Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Creative Prompt - Dreaming Online

Dreamlines is a fascinating website. You simply type in a keyword or keywords and it generates dream-like images that change and progress before your eyes. Once you enter the keyword, a sphere swings back and forward along an arc, almost hypnotizing you for what's to come.

Dreamlines is a non-linear, interactive visual experience. The user enters one or more words that define the subject of a dream he would like to dream. The system looks in the Web for images related to those words, and takes them as input to generate an ambiguous painting, in perpetual change, where elements fuse into one another, in a process analogous to memory and free association.

I think this makes a really interesting prompt for creative activity. I tried words that I knew would have physical images like "flowers" and "dodo", but I also tried abstracts like "loneliness". The dream that unfolded for "loneliness" stirred emotions inside me and made me grasp at interpreting the dream. "Bullying" was less successful (I think the source images contained a lot of posters) but generated one image I particularly liked (above).

It's a fun and fascinating place to play, but do bookmark it and use it for yourself and your children for those moments when you want to free-associate before creating something. I plan to use it with my children's writing, to try to get in touch with my characters' feelings, and perhaps to enter a creative state quickly when I've been distracted.

What I did

I decided to take screen grabs of some of the images generated for "flowers", and uploaded them to PhotoPeach. I chose Meditation from Thais for my music as it has always seemed to me to be dreamy and haunting. Despite not being a poet, I challenged myself to create rhyming couplets to accompany my images. This is certainly something you could do with your children/students and I think it makes a very effective presentation.

Flowers Dreaming on PhotoPeach

I think Dreamlines is so pretty. What do you think?

My article today is the sixteenth in a series of prompts that I hope might spark some creative expression in your kids, and maybe you too. I hope you'll join me so we can all challenge ourselves to be more creative. You can catch the rest of the prompts at the first post in the series, by scrolling down to Update.

If you and/or your kids respond to this prompt and you'd like me to showcase it on my blog, I would be thrilled to do that. If you post it on your own blog, please let me know (in comments or email, via the Contact Me tab), and I'll add your link to the relevant post.

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