Magazine article The New Yorker

Dream On

Magazine article The New Yorker

Dream On

Article excerpt

DREAM ON

--Alec Wilkinson

Some pertinent background on a project called Shadow, which by means of a free app, available in December, intends to archive the dreams of people around the world: Hunter Lee Soik, the project's founder, who is thirty-one, was born in Korea and adopted when he was two and a half by a couple in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. In 2000, after high school, he moved to California to try to be a professional skateboarder. Eventually, he enrolled at the Brooks Institute of Photography, in Santa Barbara, but left three days later, because, among other things, he didn't like the curriculum. The school gave him back nearly all of his tuition in cash, and he bought camera equipment. In the meantime, he had been spotted by a casting agent in Santa Barbara, who took him to a larger agency in L.A., and within weeks he had a role in a Coke commercial. Before long, he had his own production company, whose main client was Vans. In 2009, he came to New York, where he worked with Stella McCartney's company on iPad apps.Hunter Lee Soik

"How I got to Shadow is in 2011 I was working on the Watch the Throne tour for Jay-Z and Kanye West," he said the other day over breakfast at the Maritime Hotel. "We came up with the idea of having the stage be very minimal. We wanted to keep it very Detroit, very rock and roll. Anyway, by then I had been working for thirteen years. I'm not sleeping, but I'm doing quite well. We wrap in Atlanta, and I go to Tulum, Mexico, and take my first real vacation. The first week, I slept more than I was awake. One day, from the clock I thought I had slept two hours, and I had actually slept twenty-six. Sleeping four and five hours a night, I hadn't had dreams, but I started dreaming again. I assumed I would be going back to the grinding life I had been leading, so I wanted to save these dreams. I looked for an app, and there wasn't one."

Soik is small and slight. When he talks, he tends to hold his hands out parallel to each other, and the distance between them widens or narrows, as if sometimes they held a grapefruit and at other times a beach ball. He spent several months reading Freud and Jung and Allan Hobson on dreams, "just to figure out everyone's position," and learning about researchers in Japan who are mapping the neurological processes of dreams. …

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