On the 13th Feb­ru­ary, 2011, I pho­tographed my work­place at night, as part of a project on dreams. Sound artist Will Mont­gomery was with me, record­ing the uni­ver­sity breath­ing. Click on the pre­sen­ta­tion to hear how the boiler room hums and the air­con­di­tion­ing units buzz. A silent, dream­less night is an illusion.

The pho­tographs in the pre­sen­ta­tion are extracts from the two works I made. One, “Every Night The Same” reflected the expe­ri­ence of hav­ing the same dream, night after night, and the expe­ri­ence of see­ing only a part of a place as big as a uni­ver­sity: how­ever long I work there, it’s never gras­pable. I can cap­ture only a glimpse. What I see is repeated, though not repli­cated else­where, in the straight lines of build­ings, and blinds, and crushed card­board. These images were shot on my Canon F1, 50mm lens using Kodak black and white film, 3200iso at ankle height, 13th Feb 2011.

The sec­ond work, “Actual Occa­sions”, used Impos­si­ble Project film for a polaroid cam­era. Polaroid doesn’t make film for its cam­eras any more, and so Impos­si­ble have tried to work out how. They haven’t quite got it right, and so the pho­tos are unsta­ble, full of light leaks and odd shad­ows. That suits this project admirably, as the prop­er­ties of the things that are shot are not sta­ble. “Actual Occa­sions” is taken from Alfred North Whitehead’s phi­los­o­phy, which seems to me to argue that events and objects are not fixed and immutable but cre­ate moments of time and space, which are then expe­ri­enced by other actual occa­sions. These other occa­sions involve a recur­rence of expe­ri­ences, times and spaces. Objects there­fore, have some­thing of a life themselves.

A few other images are present in this slideshow, and they’re inter­spersed with dreams recorded by staff and stu­dents at the uni­ver­sity. Even the most night­mar­ish dream sounds funny writ­ten down, and it’s not sur­pris­ing that many dreams are about work.

Thanks to Michael Hale­wood for the com­mis­sion and the curation.