Thesis Info

Thesis Title
Structuring Somnolence: sleep science technology as a medium for drawing with the body at rest
Lisa Carrie Goldberg
2nd Author
3rd Author
Master of Science in Biological Arts
Number of Pages
The University of Western Australia
Thesis Supervisor
Dr Ionat Zurr, Peter Eastwood
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
SymbioticA- the Center of Excellence in Biological Arts, School of Anatomy and Human Biology, Faculty of Life and Physical Sciences
Languages Familiar to Author
URL where full thesis can be found,
sleep, sleep science, sleep biology, sleep technology, sleep architecture, bioart, architecture, art,
Abstract: 200-500 words
In December 2010, three volunteers participated in a two-week sleep study conducted by artist Lisa Carrie Goldberg and administered by a certified sleep technologist. It was through these nocturnal events that the process of employing the body and the mind during sleep as a means of art making was realised. Through her studies in sleep biology and sleep technology, Goldberg has come to regard sleep science as a field heavily driven by the visual representations produced by its technological devices. Through the process of repurposing these sleep-measuring devices as drawing tools, Goldberg intended to subvert the purpose and values of the sterile laboratory environment by exchanging them for an artistic purpose, calling upon alternative models for envisioning sleep. This text begins with a brief overview of sleep science from its early years to its contemporary standpoint. Following this overview, references are made to former artworks that have used sleep as their central theme. The paper also explores the semantic and diagrammatic crossovers between sleep science, art and architecture, as comparisons are made between the term sleep architecture and structural architecture. Structuring Somnolence: sleep science technology as a medium for drawing with the body at rest comprises a series of sleep study performances that were created at SymbioticA, the Centre of Excellence in Biological Arts, in conjunction with the Centre for Sleep Science at the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, the University of Western Australia. A description of these works is presented and positioned in amongst theoretical discourse. The culmination of this exegesis is a synthesis of the Goldberg’s research in sleep science and her artistic practice.