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MACHINE DREAMS

Alexei Taylor, Author

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THE ROLE OF TECHNOLOGY IN LA PERSISTENCIA DE LA MEMORIA

 


“Dali dreams in glorious Technicolor!”  


Such was the vivid nature of Dali’s artistic genius, and judging by the manner in which Dali’s works tightly embraced realistic depiction, the claim seems quite believable. Dali, addressing painting as an ‘instantaneous photography done by hand’, explained that he needed to portray the images in his art with the “imperialist fury of precision”. To this end, he employed the technology of the “hand painted dream photograph” as he described the term, in the rendition of his paintings. Hand painted dream photography, another product of which is the painting, ‘Dream Caused by the Flight of a Bee Around a Pomegranate a Second Before Awakening’ (Dali, 1944), entails a highly vivid and realistic depiction of a surreal landscape, often that of a dream, in painting. This technology assigns easily recognisable physical features to such things as that are unacquainted with the domain of the tangible world.  In form, and proximity to reality, this technology sculptured Dali’s paintings after the works of the Renaissance masters like Raphael, earning him comparisons to this group. Perhaps it was no coincidence that Dali used oil painting extensively in his work, as did the Classic masters. In fact, his compulsion to accurately render the unconscious with the ‘imperialist fury of precision’ was strong enough to have him liken this technology to that of the camera, (hand painted  dream-photography),one whose prowess for almost accurately recording reality, if not at least, replicating it two-dimensionally, it is needless to emphasize.

In hoping to discern the efficiency and necessity of this technology, it is necessary to grasp its function through a closer examination of its equivalent in the real world. Surely, if Dali was bold enough to deign this technology comparable by nomenclature to the work of the camera, there must exist some analogous relationship between their functions in their respective domains of the dream world and the real world.

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