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

Day/Dream is a collaborative spatial project on Sunset Boulevard by artist Sara Suárez and architect Regina Teng, first installed at Materials & Applications, on Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles. The project originates from concepts of perception and fluidity, dreams, and collectivity, and 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 community-sourced dream narratives and ocean imagery across the space, Teng uses lenses to 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.

The project transforms from day to night:

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 M&A Storefront 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.

As night falls, the space reorients around an interior dreamscape, produced through the refraction, bending, and moderation of collective dream content. In a series of public dream-sharing gatherings, 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 moving images, soundscapes, and voice recordings, shifts and echoes throughout the space, mediated by the lenses. The composition centers and thinks with water: scarce, essential, and threatened in waking life, yet 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.