Nine dreams, four different realitites

The Listening Pillow is an interactive video installation in which the participant is lost in a labyrinth of collective memory and subconscious stream, stored in a pillow, which recorded a “sleeper’s” dreams. By navigating through a spatial framework of sound and video fragments, the viewer recreates the sleeper’s lost identity through a network of stored memories.  In the greater social context of the technological body (“where-body” ), this work seeks to address the issue of identity, memory and dis-embodiment. 

Click here for a Quicktime video demo of the installation.

Technology allows us to live and navigate via a dis-embodied state. A prime example are the gaming environment, where players use avatars to connect with estranged identities on the screen. Communicating behind the technological screen, can the corporeal body (the origin of our identity) be replaced and rendered obsolete? And if the 'real' can easily be 'aliased', then what of the displaced identities we hold?

The Installation version:

In the room there is an empty bed, a pillow and a projection screen overhead, casting a video of a woman sleeping.  Viewers lie upon the bed and navigate through a pressure-sensitive pillow, via head movements, accessing a database storing 36 audio & video compositions (varying dream sequences).  One can affect one's own experience of the dream through nested controls hidden in the body of the pillow, which trigger speed and video track changes.  Thus, no one experience is the same or can be duplicated as the participant's interaction with the dream narratives can have endless/multiple branches and affectations. 


a) simulate the experience of dreaming,
b) invite questions surrounding new identities within the technological body(Other-ness).
c) create an interactive performative experience in which the viewer role is both, passive viewing and yet performer.

A StandAlone DVD version:

The viewer is given several options of interactivity with the dreamer’s dreams . With the StandAlone version, the dreamer sleeps and triggers its own dreams, as the viewer engages in a passive viewing ; however, through the use of hot buttons, multiple audio & video tracks, the viewer is given to option of making a “lucid” decision to change the course of the dreams or connect through them. The third and last option is to engage through the Menu button- which allows one to view the dreams individually. (Instructions, a list of viewing choices & a Documentation video of the original installation piece is accessed through this last option)





Personal Statement

The Dreams of The Listening Pillow:
9 stories; 4 realities >>

Iterations: From Still Photo to Video:

Photo Essay: Journey into Ink, 2000

Video Documentation & demo


Schematics & Main components

Recommended Bibliography


On the New Narrative & Interactive Storytelling

The Interactive Narrative

The Poetics of Space


© christine ka'aloa

































Credits & Thanks to all my friends and family:


Thesis Advisor & Programming Support- Wells Packard
Electronics Advisor- Todd Brous

Performance Talent :

Tia Castro
Bain Coffman
Lauren DeBenedetta
Dennis Miller
Christine Kaaloa
Monika Lilleike
Melanie Yang

* Disclaimer: All audio narrative performance works have been sound-design edited to express the opinion of the artist's works and does not the opinions of the voiceover talent involved.

Text for “Silk” (experimental audio composition) by Anais Nin, House of Incest.
Text for “The Muse ” by Wolfgang Goethe, Faust.
Text for "Touch" were written by Christine Kaaloa, in partial collaboration with Dennis Miller
Text for "Anger/House" written by Christine Kaaloa