair and spandex...)