Thursday, August 26, 2010


I was on a quiz show with an American youngster wearing hip-hop style clothes. He got a map of Iceland and looked at it. The island was almost completely covered by glaciers on the map. The game show-host asked the young man what he knew about Iceland. He answered arrogantly: "Iceland? It´s like the icepole of the world." With that answer he won a trip to Reykjavik. I was also going to Reykjavik to take part in an exhibition outside the town hall.

Onboard the plane I read about Icelandic architecture and common Icelandic phrases. I noticed that there were a lot of starving children on the plane, on field-trip or maybe on their way to the exhibition. The children were being entertained by some people skydiving with polar-bears. Town hall in Reykjavik looked a lot like the opera house of Sydney, fronting a large futuristic piazza.

The night before the exhibition I was walking through town. I discovered that a lot of the small wooden houses where public baths, maybe the city had been built by perverted Romans? The streets were full of dirty water and I had to watch my step. Back at the hotel I studied a map of the city and saw it was divided into two districts. The old part of town had the structure of a wagon-wheel. A large church represented the hub of the wheel. The new part of town was called Bergen, had a grid plan structure and was about five or six times as big. A wide river separated the two areas and I came to the conclusion I was looking at a map of San Francisco.

How do we shape our inner cities in our dreams? Picture postcards, memories, atmosphere etc.

/C D

1 comment:

MF said...

Thanks for sharing this really exciting dream. I envy you the activity of map-looking in the dream, I would expect a lot can be learnt from that.

A vivid memory, but from being awake: Just two months ago I was looking at a map in a hotel lobby, getting lost in thoughts about the shape of a divide, which was the austrian-hungarian border.

I am struck by how much you are parallelling the one night in my life that I was walking around Reykjavik, many years ago (awake that time), seeing strange neighborhoods, strange churches, strange town-halls, etc. (and strange hot-dog stands, strange beaches, and strange bird lakes where I was attacked by terns). I sketched my erratic wandering on the map of Reykjavik and asked my friends to interpret the resulting doodle. I got some interesting results back, though none of them explicitly suggested San Francisco.

I have no problems acknowledging San Francisco and Bergen in the surrounding web of associations, even though those might be restricted to personal relevance for the time being.