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ED's WHYBARK DREAM (Jan. 25, 2009)

Starring: Mike Whybark, Cyndi E., Steve Millen-Romilar, and MFT.

(I almost never dream about people I know. So when I do, it always makes an impression. I've been having unusually vivid dreams lately, and the dream I had this morning was definitely MFT-related!)

It was a cool fall day. I was standing outside in the street (in what city? NYC? Brooklyn? lots of colorful shop exteriors and low buildings) telling a student of mine who was about to visit Indianapolis—and who asked what he could do while he was there—that he could find out about what bands were active there by visiting (I even watched him write it down on a scrap of paper in pale green ink, and corrected his ".com" to ".net"). Then I can't remember the segue but then I was nearby, standing outside in the street in the same city, watching a video of a noisy, new-wave-looking band from Bloomington in the 1980s on some website (MFT?) on someone's laptop while simultaneously speaking on the phone to the woman who had posted the video and who was in the video. I told her, "Hey, I know where this is from--this is Bloomington!" (I was proud that the people standing around me in on the sidewalk would see that I knew something about this.) But it was a band I hadn't known at the time, so it was almost all new to me. She and the other main person in the video were wearing clothes that had a pattern of black and red stripes all over, going in different directions depending on the layer. I thought I saw Cyndi E. up on stage with them, and asked the woman on the phone if that was Cyndi, but the woman didn't answer—I assumed the signal had gone dead or she was away from the phone.

Then the scene changed, and I was in a different city—at first I thought it was in Germany. It was still a cool fall day. I was simultaneously watching a movie and on the 'set' while it was being filmed. The scene involved someone who walks up to the door of a church, and talking to the parishioners. They are saying something with a lot of energy and gesticulating while all standing crowded in the doorway of the church. I knew it was a movie because the books being used by the actors for their hymnals weren't hymnals but green Meiner Verlag (a German press) classics of philosophy, two of which I could see clearly--one person was holding an Aristotle volume, and another was holding... (damn, I could read it in the dream but it's fading now that I'm writing it down--was it Hegel?) At any rate, I somehow knew that that Mike Whybark had made this movie. (Was he the one talking to the churchgoers, or was he filming the scene, or did it just "feel" like a Whybark movie?)

I walked away from the movie (and simultaneously stopped "watching" it and became fully located in the city) and started to ask myself, what is this city, and how did I get here from that other city? "Logically" I concluded that, given that the first city was not where I live, and that this city wasn't either, that I had decided to drive back home but had stopped at this city and somehow repressed the memory of the drive—or that I had driven while in a trance state. I also have a strong feeling that, if I asked someone what city this is, they would say it was New Orleans. But I didn't ask anyone. I wanted to wait and savor not knowing for sure, and see if I came across anyone I knew.

Scene change and now I'm up on the second (top) floor of one of the buildings on the street I was exploring, and I'm in an art exhibit—an installation. Daylight is still coming in the windows. I'm looking at a wall/partition right in front of me which sports a deep shelf, in which are many architectural models made of cardboard. The particular section I am inspecting is made of blue cardboard, and is a series of low honeycomb cubicles, about an inch tall. On the wall under the lip of the shelf have been placed commentary, presumably from a blog. Cyndi's comment, which has been reproduced and placed on the wall: "This piece always makes me feel as if I'm looking down on a city." I step back and look around a bit and see a really cool part of the exhibit: winding its way around some of the partitions in the room are large-scale color photographs, photographs of architectural models—miniatures—which also wound around similar corners in the original model, but have now been blown up and attached to the floor and the bottom two or three feet of the partitions. In the photographed model, they were shaped and colored to look like brick and other materials for houses and buildings where the buildings meet the ground, but now they had been blown up to something like their "actual" scale. Though they aren't always blown up to the same degree, getting larger on the outside corners, and smaller on the inside corners. I liked it. (But that's the weird thing—as David Lynch once remarked in an interview in Rolling Stone back in the eighties—if you dream about art you haven't seen before, it's actually your art!)

