Matrix Layer

Matrix Layer


Can a dream be a premonition of the future? What do dreams mean and what can we learn from them? How are dreams born?

Second part to Jaana Partanen´s trilogy of exhibitions about the mysteries of human mind, Mental Alchemy – Matrix Layer delves into the world of dreams and dreaming. We spend about 1/3 of our lives sleeping. When evening turns to night, time zone by time zone we fall asleep. Dreaming is common to all humanity. When we close our eyes an fall asleep we enter to a subconscious world where everything is possible. In dream we possess abilities we can only dream about awake.

There is a mythical aspect to dreaming. The dream state is familiar to the belief systems of many ancient cultures from the dream catchers of Native Americans to the creation myths of Australia’s Aboriginals. In Matrix Layer Ms. Partanen continues her exploration of the secrets of the human mind. The artist approaches the thematic of sleep with the help of experts who have investigated dreams through personal experience or by the means of scientific research.

Mysterious Dreams

The subject of premonition dreams continues to be a subject of interest, debate and discussion even today. During sleep our minds can receive messages and ideas. Rest unleashes creativity. Sleep is the subject for scientific research at dream laboratories around the world. Using new imaging techniques our knowledge about sleep and dreaming increases every day. We are intrigued by the idea of controlling our dreams in the manner of Trinity or Neo of the Matrix movies. Is it really possible to control our sleep reality?

What happens in our minds when we are asleep?

Matrix Layer approaches the thematic of sleep with the help of experts who have investigated dreams through personal experience or by the means of scientific research. Ms. Partanen prepared the exhibition by interviewing them. Matrix Layer has also attracted other interesting partners in co-operation for example musicians, software experts, professional designers, furniture manufacturer, loudspeaker and projector companies, dancers and circus performers.

In the interactive media artwork, the sound-activated image changes at the instance of the visitors to the exhibition: the artwork changes the shape and order of the images and effects in the space, timing the experience to be unique to each visitor. Ms. Partanen and her team have shot parts of the media artwork with the Kinect camera technique based on three-dimensional motion detection. Through the artworks, the visitor to the exhibition gets a new kind of experience of his or her environment and its different levels.

Matrix layer interactive media artwork, still image, 2014. Photo © Jaana Partanen.

What do dreams mean and what can we learn from them?

Mental Alchemy - Matrix layer, 2014.

Art, science and technology meet, when artist Jaana Partanen exploits the studies of top researchers and physicians and the latest 3D technology and presentations in her works. Ms. Partanen approaches the topic like a researcher, but translates the research results, ideas and insights into the language or art, without forgetting visuality and poetry.

The Matrix Layer is a pioneering entity of works in bringing 3D techniques and new innovations of the gaming industry into the scope of art. It creates a dazzling spatial experience which envelops the spectator. By putting on the mixed reality spectacles (Oculus Rift), the viewer is in a world in which reality and the virtual world are blended with each other like in the dream world. The mixed reality spectacles are seen for the first time as a part of the artwork in this exhibition.

From the point of view of experiencing the surprising virtual reality and the co-ordination of movements, it is important to anchor the experiencer/spectator safely in place. For that, special light-glowing furniture, protective screen divans, has been designed for the showroom. They change according to use into a protective screen or a divan on which to lounge and delve into the multidimensional world of the Matrix layer entity of works.

Matrix layer mixed reality - media artwork, Kuopio Art Museum, 2014.

Jaana Partanen prepared the exhibition by interviewing many of the leading experts of their fields: physicians and researchers. Listen to the interviews which take you to the wonderful world of sleep.

Only in Finnish.

On an audio voyage with sleep researchers

Matrix layer -audio installation, Salo Art Museum, 2014.

duration 5,19 min

We have seen here the outcome of the artist’s efforts, but we can only guess how she has brought all this about. What kind of work has gone into producing it? The musical documentary tells the story of the exhibition. The spotlight is on the people involved in the project.

Dream’s Gift


The roots of the dream theme go back to Ms. Partanen’s year of solitude, when she had fantastic visions and experiences in her sleep. At that time, the dream visions transformed into text and, finally, into an entire set of artworks entitled Dream’s Gift. Ms. Partanen realised the works with the paraffin casting technique which she had developed herself and which had not been used before with photographs. The basis of the works was the negatives of her life till then.

The set also gave birth to the Dream’s Gift book, in which the artworks are intertwined with words and phrases, together creating a unique collection of stories, experiences and impressions of the rich world of dreams.

The dream theme has thus remained the inspiration Ms. Partanen’s art decade after decade, although seen from very different angles.

A Moment, 1997, a paraffin wax photograph, size 64 x 98 x 3 cm.

Misery, 1997, a paraffin wax photograph, size 32 x 47 x 2,5 cm.

Unen lahja -publication

Unen lahja, Partanen & Lamusuo Oy, 2014.

ISBN 978-952-93-3856-6
Language: Finnish
Prize 21 € (alv. 0 %) + shipping

Order here!

Unen lahja, Partanen & Lamusuo Ltd, 2014.

What do dreams mean?
How are dreams born?


Jaana Partanen

Partanen & Lamusuo Ltd