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Dream Parliament

The Dream Parliament is an ongoing series of experiments in the sharing of dreams. It is a repertoire of exercises and techniques that allow a group of people to take the verbal report of a dream, and create a collective imaginative representation out of it. It began as an attempt to understand, in a contemporary context, something of the significance of dream sharing in human history. Based loosely on traditional dream-sharing practices from cultures ancient and modern, the Dream Parliament seeks to give people the opportunity to explore what it means to work communally with the imagination, and to think about how the creation of imaginative spaces leads to the creation of systems of meaning and value. The Dream Parliament is meant to allow individuals to experiment with shaping and responding to a collective world picture, and is meant to serve as an alternative to the huge mass of images and narratives that are transmitted to individuals without their consent in our society. First performed at the Princeton University IHUM Program, the Dream Parliament has always been a collaborative endeavor. Its first protocols were developed in partnership with the writer David Leo Rice; a larger instantiation was pioneered with the aid of Catherine Powell. It has subsequently been performed in California, New York City, Amherst, MA, and Toronto. A variation based on storytelling traditions in the American Southeast is in development with Margaret Spivey-Faulkner. The Dream Parliament also now forms the centerpiece of New Circadia, a project to build traveling spaces for collective reverie and rest with architects Richard Sommer, Natalie Fizer and Emily Stevenson.

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