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RUM JUNGLE

1997, digital hymn to (and portrait of) dreamwork, by Chris Wayan.

Winding through this jungle-painting like vines is the motto "My dream's a rum jungle, bulldozed at dawn."

Think of your dreams as a rainforest, clearcut every morning-unless you make the effort to remember. "Rum Jungle" used to mean the part of town where the drunks hung out. Or was it hobo "jungles", secret homes hidden from cops, the way dreams hide from conscious judgments and denials? And the old British term "rum" meant weird and difficult. Dreams are a jungle, and a rum one.

I use this picture on my desktop, so when I get lazy, all those little hidden details and messages subliminally remind me what dreamwork offers. The angels, not just the devils, are in the details...

My dream-jungle, full of creatures shouting messages. Sketch by Wayan; click to enlarge.
THE FINE PRINT

The phrases "wild things make my heart sing" and "trip the lithe fantastic" are misquotes from 20th century American pop songs (Wild Thing, and The Sidewalks Of New York, respectively.) "Write it all down", "Surf spacetime", "Leap worlds" and "Bite your dreams and never let go" aren't misquoted songs, just advice from one who bit.

My calling dreams "Channel One" may be mysterious to those not exposed to American broadcast TV, but during its long history there WAS no such channel--the numbers ran from 2 to 13. Even with cable, the taboo survived. It'd be an unfair advantage to be #1, so no one was allowed to be. A curious democratic lapse in an era of capitalist hunger to be #1 in everything. Indeed the taboo was so complete I've never heard the phrase "Channel 1", used even jokingly--it's as if we cannot conceive of it.

Let's not even mention Channel 0. It's too Zen for words.

DEDICATION

This painting is for web artist Dawn Z who pushed me to finish it. She's both the giant redhead on the left and the golden canine in the center.



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