A site-responsive spatial project by Sara Suárez and Regina Teng, at Materials & Applications 
May 13 - Sept 24, 2023 

Opening: May 13, 2023 6-9 PM – 1313 Sunset Blvd. 

Contribute dreams here!

Day/Dream is a collaborative spatial project on Sunset Boulevard by artist Sara Suárez and architect Regina Teng, presented by Materials & Applications. The project originates from concepts of perception and fluidity, dreams and collectivity, and complements M&A's Heat Aid initiative that addresses water and shade inequity through gathering and redistributing crucial resources 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 imagery across the space, Teng uses lenses to cast watery refractions and 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, a range of Fresnel lenses are arrayed across a series of cables, held in balance by counterweights. During the day, they work 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. This night-time environment draws upon an archive of dreams collected during Gathering Tides, a series of public convenings led by Suárez in which 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 by Suárez through moving images, soundscapes, and voice recordings, shifts and echoes throughout the space, mediated by Teng’s 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.

Day/Dream is on view May 13. We encourage and will happily receive donations of water and other items to Heat Aid during in-person programs. The project space may be opened for viewing and material drop-offs by appointment.

Spanning moving images, spatial design, and optical research, Day/Dream is the culmination of the first M&A Storefront co-residency, a series of spatialized, transdisciplinary collaborations that aim to reject and confound the divisive effects of disciplinarity.