Joel Dream


Creating art is about being pregnant with something that you can't say no to..... It can be joyful and meditative or utterly traumatic and sleepless and is often all of these... In my process I have come to realize it is not about me, it is not about my comfort or what else I could be doing. It is about saying yes because I have no choice, because I have fallen devotedly in love with an idea that could be, should be, if only I can find a way to bring it into existence. And when your in love on that level you will do whatever it takes.

Artist Bio:

Joel Dream, MFA, is a visionary, new media artist currently based in Berkeley, California. He uses multiple forms of multimedia, robotics, sculpture and performance to extend human expression and transform both himself and those who experience his work. He has presented his work at numerous art events and festivals around the country including the Visionary Arts Fair, (Atlanta), Winter Festival of Wonders, (Baltimore), and LAST (Life Art Science and Technology) festivals in San Jose and San Francisco. He has also been an active artist at Burning Man or regional Burning Man events for over 10 years.

Dream started his artistic career in Asheville, NC as a live visualist and projection artist for festivals and underground music events. Beginning in 2003 he became a regular artist at monthly renegade "happenings" that marked a pivotal chapter in his creative life. Each month he took license to imagine freely and manifest new art. Projections, sensors, wind tunnels, performances, experimental rituals, and kinetics were all fair game for his creative experiments and collaborations. Cultivating profound experiences became a central fascination in his thinking. Projections moved off of the flat screen and instead illuminated sculptural environments and intimate places in which the people inside became aesthetic and meaningful elements in the work. The art incorperated interactive technologies, embodied sculpture and illusion as ways to bring people out of their everyday self and perception. Meanwhile, Dream became integrated with performers, artists and the creative culture that supported and invited his works elsewhere and set the stage for a variety collaborations.

In 2004, Dream enrolled in the University of North Carolina at Asheville to study multimedia and art. As an aside he took a mechatronics engineering course which opened his eyes to endless new creative possibilities. It inspired him to integrate motors sensors and programming into his art. He designed an independent major at his university to integrate art, engineering and multimedia. In 2009 he completed this interdisciplinary degree titled, “Experimental Media Arts and Technology."

During these years in Asheville, NC, (untill 2013), he devotedly made new and innovative work that spans creative and technical genres. He continued to show and refine his work and began exhibiting professionally at nationally and internationally recognized events. His artistic works became more technically involved both in mechanical engineering as well as in programming, and electronics. He published technical articles on the engineering behind some of his work, and worked as technical designer and team lead for creative projects such as the visual performance apparatus for musicians, (The PsybOrg) which has been featured at MoogFest (2012) and received "Best Synth Shrine of the year" by Synthtopia. His sculpture The Labyrinth also received international attention when it was featured in the book Kinetic Architecture: Designing with Movement by Dr. Carolina Stevenson of Andes University, Columbia.

In 2013 Dream received a full fellowship to attend the Digital Arts and New Media MFA program at University of California in Santa Cruz where upon he moved to California to attend school. In 2015 he received his MFA degree working with research groups in mechatronics and performative technologies. He now lives and makes art in Berkeley.

Dream's artistic process is not intrinsically technical but rather it is bound to the imagination without limits. It so happens that those visions often require the art of magic, and the most fantastical wizardry of our time is written in the language of code and circuits and is thus often utilized by Dream as powerful tools that merge with and reinvent possibilities of other media, nature and the human being.