What I am Reading Now…
Sin Wai Kin (fka Victoria Sin)
This selection of readings are texts that have helped me frame ideas around dreaming and waking over the past year or so.
Over the first London lockdown, while my waking life came to a standstill, I was able to recall my dreams more vividly and I saw patterns and themes emerge. They often took place in the same handful of places, I would encounter the same animals, family members, and often found myself in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. They showed me what was consciously and unconsciously preoccupying my mind, and my waking and dreaming life began to have a dialogue.
In Chuang Tzu’s Inner Chapters, the philosopher Chuang Tzu has a dream that he is a butterfly that is so vivid, he wakes up unsure if he has woken up from a dream of being a butterfly or if he is now a butterfly dreaming he is a man. In The Word for World is Forest, Athsheans value their dreams as much as the waking world, and cultivate their dreams in order to inform their way of life. In The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley takes mescaline and conceives of reality as the experience of the senses of an individual body whose limits can be altered using psychedelics. In the 2010 essay Affective Cyborgs, Barbara Fornssler discusses the phallocentric matrix we exist within and how the position of the switch within BDSM and queer culture can point towards ways to wake from it. Listening in Dreams offers meditations and rituals to deepen the experience of your senses in your dreams.
Sin Wai Kin (fka Victoria Sin) is an artist using speculative fiction within performance, moving image, writing and print to interrupt normative processes of desire, identification, and objectification. Drawing from close personal encounters of looking and wanting, their work presents heavily constructed fantasy narratives on the often-unsettling experience of the physical within the social body.
Listening in Dreams: A Compendium of Sound Dreams, Meditations And Rituals for Deep Dreamers, ione (iUniverse, 2005)
The Word for World is Forest, Ursula le Guin (1972, reprint: Orion Publishing Co, 2015)
The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley (London: Chatto & Windus, 1954)
The Inner Chapters, Chuang Tzu, translated by A.C. Graham (Hackett Publishing Company, 2001)
Trans Desires/Affective Cyborgs, Micha Cardenas and Barbara Fornssler (Atropos Press, 2010)