This idea originated from a dream I had. I was flying above a vast, dark sea at night; witnessing from a birds eye view. I had a sudden realisation of how sinister my surroundings were, so I ‘stopped’ flying above it – however, ironically, I became submerged in it. In that moment I was swimming in that dark sea, with no land in sight and I was frightened.
Through some revelation I found land, but only the smallest slither that clung onto a large white house with three windows. Assuring myself I was alive, I began to knock on all the windows repeatedly, whilst gripping to the outer walls of the house to escape any more submersion under the water. Eventually someone answered. She was a frail, thin, blonde woman who spoke very faintly, I presumed she was in her late 50’s. She brought me in, then led me to this fenced area, where a little girl was. Whilst we began to make our way inside the house, I asked why she hadn’t moved, considering she’s completely isolated and in imminent danger here. The response I was met with was unperturbed, ‘I really should move’. She explained that it was the new construction on the house which was at fault; thereupon, the sea had encompassed all land surrounding the house.
These two men had let themselves in and asked if they could stay. The woman said to me that I should relay to them that they cannot stay in the house but can in the fenced shed area if they wish. A benign detail I reminisce during that part was her coddling the young child that had already been there, like it was her own.
Although paradoxical, I met that woman and experienced writhing in that sea - or at least my brain has.
Dreams exist for our survival. They are there to help us process how we should act in certain circumstances, how to protect ourselves and to encourage the tangibility of the emotions and feelings that may arise when in these situations for real. All of this to, again, help us survive.
If you have a dream about somebody in your class or workplace, and in the dream, they kill your entire family, it’s not uncommon to wake up feeling differently about them in reality. To your brain, this experience did happen. You were within this scenario, but your body simply wasn’t. That’s not to say that this scenario happened in reality – of course we dream things that are ridiculously impossible at times – but how it appears to our brain is the realest version of an experience or ‘reality’ that is possible within the realms of scientific psychology. For more information and more psychology, please read into dreams from reliable sources.
When beginning this project, I had the immediate knowledge I would be using the internet and began to focus on the idea that we can manifest scenarios, identities and allow the public to interact with them online, when they don’t even exist in reality. Similar to how we react to scenarios in dreams, when they are not even real, but can affect us so deeply in reality.
To others on the internet this scenario is somewhat ‘real’ on screen. A tumblr is created, messaging and actively reaching out and communicating with other bloggers, which leads them to links, then to a website, etc, etc. Consequentially, it’s discovered that the perhaps creepy and intriguing fabrication actually all leads back to a real island that existed; Holland Island.
Funnily enough, I had no knowledge of this island before I had this dream – but when beginning this project, I began researching into islands like this, with little to no inhabitants. When I discovered Holland Island, the last standing house harkened so close to the one in my dream that I felt unnerved by what I saw – like I’d been there before.
With the internet involved to represent and play out this project, there is a huge irony about how ‘connected’ we can be through the internet, although physically we can be miles away. In modern debate, there are many binary oppositions on whether the internet does really connect us more with others or perpetuates the separations of humans. Again, homing back in on this island. It’s so far, it existed in the past, yet is now fully sunk under water. In my dream, the island existed with an inhabitant, so my interaction was so personal and close – and all the feeling I felt during it was so real to my brain – yet when I woke up I knew none of it had happened in reality.
The ‘construction’ that needed to be done in my dream was eerily reminiscent of Stephen White who grew up on the island, estimated to have spent around $150,000 trying desperately trying to save it whilst is was inevitably eroding and sinking.
Reaching the end, a lot of the easter eggs throughout this should be self-explanatory now, and I don’t want to over explain them to avoid any spoiling of the ‘game’ aspect of this ARG. But if you are interested don’t be afraid to drop me a message. Also, sexygirlmax2019 was a really valuable inspiration, I feel as though this can't be ended without some credit to the creators of that particular ARG.
There’s something to be found, which just may be the past of the island – the woman in my dream. But it’s just not real – it can only be ‘reached’ through this false manifestation of this inhabitant on the island through all the coding and links through the website. The reasoning behind this project was simply exploring this strange separation between reality, and the experiences we have during dreams explored through other’s interaction with the internet.
If you’re interested at all, more of my art is on my Instagram, @tuffgnarlart , linked within it (haha) is my personal one.
If you made it this far, thankyou very much for playing.