Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (1996). ASD XIII and Cyberspace. Electric Dreams 3(6), www.dreamgate.com/dream/ed-backissues/ed3-6.htm  (July, 1996)

ASD XIII and Cyberspace

By Richard Wilkerson

The Association for the Study of Dreams conference XIII in Berkeley California was the largest ASD conference ever and people were turned away at about 500 participants. Another novelty of the conference was that for the first time ASD made plans and funded a special computer and dreaming exhibit, featuring not only program demonstrations by individual developers, but the collective & individual projects concerning dreams on the Net.

For four days the Communal Dreaming Room was a networker's paradise. Not only did we have 2 IBM PC and a MAC for everyone to play with, but a half dozen other computers and laptops that folks brought in to display and exhibit their wares and communities.

At other times and places I will be reviewing the individual programs and projects, here I just wanted to give a summary and pass on the general feeling of excitement I felt that comes with the opening to a new horizon.

In the mornings we had presentations , panels & classes. Those on the net may feel that this is now all part of a daily routine, but there are still many who haven't a clue as to what is going on. The gap is lessening between pioneers and the general public, but not as much as I had expected and there is still a great deal of work & education to be done at the front gate. One of the things I have learned is that just because we are all in a general cooperative spirit doesn't mean we are all in the same community. I originally felt that the Web would be a place where distributed resources would allow for a collective holding of shared material freeing the individual to pursue his or her own unique identity. In other words, we would each hold on our site a piece of the collective info, but focus on what makes us unique. Electric Dreams is like this, and I thought the rest of Cyberspace would be too. Not so. Individuals need and want cyber real-estate. I don't want to judge this, just recognize that while each person may share some distributed info & we also seem to need a place we can call our own. To address this, I am suggesting a collective project - That we get all interested parties together and *share* a web spot where we create the History of Dreams and Dreaming Site. This would be a site that was co-owned and would grow from interest more than planning and dictates. Those who are interested would contribute. If you are interested in this project, drop me a line.

Another oversight on my part on planning this ASD event was that I somehow didn't realize until too late that this was really the first International Meeting of Cyber-Dream Pioneers, and never called an official meeting. Perhaps, like cyberspace itself, its best to just let events happen. It was wonderful to see so many of the people I had only known online face-to-face. But I would also like to thank the many, many folks who helped put this event together. I have built an acknowledgement page especially for you that will go down in the history of cyberspace and dreaming. (See the ASD XIII confernence site for the Acknowledgement page)

For those of you who like to experiment with new programs, there were several products being demonstrated, at various stages of development, and they were all interested in having beta testers. Bjo Ashwill has a wonderful content analysis program that will be available. John Gallagher & David Hochman are developing a national dream registry and will eventually be able to develop dream weather reports for researchers. There were several dream journaling and interpretive assistance programs, including the work of Sarah Richards, Timothy Tate and Cypress Inc - see reviews below. If you are interested in being a beta tester, drop me a line an I will send you name along. rcwilk@aol.com

Another way to summarize the events. Please feel free to still visit the Conference XIII Education and Index Page. This site will remain up for another month and has wonderful summaries of & links to online dream resources in dreams and art, dreams and research, dreams and dreamwork and the many other online dream inventions, venues and weboramas.


Next year the ASD Conference will be in Asheville, NC and I won't be able to attend - so if someone is feeling adventurous - Robert Gongloff could use some volunteers to put together a computer expo for that meeting.. It is at a college, so there should be some facilities already there.

What I want to know is, when will we have the first International Cyber Dreaming Conference?

-Richard Wilkerson (July, 1996)