Installed at Materials & Applications, Los Angeles
May 13 - Sept 24, 2023 

Day/Dream is a collaborative spatial project by artist Sara Suárez and architect Regina Teng, first installed at Materials & Applications, on Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. Based in concepts of perception and fluidity, dreams, and collectivity, Day/Dream complemented M&A's Heat Aid initiative addressing water and shade inequity during hot months.

Day/Dream collapses layers of optical design with immaterial and ephemeral phenomena: while Suárez orchestrates a composition of dream narratives and ocean imagery that flows throughout the space, Teng uses lenses modulate light’s thermal effects. In a moment when our needs for liveable environments and new relationalities are increasingly urgent, this convergence of practices explores the radical, material potentials of seemingly ephemeral phenomena.

As sunlight passes through lenses, bright flares and iridescence appear on nearby surfaces. These light patterns are caustics, formed as light is bent by the curved surface of a reflective or refractive material. In architecture, the study of caustics has been limited primarily to visual effects, yet the term’s etymology derives from causticus, “to burn,” suggesting their thermal potential. Within the project space, an array of suspended Fresnel lenses works to passively cool or heat the space by mediating and redirecting sunlight, while offering inverted and magnified views of the worlds within and outside the space. This full-scale architectural model tests the thermal effects of various lens arrangements, manipulating optical logics to redefine transparency and its aesthetics within an ecologically conscious system.

At night, the space suggests an interior dreamscape made through the refraction and bending of nighttime dreams. Over a series of public dream-sharing gatherings hosted by Suárez, participants co-created a “reservoir” of remembered dreams: a shared archive of images, sensations, symbols, and stories collected from the surreal terrains of sleep. This dream reservoir, reexpressed through video projection, soundscapes, and voice recordings, shifts rhythmically throughout the space, mediated by the lenses to cast refracted images and waterlike patterns of light. The composition centers and thinks with water: scarce, essential, and threatened in waking life, and a deeply resonant symbol that speaks to the fluidity of dreams and potentials of sharing resources.

Dream Contributors: Martín Veléz, Alex the Brown, Anya Ventura, Azadeh Ahmadi, Benny Reiss, Carole Suarez, Carter Stoddard, Céline Brunko, Def Sound, Elenie Chung, Emma Stefansky, Greg Ayapantecatl, Ikechukwu Sharpe, Irene Gil-Ramon, Ivan Eduardo Rivera, Jake Jackson, Jason Livingston, Kate Yeh Chiu, laura nelson, M Woods, Mal Young, Maya Nutria, Michael Lee, Sandra Olkowski, Sean Huntley, Simona Ferrari, Simone Johnson, Trevor Byrne, Water School, Zelikha Zohra Shoja.