Dream City is a digital platform designed to harness collective creativity by combining visual media, music, and the gamified daydreams of visitors. It was created in collaboration with programmer Hadi Asghari.
In the game, Earth is set up for a cosmic intervention when a mysterious being known only as “The Bus Driver” offers a ride to a city that might exist in humanity’s future. Visitors to the city enter buildings and explore surreal, cavernous rooms as they let their minds drift. Daydreams of other visitors appear on screen as shooting stars to collectively form the mythology of this strange new city. As the dreams build up over time, the city responds by growing new doors, rooms and soundtracks that reflect the emergent narrative. Taken all together, these dreams unveil a metaphorical future of humanity.
In recognition that global issues like climate change, public health, and social justice require diverse, collective thought, Dream City is part of a series of works by Jessica Renfro exploring the concept of collectivity. Through performance-based research, she investigates how digital participatory art can facilitate discussions about cooperation, collaboration, and community.
Dream City is created using Vimeo, Django web framework and Heroku platform. It is accessible to anyone with an internet connection, and is enabled in any language or script for participants. Synergies between daydreams (in future iterations of the work) will be identified using word vector analysis (like those available through Huggingface) in order to inspire the imagery/music of the next room in the building.