What is Haunted Artists All About? 

The scientific investigation at the heart of this video presentation at this point, will address the events surrounding creativity and the artistic person. This is a serial project that will be examined after this initial foray into the question of the "muse" and how dreams ( including "daydreaming”) affects the creative process of all artists.  


CONCEPT ; What is a “muse”?

Ordinarily it is defined as a source for inspiration or creativity. We wondered if the muse can be something else. This is the source of our project, “Haunted Artists”, and the reason for asking for accounts, stories, and experiences from all realms of creative people. Freud is often associated with the emergence of the surrealist painters due to his dream theory.

We will cover a bit about Freud and his paranormal interests. One of Freud’s main themes was the amount of activity that goes on in our minds without our awareness. This resulted in his proposing the now famous models of Ego, Super Ego, and ID. Freud thus distinguished between the “manifest content” of dreams -what we actually dream- and the “latent content” of dreams -the unfulfilled wish that the dream represents - Dream content is rarely presented by the mind in a simple and direct fashion. Instead a complex dream is constructed from the basic elements. The raw dream symbols are distorted via condensation (compression, conflation and omission of dream elements) and “displacement” (ie; shifting emphasis). This is followed by a process of “secondary revision” that takes all these ambiguous elements and assembles them into a more or less coherent narrative structure.

 Freud also suggested that our conscious mind actively tries to repress the messages of our dreams. Dreams are often an expression of a repressed wish that we would rather not admit to –they thus indicate a psychic conflict that can in turn be at the core of mental disturbance.

 Freud spent a distinct portion of his professional life investigating paranormal phenomena. The occult phenomena that Freud described in his personal communications and published papers can be divided into two broad groups: phenomena that is associated with sleep and dreams and those that occur during waking hours. These categories can be further subdivided into prophetic and telepathic occurrences.

 Freud also spent some time examining superstitions, beliefs that seemingly chance events actually have a hidden meaning and can predict the future. A substantial portion of one of Freud’s papers was devoted to an examination of superstitions. In this paper,titled : “Determinism, Belief in Chance and Superstition — Some Points of View,” Freud described superstitious beliefs. According to him, the average person knows very little about psychoanalytic theory.

 Because of this, the person could be unaware of the significance of his own unintended actions. However, these chance actions will possess unconscious motivations which will attempt to find conscious representations. Since the person has no other way to express their hidden desires, they will project them onto the external world and will view external coincidental events as having the ability to reveal things that would otherwise be hidden from him.

Occult phenomena tend to be linked with dreams for the additional reason that both seem
very mysterious. Freud remarked that dreams were frequently regarded as “portals to the world of
mysticism” and were seen by the uneducated as occult phenomena in their own right.
However, as Freud would so often repeat, both dreams and their subject matter occult or
ordinary, could only be understood by scientific investigation.

Questions? contact  directly:

Sharon Galloway

Michael Robishaw

Fran Ford