Project #2 Conditions
For this project I will be exploring sleep paralysis. Sleep paralysis is a sleep disorder in which
the mind awakes while the body remains asleep. Upon this occurrence, the body is completely paralyzed,
unable move, open eyes, or use voice. I have had this condition since I was three years old, yet I have
never comprehended it. It is terrifying, and I often experience visual and auditory hallucinations of
shadows and dark spirits while in this state. This condition can also serve as a gateway to lucid
dreaming. Through this project, I vow to pay close attention to these times of sleep paralysis, rather than
resisting and avoiding them, in order to gain an understanding of this space and to release my fear. I will
write and sketch immediately after waking from these states, and eventually create an installation using
sound, video projection, and sculptural elements, alluding to this “in between” world that I enter, and the
entities that exist within it.
1 Use different kinds of senses to obtain knowledge
-I will play a different type of music each night to fall asleep to. For the first week of this experiment, I
will play music from my childhood that is strongly nostalgic and comforting. This includes Joni Mitchell,
Jewel, Mariah Carey, Grateful Dead, the soundtracks to Disney movies (Aladin, The Little Mermaid), and
Jimi Hendrix. The Second week I will play music that I do yoga and meditation to, including
emancipator, StS9, Ravi Shankar, Bonobo, Tipper, and Random Rab. The third week I will play music
music that I find beautifully haunting and eerie, such Cocorosie, Angel Olsen, Billy Holiday, Pat
Matheny, and Rio en Medio. I will also the sense of smell and taste, diffusing lavender oil as I sleep
every three nights, and drinking chamomile tea for week two, seeing how this effects the quantity,
intensity of sleep paralysis.
2. Adopt various professional roles.
-I will adopt the role of a psychologist, as I will research and analyze what psychological factors cause
and associate with this disorder. I will adopt the role of a meditation warrior, as I will attempt over and
over again to meditate while in sleep paralysis. I will adopt the role of a medium, as I will confront and
communicate with the spirits and entities that appear in this state.
3. Create “small assignments” for yourself along the way.
-My first assignment is to research multiple psychological perspectives on what causes sleep paralysis. I
will have this research done by the end of week one.
-My second assignment is to research multiple spiritual and energetic views of this condition, along with
its link to lucid dreaming. I will complete this research by the end of week number two
-My third assignment is to research and collect data about others experiences of sleep paralysis along with
how long they have had it for, what entities (if any) they have seen, and what there perspectives are. I
will complete this by the end of number three.
-My fourth assignment will be to make a large board of all of my writings and sketches I have gathered
and recorded after waking up from sleep paralysis. I will then review all of them as a whole to try to
gather links and associations between them.
4. Create severe constraints for yourself.
-I will create very specific sleep schedules. I will go to sleep at the same time every night for week one. I
will sleep for only three hours at a time, taking naps throughout the day for week two. I will deprive
myself of sleep for week three, only sleeping for short amounts of time and only once I have reached the
point of exhaustion. I will sleep completely at random for week four. With this sleep schedule, I can
figure out if and how these conditions relate to the occurrence of the disorder.
5. Create unrealistic ambitions for yourself.
-My unrealistic ambitions for myself are to successfully transition into lucid dreaming from the state of
paralysis, to communicate with the entities that I see, feel, and hear, and to create an installation that
portrays this realm.
6. Photograph, document, collects
-Along this journey I will be continuously writing and sketching my experiences, and gathering research.
I plan to cope with these conditions by giving extra attention to the health of my physical body. I am
aware that having such bizarre, inconsistent, and limited sleep patterns will be hard on my energy levels.
In order to compensate for this, I will put special time and energy into taking care of myself. During this
time of working on this project, I will be eating an organic, well balanced, vegan diet with plenty of
protein and water. I will also make sure to take vitamins and supplements every day to make sure that I
have enough energy and focus to stay awake and alert for my classes and to complete this project. I will
also be sure to do yoga and go to the gym regularly to have extra energy and strength. Writing and
sketching about my experiences will also help me process all of this.