La Sirena Surrealist Group
La Sirena Surrealist Group is an inclusive meeting space for all those involved in the surrealist adventure, connecting academics, researchers, writers, artists, filmmakers, and beyond. We thank the groups four main leaders (pictured from left to right: Doug Campbell, Taya King, Darren Thomas, and Daina Kopp) for taking the time to answer four questions at the heart of IMAGINE and also address the idea of The Surrealist Imagination, which is the mini-theme of our second issue.
- What is imagination to you?
Doug Campbell: The imagination is where all of us live, within an imagined conception of the world pulled together out of the din of perception and experience, in a more or less enforced consensus with others. However, that model is still the work of the imagination, and having imagined how things are, you remain free to imagine how they might be different.
- What does it mean to imagine?
Darren Thomas: To imagine is everything! Imagination is central to my life, influencing my creativity, my teaching, and every other facet of my existence. It is the point where dream and reality become one but first, we must dare to imagine, crossing illusory borders, beyond the looking glass, building a new and better self and world, discovering our freedom in real dreams.
- Why is imagination important?
Taya King: Imagination provides children with the means to express themselves creatively and develop important skills they will carry into adulthood. However, children are also socialised to repress this part of their identity, since the creative mind threatens the status quo. Thus, imagination can empower individuals to overthrow the established order and ‘relive with glowing excitement the best part of childhood’ (Breton).
- How are you applying imagination in your life and work?
Daina Kopp: I remember my dreams, which inspire my songs for my surrealist band, Hypnagogic Telegram and my other art as a dancer, illustrator, sculptor, photographer, and theatre costume designer. I experience art and science as being intertwined in my life. As a scientist, I imagine research strategies to test hypotheses and imagine the possibilities of how such research can change the world.
- More specifically to our new issue and your work, what is The Surrealist Imagination and why is it important?
TK: The Surrealist Imagination allows individuals to see beyond mundane reality with a ‘savage eye’ (Breton) and reimagine the world anew.
DT: It is the life-blood of surrealism, facilitating change and transformation within the individual and society.
DC: The surrealist imagination is no part of the capitalist industries of art, culture and wellness.
DK: It expands connectedness with the unconscious; explore oneself, and one’s dreams. Broaden the mind, reimagine the world.
La Sirena Surrealist Group is an inclusive meeting space for all those involved in the surrealist adventure, connecting academics, researchers, writers, artists, filmmakers, and beyond, virtually on a weekly basis since March 2021. Difference and Otherness are celebrated, and the figure of the siren, like other monstrous hybrid identities they are drawn to, underscore their belief in the notion that identity is not fixed but fluid, multiple, contested, shifting, in a state of eternal becoming: convulsive.