Creating and Destroying the Cyber Self: Dream Hacking

An interactive exploration of the parallels between cyberspace and dreams.
InstructorSara Martinez
Date icon

Oct 3, 2022Oct 25, 2022

Mondays from 10:00 pm 12:00 am UTC

No skill requirements
On Zoom
Artwork by Vivian Mak
Be a PAL to save 10%
This item could not be added to your cart.
InstructorSara Martinez
Date icon

Oct 3, 2022Oct 25, 2022

Mondays from 10:00 pm 12:00 am UTC

No skill requirements
On Zoom
Artwork by Vivian Mak
Be a PAL to save 10%
This item could not be added to your cart.

Creating and Destroying the Cyber Self is an interactive and collaborative dive into the expressive representation and aesthetics of dreams throughout history and its parallel to cyberspace. We will take our own dreams as material to engage with theory and to create a shared lexicon. Participants are expected to form a relationship with their dreams to aid the discussions we will have in our sessions, with the help of a dream kit which includes the following:

  • A guided meditation to fall asleep to
  • Question guide and toolkit

This workshop is for you if you want to explore new expressive possibilities to talk about your experience in cyberspace, if you like exploring virtual realms and your own self in a critical but gentle way.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the history and aesthetics of dream representation
  • Unpack the meaning of your dreams and find collective resonance
  • Discuss the parallels between virtual spaces and dreams
  • Keep a dream journal and instigate a habit to record your dreams


Week 1 - Cyberspace, the subconscious and dreams
An overview of psychoanalytical takes on dreams from chapbook literature to Freud and Anne Dufourmantelle. Participants are introduced to the workshop and receive their dream exploration kits.

Week 2 - Discomfort & Transfiguration
Dreams often produce unsettling images or memories when we recount them. We can experience transfiguration or expansions and deformations of the body when we dream. This is also possible in videogames and virtual spaces. What happens when we can control these transformations?
In this session we will explore Jean-Jacques Grandville’s artwork, Russian dreambooks and the aesthetics of transfiguration in dreams throughout history. Participants will begin working on the shared cyberspace-dream lexicon.

Week 3 - Obsolescence & shapeshifting
How do we experience the body in dreams and in virtual spaces? In both domains, we can experience shapeshifting. In dreams, we can feel these changes with different senses. In virtual spaces, we can hide behind facades and customize our expanded bodies.
In this session, we will work with Stelarc’s work around the body and obsolescence and see the parallels with psychologist John Suler’s work touching on cyberspace as an alternative to dreaming.

Week 4 - Agency, powerlessness & desire
How much of the virtual world can be shaped by us? How do we inhabit it? Do we make dents, do we leave traces behind? How do we experience power & powerlessness through cyberspace?

We will close the workshop in this session and participants will be invited to remix each other’s cyberspace-dream symbols.


Instructor Bio

Sara Martínez is a writer and interdisciplinary artist based in Querétaro, México. Her work has taken different forms such as installation, digital mixed media, performance, essays and short fiction.

Her practice involves socializing her explorations throughout workshops on digital theory & literature (Mvseo Privado, 2019) and speculative and retro speculative fiction (Centro de Cultura Digital , 2021). Her work has been published in Revista 404 and Nexos among others.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Digital Media from Universidad Iberoamericana.


Index scholarships are designed to benefit underrepresented groups, BIPOC members of our community, and those for whom the class price is not accessible. These need-based scholarships will go to the candidates who best demonstrate why they should be chosen for the free spot to our class based on the following criteria:

  • Belong to groups that are traditionally underrepresented in the graphic design and creative industries
  • Do not have jobs that would pay for these courses as professional development
  • Cannot independently afford the class at list price
  • Share our value of intentional community

The number of selected applicants chosen is subject to the discretion of Index and the instructor, but every course will select at least one. Applications are due Sept 23, 2022 and recipients will be notified Sept 26, 2022. Apply here.

Refund Policy

We get that things come up, but we rely on headcounts in our programs to survive as a business. If you request a refund...

More than 4 weeks before class begins → 100% refund

More than 2 weeks before class begins → 50% refund

Fewer than 2 weeks before class begins → No refund

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