TOGUNA WORLD | THE DREAM LAB – Gray Area Festival Workshop

TOGUNA WORLD | THE DREAM LAB – Gray Area Festival Workshop

*TO’GUNA : (togu = shelter, na = big, great or mother, therefore toguna = great shelter) 

Traditional meeting place of the Dogon people of Mali, in west Africa, the Toguna is the shelter under which the community gathers to exchange ideas and address issues. Through a ritualized process of discussion it creates a physical, social and psychological space for open communication.

This in-person workshop is a preview of the upcoming installation TOGUNA WORLD which will be released later in October.
Structured around 5 questions—How will we dream, play, love, pray and eat in the future?—it aims to provide a unique framework for participants to envision and manifest more optimistic and positive visions of the future. 

To answer the questions, participants will watch a short film, then fill a questionnaire and share their answers with the rest of the group. Speaking is voluntary and guests are encouraged to comment and contribute to the visions shared.

This workshop will be recorded live and archived on a dedicated page on the upcoming TOGUNA website.

This workshop is part of the Gray Area Festival 2022: Distant Early Warnings, and the C/Change Initiative.

Now in its 8th year, this year’s Gray Area Festival partners with the McLuhan Institute to explore artistic practice as an important sensing agent in a world of rapidly evolving media and technology. Building off work by media theorist Marshall McLuhan, who in 1964 compared artists to Cold War–era distant early warning systems which were designed to raise alarms at signs of impending nuclear catastrophe, this festival stakes a role for arts and technology experimentation as a critical research & development department for society.

C/Change is a joint initiative by Goethe-Institut San Francisco and Gray Area, exploring ways emerging technologies can shape and support digital cultural exchange.

Course Logistics

Dates
Sunday, October 2, 2022

Location
Gray Area
2665 Mission Street
San Francisco

Time
11AM – 2PM

Cost
$20 – We also offer Diversity Scholarships, find out more and apply here

Experience level:
No prior experience needed.

Course Requirements:
Participants should bring a notebook or paper, and a pen.

Course Outline

– Introductions
– Short Film Screening ” Dreams of the Future”
– Questionnaire and Discussion
– Closing Remarks

About TOGUNA WORLD

Taking inspiration from the gathering place of the Dogon people of Mali, TOGUNA WORLD is a AR/VR Art installation that serves as a forum for cross-cultural conversation on possible futures. Existing both as a physical and a digital experience, the installation is both an immersive Art installation, a metaverse dream world, a spiritual temple, a dream workshop and a media platform dedicated to the investigation of the future.

Informed by IFA, an ancient divination system from West Africa, and by a series of future workshop organised in 2019 in Kenya as part of the African Crossroad and in Ghana, as part of the Year of Return, it fuses Art, Photography, mixed-media collage, sculpture, film, music, bespoke furniture, ceramic, tapestry and food into a seamless experience, designed to encompass our senses and accelerate our imagination towards the envisioning of more positive and optimistic visions of the future.


Instructor(s)

Born in 1983 in Paris, from a Cameroonian father and a Chadian mother, Pierre-Christophe Gam trained as an interior architect at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Decoratifs in Paris and at the Central St. Martins School in London. In pre-colonial West Africa, griots were the guardians of the memory of the community, which they passed on through initiation songs and stories. PCG sees his practice as a continuation of this great tradition. He creates new narratives inspired by myths stemming from Africa and its diaspora, pre-colonial heritage, which he brings to life within interactive, physical and virtual spaces, within which the public is invited to dream and envision reality beyond the limitations of our present. - “The Secret to Reality is that Everything is just a Dream, and it is only when Dreams are seeded onto the infinite soil of our Imagination that they can manifest into our World “ - PCG’s practice is based on the idea of dreams as the starting point from which reality is manifested. His installations are some kinds of accelerators of the imagination, whose goal it is to facilitate the envisioning of more optimistic and virtuous scenarios of the future. His work has been shown at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Lagos photo Festival and the Addis Foto fest among others.