Pure Phenomenality is a site-specific pop-up installation in Kingston, Canada that explored the dynamics between how sleep is recorded, measured, and conceptualized in a lab and sleep at home. I also wanted to draw attention to those aspects of sleep that are idiosyncratic and not reported in research papers.

Research offers a “special kind of intimacy [that] is established between researcher and researched . . . [the] later gets extracted as artefactual noise’.” – Simon Cohn, Making objective facts from intimate relations: the case of neuroscience and its entanglements with volunteers

Visitors were invited to go up the stairs and explore two spaces. The first was a small nook with a light at one end and a mattress on the other, where I recorded extracts from Intimacy in Research: Introduction by Miriam Fraser & Nirmal Puwar for visitors to listen to while lying down. I wanted viewers to experience the text from a more intimate somatic state. 

The second room explored the ways in which sleep is abstracted in the sleep lab through a number of different videos. On the table, I displayed an EEG recording of a nap and a video of electrodes setting up for sleep recording. On the projector, I displayed a video of me sleeping in my bedroom cross-cut with me sleeping in a sleep lab.

Special thanks to Hans Dringenberg, Matthew Stewart, Julia Krolik and Owen Fernley for making this exhibition possible.