Perfect Sleep investigates sleep and dreaming as a potential climate engineering technology. By inviting participants to experiment with their own sleep cycles, the work explores how lack of sleep and climate change are both products of the same extractivist capitalist system where regeneration, rest and natural limits go unvalued. The work of American artists Tega Brain and Sam Lavigne is realized in two parts: as a smart phone app and an installation.
The app, titled The Perfect Sleep App (free downloadable from Apple and Android appstores), allows users to adjust their sleep schedule, slowly increasing their sleep time over the course of three years until they achieve a state of ‘total sleep’. To assist users in falling asleep, the artists have commissioned four writers and activists to write special dream incubation texts. Simone Browne, Johanna Hedva, Holly Jean Buck and Sophie Lewis invite sleepers to dedicate their dreamspace to envisaging a world beyond our own. Their texts have been transformed into dreamscapes by composer Luisa Pereira.
In the installation, titled Sleep Study, the dreamscapes can be experienced from custom daybeds. The design of this reclining furniture takes inspiration from the deck chairs of Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain, where tubercular patients doze awaiting a cure, as well as from the sleeping pods of Silicon Valley, where sleep is seen as parameter to be optimized in the never-ending pursuit of excessive wealth and power.
Dreamscape narration: Mukundwa Katuliiba
Furniture design: Jordana Maisie Design Studio
Commissioned by Museum Sinclair-Haus, Stiftung Kunst und Natur, Bad Homburg.