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My Future Art

Dreamed by Jim Shaw between 1987 & Jan. 1995.

I meet a black woman knowledgeable about beads on a Pasadena bus & convince her to drive with me to a bead store she says is "unethical'... The parking lot is sinking to various levels & kids use it for skateboarding practice as a car drives dangerously near.

She begins to do a performance in an alcove where she sits in a mist aboard a river raft. Someone had predicted to her that she'd meet me & she had a future paperback version of my dream drawings, most of which I was familiar with, but there were some from the future I'd not yet drawn & I wasn't sure I wanted to see them. This is the only one I remember.

A graveyard for cartoon characters in the future. Dream sketch by Jim Shaw. Click to enlarge.


Why'd this dream tell Shaw this was art he'd do in the future? It makes him uneasy--less likely to sketch it. Why not just show him a neat image to draw in the morning? That's common in his dreams. But instead, we get this weirdly complex claim about time. Art seen in her book of the future get drawn in the morning because he saw it, so it can be in the book later! My guess: as an 'ethical' dream character, she felt obliged to tell him the truth, no matter how awkward. So his dreaming mind, at least, believes his future can be foreseen. A bit.

I've faced the exact same dilemma in the dream Lucid Living--seen art in the book of my future, and had mixed feelings about peeking. Like Shaw, I too ended up drawing and painting what I'd seen; figured it was a prompt.

Oh--the corpses emerging from their graves are all cartoon characters. I can't read the tombstones on the left--an S. Clay Wilson demon from Zap Comix, maybe, then Shazam or the Flash? On the right are two from Mad Magazine: the 'good' spy from Prohias's "Spy vs. Spy", and Alfred E. Neuman with the epitaph "What--me worry?"

--Chris Wayan

SOURCE: Jim Shaw's Dreams, Jan. 1995, Smart Art Press. Dreamed 1987-95; drawn 1993-95. This is only a quarter of the dream material for that night--though we don't know WHAT night, or even what year.

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