The Photography Industry -or- Nasa's Kodak Moment

George, 36

I dreamed that I was sitting on top of the roof of my garage, it was late at night. I look up and see all of the stars and galaxies and the Milky Way in extreme detail, just like in the NASA photos.

I see the moon in the very center of the sky, but it is coming at the earth. I see it getting closer and closer and I stand up, realizing what is about to happen. While the moon is coming closer, I see the little details on the moon (such as craters) getting bigger and bigger as the moon begins to fill the sky. I can feel my heartbeat speed up. It finally hits the earth. I wake up.

Mr Hagen's Reply: Photographs and Memories 

A warm tide of memory came flowing over him, flooding into him bringing hundreds of pictures, details fill his mind.  Eleanor Farnes The Wings of Memory

When trying to understand memory, "The idea of an immense photographic archive was at first rejected because it posed such huge difficulties of classification: how could discrete elements be isolated in the continuum of images...?"  Carlo Ginzburg, Clues: Morelli, Freud, Sherlock Holmes 

When primitive humans looked up at the sky, their imagination took flight. Astronomical observations were made by most early civilizations on our planet. With the invention of photography a radical change took place in the way we look at the earth and ourselves, in this context it visually reconfigured our sense of place in the universe. Photography allows us to explore the cosmos, the Hubble telescope has provided remarkable astronomical images, planets have been discovered orbiting distant stars. Google Earth was created after satellite images were declassified, Google Sky allows us to view and imagine the cosmos through the lens of Hubble.

For Marshall McLuhan, photography is a medium which shapes the message. McLuhan Understanding Media tells us that; "Freud and Jung built their observations on the interpretation of the languages of both individual and collective postures and gestures with respect to dreams and to the ordinary acts of everyday life. The physical and psychic gestalts, or "still" shots, with which they worked were much owing to the posture world revealed by the photograph."..."This new dimension (the inner world) opened for human inspection by poets like Baudelaiure and Rimbard le paysage interieur, or the countries of the mind. Poets and painters invaded this inner landscape world long before Freud and Jung brought their cameras and notebooks to capture states of mind." All media not only photography have a powerful influence on dreams and dreaming.

From a similar perspective, Linda Haverty Rugg Picturing Ourselves: Photography and Autobiography shows, that we can point the camera at ourselves for the purpose of recording a life story. In this sense, the photography industry, cleverly advertises their products by telling us "to capture the moment". The camera allows us via visual metaphors to shape this show and tell process of memory. Our self-perception becomes anchored and constructed by what Cooley called the "looking glass self". The camera and the photographer are a metaphor for the eye, looking at oneself, and the photograph becomes the metaphor for memory. From a popular culture perspective Jim Croce's Photographs and Memories conveys the sentiment.

Erving Goffman The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life provides insight into how this dramaturgical (photographic) show and tell process operates. Applying this perspective to the night, our dreams, like dark rooms are poetically working and re-working how we picture ourselves, creating and re-creating our self-image and self-esteem. People, who have difficulties in maintaining a stable self-image, because of unbearable memories (such as victims of crime) often poetically experience an alienated mind's "I-eye". Their visual imagination often takes on a gothic turn, showing us, and telling us about the agonies (like lost love) and horrors of life. Many dreams received at the International Institute for Dream Research speak of those melodramatic horrors. Your dream however, reads more like a "disaster film". According to the Mayan astronomical calender some sort of disaster will occur in 2012. Much as in your dream, the recent film 2012 (see video trailer) provided audiences with a story of how such an apocalyptic disaster could take place.

The photos/pictures that are posted with each interpretation at this web-site are intended to act as a visual metaphor of the dream being discussed. The cultural idiom "a picture is worth a thousand words", applies.


All material Copyright 2006 International Institute for Dream Research. All rights reserved.