Dreaming of Babylon

On 18 March, Tõnis Jürgens’s solo exhibition “Dreaming of Babylon” will open in the Project Room of the Tartu Art Museum as part of the exhibition series “Young Tartu”.

The main focus of the exhibition is the digital measurement of sleep, which has gained popularity in recent years. Tracking the habits of one’s everyday life is offered to individual users by an increasing number of devices: smartwatches, -bands, -rings, -speakers, -mats, apps etc. These devices track users even when they are sleeping, collecting a steady stream of data about their habits and cycles of sleep.

At the exhibition Dreaming of Babylon, Tõnis Jürgens follows the afterlives of the data collected by the surveillance society, as well as dreams that have been written down by dreamers. At the centre of the display is a staged bedroom filled with traces of somebody’s life. In the room, a film is projected – scenes of server racks towering over uninhabited landscapes – which is accompanied by a shifting narrative of the descriptions of dreams. At times, these are entries in the artist’s dream journal, at times, phantasms written in collaboration with an artificial intelligence.

Tõnis Jürgens (b1989) is a film projectionist, a writer and an emptiness aficionado. He has a bachelor’s degree in culture studies from Tallinn University and a master’s degree from the Department of New Media at the Estonian Academy of Arts, including an additional year as an exchange student at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (UMPRUM). The exhibition is a continuation of Jürgens’s creative research at the Doctoral School of the Estonian Academy of Arts.

Curator: Indrek Grigor
Graphic design: Laura Merendi
Co-ordinator: Kristlyn Liier

Exhibition team: Richard Adang, Joanna Hoffmann, Aadu Lambot, Katrin Lõoke, Jaanika Kuznetsova, Anti Saar, Kristel Sibul, Peeter Talvistu

Movie: Joosep Ehasalu (helirežissöör), Erki Kase (operaatori assistent), Aadu Lambot (operaatori assistent), Fidelia Regina Randmäe (tegevprodutsent, värvimääraja)

Thanks: Toomas Jürgens, Raul Keller, Kalju Karl Kivi, Piibe Kolka, Paul Kuimet, Kulla Laas, Hans-Gunter Lock, Mihkel Oksmann, Allan Proos, Mikk-Erik Saidla, Rene Tamm, Erko Valdmets

Partners: Balti Filmi- ja Meediakool, Eesti Kultuurkapital, Eesti Rahvuskultuuri fond, Jõelähtme vald, Kino Sõprus, Kuusalu vald, Paekivitoodete Tehas OÜ, Rae vald, Rahvusarhiiv, Silikaat AS, Tallinna Strateegiakeskus, Telia Eesti AS


Tõnis Jürgens Dreaming of Babylon in the National Library of Estonia digital catalogue.


Exhibition views
Photos: Paul Kuimet