We are quite probably dreaming all the time, but consciousness makes so much noise that we no longer hear the dream when awake.
—Carl Jung

In Greek mythology, dreams were often personified as Óneiroi, black-winged demons that entered our sleeping minds like bats, delivering messages from the gods. These creatures spoke to us in symbols, much like the language of cinema. From the nightmare logic of Un Chien Andalou to the hallucinatory atmospheres of Andrei Tarkovsky, films have evoked our nocturnal imaginations, and the term oneiric now describes the dreamlike state we enter when sitting in a movie theater.

The Nightly News is a cinema of the strange scenes of anxiety, desire, and other possible worlds that fill our heads each night. After collecting over one thousand handwritten dreams from students at the American School In London, Candy Chang and Reeves transformed the school’s underground courtyard into a theater dedicated to the visions that brew below our waking minds. Broadcast for nine hours each day, this video-audio installation invited visitors to rupture the day’s obligations with time in the dark, lying on black pillows and contemplating the community’s subconscious lives projected on 24-foot-wide drapes that cast reflections throughout the space, along with hundreds of handwritten responses in an illuminated well.

Themes emerged: we fall, we flee, and we search for answers. We can’t get away, our teeth fall out, and we are strangers in a strange land. The process of sifting through these scraps of writing conjures the act of recalling a dream, its logic just beyond the reach of language and thought, leaving us with only fragments: a room filled with sand / hallways in the sky / a pixellated hand / stabbed with a fork. Devoted to these intensely private yet universally recognizable symbols delivered to us each night by forces beyond our understanding, The Nightly News shows us that we’re all deeply weird creatures bound together by nerves, fantasy, and the unknown.

Video by James A. Reeves + Candy Chang
Photo by Candy Chang
Photo by Lesley Yeo
Photo by Candy Chang
Timelapse video by Joe Harris
2022, The American School In London, London, England. Mixed media, 36′ x 36′ x 10′ space. Installation assistance by Graham ‘Titch’ Fort, Joe Harris, Shane Murdock, Dean Hoffland, Mick Fernandez, and Youcef Benhadi. Organizational assistance by Jen Kirstein, Dean Evans, Gavin Hughes, and Cosmo Murphy. This installation is supported by the Innovator-in-Residence Program at the American School In London.