The freedom to sleep

It took a week of false starts, insomniac nights and madly early mornings, but I have finally caught up on my sleep and normalised my caffeine intake. Flying to two funerals and three states probably slowed the recovery down a bit. It was a shitty way to land but it certainly cemented any thoughts I’d been having in the lab about my experience of time being a reflection of my relationship with mortality.

I’ve been following some recent discussions online around napping and productivity with interest. (more…)

Aftermath :: Sean :: Decompression is a Drag

It’s been one week since we were released. You’d think I’d have some profound revelation to report, but really it’s been seven days of trying to get back to normal and catch up on work. I haven’t even read my fellow Subjects’ posts–but that’s out of vulnerability more than anything else. It still all feels very raw.

Here are some thoughts I jotted down along the way. if there’s a deeper meaning in here it’s only that there is no deeper meaning. (more…)

Short Story :: Sean :: Death and the Hobbyist

Since leaving The Subjects, I’ve extensively rewritten this story and improved it to the point where I feel a little awkward about this old draft being out “in the wild”. So I’ve removed it for now. But it will return. Watch this space!

The Scientist :: Stas :: ‘they were a top bunch’

I don’t have much to say except that I really enjoyed our interaction with the Subjects; they were a top bunch. I hope they found their residency to be a rewarding experience both personally and for their creative process. It certainly was an interesting experience for me, the Subjects were very different to participants we have normally recruited in the past (usually males less than 25 years old). (more…)

Ask the Subjects :: Are you having microsleeps?

Are you having microsleeps? Once when sleep deprived I had them, and also kept seeing people who wanted to look after me. People kept asking me if I was okay, and I wondered whether to tell the extent of my hallucinations. Are you irritable? I dont think I was creative at all, except for my hallucinations which were beautiful. Do you feel disconnected from your bodies? and can you sleep on a chickens lip when you get out? being so exhausted?


In the study yes when I was on the repetitive testing and it would always be at the end of the third set, when your attention and focus is starting to whither. I had a micro sleep when I was doing the driving test and drove off the road and once when I was doing the PVT. I think I was more conscious of my tiredness than irritable and I don’t think I had the clarity to think straight and have the right head space to create work sometimes. This was interesting because I would start making abstract work when I was tired and start looking at fundamental mark making and composition and colour.

Thom Buchanan

I could “sleep on a chicken’s lip” as you so wonderfully put it before the study – honed my skills from years of travelling. But for the most part I have slept terribly since the study. For the first few nights I could only get three-four hours a night, which was frustrating. I did have a couple of microsleeps in the lab. Hallucinations were par for the course, and it surprises me how much stigma is attached to them.

Jennifer Mills

Day 6.5 :: Sean :: “Continued decline / Leaving Day!”

After what felt like a long, restless night, here I am again in Extra Time. Another instalment in the Watch Me Lose My Mind show. But the end really is in sight, and we know that for sure now because Thom has gone. He hasn’t been voted off the island. Turns out he had a clash that has always required him to leave one day early. How he kept that a secret for so long, I’ll never know. But he packed up and left us before the last sleep period, and we miss him, and it’s changed things in here. It’s quieter. We miss his voice, his laugh, his music, and the colour he brought with him. We linger on, shuffling through the empty space he used to occupy, finding new paths.


Day 6.5 :: Jen :: Honest Clocks

If I’m not trapped in a time loop, there will be soon be a when. A when of time words, honest clocks, the polite consensus of day and night. It will also be the when of schedules, demands, deadlines, appointments and being pressed for time. And I’ll be grateful for all of it. The eternal moment of self-help gurus now seems truly dystopian.

When I do go outside, sniffing and blinking like a mole, I’ll carry some essential experiential research with me about time, mortality, the creative impulse, and collaboration. (more…)

Day 6 :: Jen :: Swiss Cheese composure

It felt like Saturday morning for a long while. Time-befuddled, I kept falling victim to a creeping fear that we’d looped back to last Saturday morning and were about to begin the week again. (more…)

Day 6 :: Fee :: the grand scheme

the grand scheme

Anyone who knows me in slob-out mode knows my favourite position is lying down (my sofa will happily confirm this). In here we are not allowed to lie down because we might fall asleep –a few seconds of illicit REM is denied EVEN JUST BEFORE SLEEP. During the last procedure Jessica (the new staffer) came in to find me resting my head on my hand (a common pose for me here in lieu of lying down). “Aww, you OK?” she asked. “Yeah… in the grand scheme of things” I replied. (more…)

Day 6 :: Sean :: The Terror of Impermanence

Wait. Seriously, wait. (more…)

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