I Do Not Walk In a Dream

Intentionality. When an artist picks up their paintbrush or a mathematician is in the depths of a problem, intentionality is often at full power. In Hinduism, the concept of karma yoga is a spiritual tint on the word. In it is the idea that deliberate action or “work” is like a form of prayer, whether or not it’s directed towards a specific religion. But for all of the intentionality that we put into objects and ideas that leave us, what about the pieces of us that no one can fully see? Do we think of our lives as works of art?

I Do Not Walk In a Dream explored whether art could help people set intentions for their lives. Creators picked a card, one of 26 cards describing different dimensions of personality, from the Introvert, to the Peacemaker, to the BridgeBuilder. We chatted about whether that card was a lot like them or very different from them, and why. For a simple, experimental online version of this game, including 2021 updates and the complete card deck, please click here.

For example, many people received cards that resonated closely with their personalities and were struck by the outcome, wondering if it was a sign. Several people who received the Extrovert or Expressionist card spoke openly about how they struggled with introversion; one individual who received the Negotiator card spoke about how she was frustrated by challenges receiving fair pay as a woman in the workplace. Several returned and brought others to play.

From there, creators were offered the chance to set an intention for the day to practice the personality dimension that they received. If they chose to, they were offered the chance to wear a ribbon on their wrist to remind themselves throughout the day of the intention they set.

I Do Not Walk In A Dream was shown at Propelify Innovation Festival in 2017. The installation involved a memorial to creators’ intentions, color coded by the personality type they evoked when setting their intention. When I received the invitation to participate, I knew that the installation space, location, and time would be very unpredictable. Rather than focusing all my time on space and design, I took the chance to create my first card game.