dreams (reload)

Dreams (Reload) is a 2019 return to the 2011 relational project, The Chronicle of Abandoned Dreams produced during a stay in Bulgaria in 2011. The project involved conversations with diverse people about social and personal dreams that were once dear to them and were later abandoned.

The project was launched at the 2011 Goat Milk Festival in Bela Rechka. It was exhibited as work-in-progress interactive sound sculpture in August 2012 at New Adventures in Sound Art in Toronto. Dreams (Reload) presents some of the interviews and sounds of that year as an online archive.

The conversations explore personal and social narratives of abandoning, renouncing, departing from “dreams,” the ideals once aspired to and held dear. They document how we change our identity, our ways of understanding ourselves and our world, once we have to accept the impossibility of an ideal, or come face to face with it turning into or leading to something other than what we had hoped for.

Bulgarians, have directly experienced this form of abandonment: Social ideals and structures of one era were left behind within a few years; and new ideals, in actuality, have not brought what was desired and promised. Therefore, Bulgarians, like people in other formerly socialist countries, have been pushed to rethink their history and reconstruct their national and personal identities under irreconcilable tensions. Along with the changes and the rethinking, have come the attendant problems of capitalism and the marginalization of many older Bulgarians on the one hand, and the forgetting or dismissing of the past by many in the younger generations.

Everybody has a story to tell about dreams that were deserted, by choice, as part of the growing process, or by force because of external changes. Whether the abandoned dream is individual or social, whether the story is personal or political, the retelling chronicles the passage of time and simultaneously becomes the means to remembering and reclaiming the dream. Dreams, Revisited is, therefore, a gesture toward re-inhabiting the ideals and critically examining their abandonment.