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2020 Dreams

Toward a New Understanding of the Dreaming-Waking Continuum

The year 2020 emerged as a pivotal moment in modern history, in many overlapping and mutually reinforced ways. 2020 Dreams: Toward a New Understanding of the Dreaming-Waking Continuum is an interactive digital project that illuminates the dramatic and epochal events of that year as witnessed from the vantage of collective dreaming.

Using innovative tools of digital analysis, 2020 Dreams follows the 2000+ dreams of ten avid dreamers and interweaves the data presented in their journals with thousands of survey responses gathered over the course of the year. The dreams—about environmental problems, the COVID-19 outbreak, racial justice protests, the immigration crisis, economic upheaval, social media anxieties, US electoral politics, and more—reflect people’s shared emotional experiences during a year of immense social turmoil. Many of the dreams are nightmares, some are strangely amusing, and others offer creative visions of hope for a future beyond the dire challenges of the present.

The project invites readers into an analytic dreamscape, reflecting the multiple dimensions of dream meaning through multilinear navigational paths and interactive data visualizations. Integrating digital methodologies with digital presentation, 2020 Dreams advances a new era of improved dream research methodology, and invites a wider range of people to participate in the field of dream analysis.

Maja Gutman Mušič is a researcher at the Institute of Philosophical and Religious Studies and a lecturer at Alma Mater Europaea, Slovenia. In 2021, she was a Fulbright Visiting Scientist at UCLA.

Kelly Bulkeley is Director of The Sleep and Dream Database and Senior Editor of Dreaming: The Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams.

Sheldon Juncker is a dream researcher and software engineer focusing on creating open, analytical tools for the study of dream data; co-founder of Elsewhere dream journal.

Dan Kennedy is a co-founder of the Elsewhere dream journal, freelance programmer and linguist working with Australian Aboriginal languages.

Gez Quinn is a software developer committed to advancing the understanding dreams through the use of technology; co-founder of Elsewhere dream journal.

Jennifer Marie Lane is a dream research assistant, healing arts practitioner, and alumni of Stanford University with a degree in Medical Anthropology and Anthropological Genetics.