Lloyd Dunn: Hypnagogic cycles / exhibition

Wednesday, 19 April, 2023
to Friday, 11 August, 2023

The series of audiovisual installations Hypnagogic Cycles is inspired by the psychological phenomenon of the so-called hypnagogic state of consciousness. We experience it in the moments between wakefulness and sleep, during the course of falling asleep when various fluid images flow under our closed eyelids accompanied by fragments of speech and apparently ambient sounds. This state is triggered by the brain's trying to ‘understand’ ostensibly random neurological discharges that accompany the transition to sleep. If, in the course of falling asleep, an interruption occurs for some reason, the person may remember these phantom images and sounds and reflect upon them. They somehow resemble memories, even if not directly related to a specific event that was actually experienced. Rather, they are a kind of ‘montage situations,’ the brain’s attempt to ‘make sense of’ a jumble of randomly emerging fragments of memories, experiences and perceptions.

It is no coincidence that the twentieth century has sometimes been called the century of film, and the cinematic medium a factory for producing dreams. In a sense, an instance of Hypnagogic Cycles is also a for the author to look back at the past century of the vanishing art of cinema.

The installation consists of a video projection and four separate channels of sound. The video and each soundtrack are of different duration, so that the connections between the sound environment and the moving images on the screen are shift with each iteration, creating new metaphorical combinations of image and sound. The projection itself is composed of an arrangement of smaller images in combination — often two, three or more images side by side, or in superimposition. The overall composition serves to induce a sense of uncertainty and inhibit the viewer’s automatic tendency to constantly interpret, complete perceptions and compose them into a rational formula and narrative. The first version of the installation was created for the Igloo sound gallery program in Jihlava, where, curated by Miloš Vojtěchovský, it premiered in 2022.

Curated by Miloš Vojtěchovský

Multimedia artist Lloyd Dunn (born 1957) engages in dialogue with devices. He studied multimedia with Mel Andringa and Hans Breder and electronic music with Kenneth Gaburo at the University of Iowa, USA. In the 1990s, he was the editor-in-chief and publisher of the globally distributed art magazines Photostatic and Retrofuturism, which are in the collections of many important collections and archives, such as the library of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1987, together with his colleagues, he founded the Tape-beatles art collective, which is considered one of the first experimental groups focused on intellectual property and copyright issues. The Tape-beatles created live audiovisual performances with tape recorders and multiple projections of 16mm film loops. The Staalplaat label in Amsterdam and Berlin and other music publishers have released their CDs. Since 2009, Dunn has been working on his current project — a series of online filecasts under the name He continues to explore art forms using technology, appropriation, collage, time-based media and design, and asks what it means to be a perceiving, sentient being. Dunn recently completed the 22-hour sound composition Beyond sublargo for the Radio Art Zone project in the summer of 2022. Dunn lives and works in Prague.