Escitalopram Dream Radio
radio podcast, series of performances, 2018
[master siploma, Stettin’s Academy of Art, Department of Painting and New Media; thesis advisor: prof. Agata Zbylut]
Dreams have always been the object of fascination with both artists and scientists. Even though for many, they contain a very romantic aspect, one cannot forget about their biological compound.
There are many hypotheses about how dreams are made to be.
The most popular by far is Hobson's and McCarley's theory - Activation Synthesis Hypothesis, according to which dreams are
a result of physiological reactions in a brain. It has been established, that the human brain is active even during sleep.
Accepting the biological aspect of dreams, we may ask ourselves if it is possible to modify and/or manipulate the impulses that lay at their source. It seems that vivid dreams can be a side effect of different medications.
Escitalopram is an organic compound and, at least for now, one of the most selective serotonin inhibitors. It is a component of many antidepressants used in treating mood disorders. I myself was fairly happy with its results. Vivid dreams were the only side effect
I encountered. They were exhausting and unsettling, but still a small price to pay for being able to function in everyday life. There was however a matter of control. However I would like to, dreams are something I cannot control and this pushed me to focus on this subject in my thesis.
I created a series of podcasts - each postact is a dream. I recorded each dream as though I was telling listeners what they are doing at the very moment. This change in narration allowed me to distance myself to the story and, at the same time, gave me back control.
The music used in the podcasts was created especially for this project by Mikołaj Tkacz.
In addition to the podcast, the series of special performative episodes was created. I have told my dreams to different people in different settings, for example on the beach or in the car.