Now people are showing up in what had been an empty exhibition room. I walk over to a long couch against the wall and see four people sitting in it. Cyndi, sitting at the far left end, says hello. I shake hands with most of the people on the couch, not sure I recognize them, though they seem to recognize me (we're all our present ages). Last on the couch is Steve Millen-Romilar. He tells me I'm lucky to have gotten here today, because it's the last day of Whybark's show. I tell him I'm glad to have made it, too!

Now I'm waiting for Whybark to show up because I'm having a hard time keeping quiet about the fact that I somehow drove all the way to New Orleans and came to the exhibit without even knowing that he had a show! What insane luck! Not to mention that I somehow drove all the way there while blacked out, or having forgotten the whole drive. I had quite a story to tell.

Then I woke up.

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Comment by mike whybark on January 27, 2009 at 2:55pm
oh dear god I hope not
Comment by AnneZ on January 27, 2009 at 12:49pm
Dreams of Mike Whybark (to nick a title from Obama)--when MFT writes its memoirs, will this be the title?
Comment by Ed on January 25, 2009 at 7:11pm
CYNDI: Yes! That Exquisite City show looks like it must have been wild.
EDITOR B: Well, as for my projects, they're both connected to getting academic writing done. The first one is the afterword to an anthology about kitsch and art history which I've owed for a while, and need to get done soon. I've got a nice 'core' of notes which is currently growing and will transform (entpuppen!) into an afterword soon. The other is an article I'm re-working on Immanuel Kant's theory of beauty. Those are the two main things I need to get done this semester. (Outside of my academic life, there's also that 'new wave' mini-comik anthology—I did send scans of some of my work from the eighties a few days ago, but I may have taken too long; we'll see. In fact, I should write to that editor and see if I missed the cutoff point or not...!)
Comment by Cyndi E (sindie e) on January 25, 2009 at 6:44pm
I just loved that Exquisite City show. Your friend's stuff too, Ed.
Comment by Editor B on January 25, 2009 at 6:30pm
Ooh. Projects coming to fruition. Energy leaking. Juicy, juicy stuff. Consider me titillated.
Comment by Ed on January 25, 2009 at 5:28pm
CYNDI—I definitely think this work (The Exquisite City and Exquisite Windows) would have fit in that show, or vice versa!

In retrospect the art in the dream also made me think of the work of a friend of mine, Susa Templin:

: Well, Mike may have explained that one already. But who knows? Maybe you were just about to tap me on the shoulder but I woke up before you could?
WHYBARK/CYNDI: Wow--a lot of activity on the subconscious Bton frequency...!
LORALIE: It may be that my sleep habits have changed this semester—but also I have a number of projects that are supposed to come to fruition this semester and so maybe my mind is leaking energy over that...?
Comment by Cyndi E (sindie e) on January 25, 2009 at 4:52pm
OK, cool dream. Your description of the art show sort of reminded me of a recent exhibit here in Chi but I could be over-reaching!
Comment by mike whybark on January 25, 2009 at 4:51pm
They didn't want to mention it, Ed, but you were reallllly drunk, and everyone was shocked -SHOCKED- that you had been able to drive all the way from Williamsburg in the state you were in. Do you remember falling into the art? HILARIOUS!

Bart, man, I'm sorry I didn't call. The etherphone was on the fritz again.

Strangely in my dream last night I told someone that Cyndi was a terrific singer.
Comment by Cyndi E (sindie e) on January 25, 2009 at 4:31pm
I just wanna say -- I haven't even read this yet but MW showed up in a dream last night. I will read now.
Comment by Loralie on January 25, 2009 at 4:07pm
The exhibit with the large scale color photographs sounds cool. Maybe you could recreate it! Something in your life is about to change if you are having vivid dreams (if you've not had them before.) Cool dream.

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