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Get ready for L.A.'s 'public dreaming'

April 10, 2010 |  7:00 am

Red The Hammer Museum is providing an opportunity for anyone who wants to test out Carl Gustav Jung’s theories of the collective unconscious in a collective setting by hosting a night of public dreaming in the Hammer’s courtyard on May 1. Hosted by artSpa and Machine Project and a merry band of “artist-psychonauts,” participants will be assisted in recording, understanding and documenting their creative urges and nocturnal visions.

“Liber Novus” is the name Jung gave his autobiographical magnum opus — an illuminated manuscript filled with images of hissing snakes, dazzling mandalas, bloody battles, radiating beings and a German text describing a man’s loss and rediscovery of his soul — before abandoning it midsentence in 1930 on the 189th page. An epilogue handwritten by Jung in 1959, which also leaves off midsentence, describes a 16-year effort that he acknowledges may “to the superficial observer appear like madness,” but which he credits with saving him from “the overpowering force of the original experiences.” 

Now this volume known as the "Red Book" is on display at the museum; to read about other public events around the exhibition and more on the volume, read my piece in the Arts & Books section.

-- Susan Emerling

Photo: an image from the book. Credit: the Hammer.