Immaterial Biography is a philosophical exercise to understand myself from the dreams I dreamt. This oneiric biography is fugitive, evanescent, and fragmentary. Sometimes its content has proven to be premonitory, sometimes only the envisioning of obsessions and personal chimaeras.


In this work I intertwine the materiality and immateriality of the elements I chose to assemble. Being myself one among these elements, I recount my dreams in a strictly descriptive manner—and in an attempted chronological order—to the rock I took from a public beach in the island of Venice Lido (Lido di Venezia).  In Immaterial Biography, I am the agent affecting  a constant transference between the incorporeal substances of my dreams, the dissolution of writing/language, and the materiality of the rock, the metal quill, and the ink. Untold dreams—and nightmares—are spoken, transformed in sound frequency and emanated to the rock—a matter that pertains to the natural world for far longer than the first dream I remember to have dreamt. The unknown temporality of the rock is made present in its matter. My past is called forth in my dreams narratives. Time is transferable and shared. Memories evoked tears that dried on my face, as the salt of the sea dried on the rock.


My impressions and insights are written with black ink on the water. If an inscription is a way to survive time and memory, this assumption is dissolved in the biography of my dreams. By writing on the water, I am also dissolving language and memory. The transparency of the water becomes darker, full of the insights inspired by what was revealed to—or born from—my imagination in the nights I dreamt. The water and my insights become one and the same substance.


After four hours, I wrapped the rock in black velvet. I carried it with me from Palazzo Mora to my hotel. Placing it on my pillow, I slept and dreamt with my head over the wrapped rock. On the following day, I traveled back to the beach in Lido. I unwrapped the rock and placed it close to the shore, over other rocks, where it will be touched by the sea when the tide is high.



Materials used at Palazzo Mora: a black velvet coat, a white table, a white chair, a room with black walls, a rock, a folded black velvet cloth, a metal quill pen, a black ink bottle, an acrylic plate filled with water, and an empty glass recipient. On the wall, the performance score was written in English (with silver graphite pencil over black paper) and in Italian (with golden graphite pencil over black paper).


Performance by Cristiane Bouger

Translation of the performance score into Italian by Giulia Mattera

Photography by Giorgia de Santi  and Lorenza Cini

Photography in Lido di Venezia by Sabrina Bellenzier


The Immaterial Biography of Dreams was created in Venice, resulting  from the convergence of my explorations of the city, the process developed during the workshop “Considering Time”, under the tuition of Marilyn Arsem, and from my personal interest in the material and immaterial qualities subscribed to this entire experience. The 4-hour durational performance was presented as part of  Venice International Performance Art Week  | Co-Creation Live Factory – Prologue 1.




Co-Creation Live Factory – Prologue 1

Palazzo Mora, Venice/December 16th, 2017


This performance was made possible through the funds of UMWELT Studio.