Waking up and how to hypnopomp: the when, the why, the how and more.

#dream #sleep #wakeup #hypnopompic #transition #inbetween


Many contemporary artistic subcultures are inspired by the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep, aka hypnagogia. There's a whole musical microgenre called hypnagogic pop which “refracts pop music through the memory of a memory” (Keenan, The Wire, 2009). Hypnagogic pop paved the way for vaporwave and its branch genres, which influence modern popular music to this day. Even if that doesn’t ring a bell, the term hypnagogia isn't that unusual; it's likely that you've heard it in some context before. Its counterpart, hypnopompia - the state of consciousness leading out of sleep - is much less present in contemporary culture though. And that is perhaps one of the reasons why it's the subject of Tatiana Heuman's ongoing research. 

Hypnopompia and hypnagogia are often conflated, although they are in some ways opposites. During the hypnopompic state, one's dreams return and often mix with one another, whereas things we’re aware of during the hypnagogic state often make their way into our dreams. Hypnopompia is the “moment in which I am not sleeping anymore, but I am also not fully awake.” In her artwork and accompanying writings, Tatiana Heuman explores how and why this state is often overlooked, skipped and rarely experienced by many of us. Her texts and research reach quite far back, to the start of the industrial era, in order to explore why we wake up when we wake up, and continue to explore different elements of “waking up” through a series of musings, open-ended questions, observations and questionnaires. 

Tatiana Heuman questions fundamental assumptions and digs deep to explore what getting up “on time” means. She asserts that waking up at a certain designated time is a feature of industrial society motivated by economic growth and the need for effective labor. As technology developed, we’ve devised more subtle and subversive ways of not only waking up, but also sleeping. Nowadays, sleep trackers provide us with information about the quality and depth of our sleep. Are these advancements here for our wellbeing, or for the efficacy of our work? 

After asking ourselves these - and many other - questions, we are invited to “stay in bed for a couple more minutes and start slow” with the aid of several exercises prepared by Tatiana Heuman. The four videos and three texts are an introductory guide on “How to Hypnopomp,” and a gentler way of transiting through this particular state. We are encouraged to devote some time to exploring our first movements, to reviewing dream extracts, to listen inwardly and outwardly, to develop a habit of starting to perceive slowly, and to document our daily hypnopompic states, experiences, exercises and rituals. Recalling or imagining a dream you dreamt and creating your own soundtrack for it, or reacting to your favorite scent with your whole body; these exercises aren't just here to exercise our mind and analyze our dreams, but also to help us imagine different, slower, more natural modes of operation at a societal level. It's beautiful, and all it takes is two minutes of your time.


Annotation by Adam Badí Donoval


experience > HERE