Exploration of the Stream of Consciousness

Alternative title: Excerpt of me brainstorming on Oct 08 at 16:02:32 because I couldn’t think of anything. (Incidentally, even this whole post is some kind of strange stream of thought!)

My initial location was Illyria. Not the actual location, but the fictional version in a book series revolving around a pig farmed named Blart (I didn’t know it sounds like Blood when said out loud). It’s basically some kind of communist country, but as an impressionable 7 year old with no awareness of economics it was a rather revolutionary idea. Here’s the description.

They continued along the road. Each time they passed a stall someone would dash out and give them something, be it some fresh fish or some wine or some elaborate jewellery. However much they protested they could not reject the goods they were given. If a stallholder couldn’t get them to take a gift directly then he just placed the object in one of Pig the Horse’s saddlebags. More and more things mounted up. In their pockets, in their hands and over their shoulders.

‘There’s going to be a terrible bill at the end of this street,’ warned Capablanca.

But they reached the end of the street and there was no bill. Nobody stopped them and nobody demanded payment.

‘Sure, we’ll be arrested as thieves,’ said Beo.

But they weren’t arrested as thieves. And the reason they weren’t can only be understood by understanding the nature of the Illyrian economy.

You see, most economies work on the “buy” idea. You want something. You go to someone who has it. You agree a price. And then you get it.

The Illyrian economy didn’t work like this. their economy, instead of being based on the idea of buying, was based on the idea of giving. Everybody gave a share of whatever he or she had to everybody else. So, a man who has grown a lot of oranges gave some to everybody he knew. A woman who made cheeses gave some to everybody she knew. And so on. Everybody ended up with all the oranges, apples, cheeses and everything else that they needed, which is all that an economy is there for the first place. And if, for example, the man with the oranges had something go wrong like his orange trees getting a disease and dying, then it didn’t mean that he had to starve because everybody carried on giving him things even though they didn’t get any oranges back. They had everything else so missing out on oranges wasn’t so terrible. And as soon as the man got some new orange trees he’d start growing oranges and giving them away again. This is why everybody was always trying to give Blart, Beo and Capablanca things.

Economists from all the other countries of the world had heard of this idea and said that it couldn’t work because people were naturally greedy and selfish and that they liked having more things than everybody else. But Illyrians continued to make it work in complete disregard of economic theory, which was very rude of them in the opinion of the economist. And because they weren’t always competing with each other and trying to make a profit, the Illyrians ended up being friendly and generous to one another and they were the happiest people in the world. It made all the economists mad.

Blart: The Boy Who Didn’t Want to Save the World  (pp. 131-2) by Dominic Barker

It’s very light reading even for a 7 year old, but I recommend it just because it’s hilarious.

However, I decided I didn’t particularly want to do it by virtue of the fact that I can’t visualise it as anything but a children’s show animation (think Adventure Time), and while I like those plenty, what’s the point of being allowed to use any medium if I’m just going to make some boring expository animation with boring expository sounds?

Also, I like trying out a variety of things. I’ve already attempted the mundane and the quirky, so it’s probably about time to do the faux-psychological stuff, isn’t it?

What I hence want to focus on is the stream of consciousness. I first encountered it in literature (think James Joyce), but I think the fundamental idea still works, since it’s a narrative technique. It’s very fascinating to me that one can begin from somewhere, and through the most serendipitous development, end up somewhere seemingly unrelated through a chain of interlinked thoughts. For example:

  1. I need to find my nail clipper
  2. My nail clipper is silver in colour
  3. Kind of like the colour of Pokemon SoulSilver
  4. Thinking about it, Pokemon was a good game
  5. I hope that the new Xenoblade game comes out soon too
  6. And that the Xenoblade soundtrack is still composed by ACE+
  7. I loved that song by ACE+
  8. It reminded me a lot of…… (stream continues)

You wouldn’t think nail clippers and songs are related, but they can be.

I also know this might sound weird, but for inspiration I looked towards the things I recorded. I have a habit of recording my thoughts and dreams. And funnily enough, they are kind of what I’m aiming for.

i dreamt that i walked to the MRT with them regardless, but ended up sidetracked as we went into Vallaha. We went into the boss map where Nagasakihime, an extremely large (we were only as tall as the width of her thigh!) was sitting on a royal wooden plate, wearing a white royal kimono with her long black hair (her face was out of the screen) as she began to rain hail down on us: i cast protective barrier spells but also decided to just run for it. outside, there were many mobs summoned by her and i took care of some of them but ended up dying so i revived myself there, and tried to kill them by seeing the next move they would make (which didnt make things any easier). in the end i just switched over to my Buccaneer, who could just trash them by sending nukes down from platform above. there was a lot of loot: red/gray crabs, bees, stingers… i collected them from right beside a conversation between Lucifer and a crab: the crab was shortsighted but somehow I knew Lucifer would not say anything about me. After i went back i was reprimanded, while they told me about how Nagasakihime boss fight allows 1 person to sleep and gain ores in the dream while the others fight, and i handed over the stuff i looted from killing everything, which also involved ores. at the same time, Lucifer‘s servant encountered the Demon King, and suggested for him to visit his son’s room, which was currently in terrible shape as his son seemed to have killed everything. The King went in and remarked the lack of mobs, but when Lucifer said he no longer wished to be attacked by the mobs, the King coaxed him by showing the number of injuries each Demon King had to have, with his grandfather clocking in the most at 1842 fatal ones, 1536 with medical attention and 182 minor ones. it was inevitable, and Lucifer had to get used to it. which he did not, and so he plotted to escape, remembering a story he once read of a Demon Queen to be who desired not the position, and so when she brought her horse back in after training and as the stable doors were about to close, she ordered the sun to rise instead, as the tendrils of trees ripped the doors open and she flew off on her horse, free.

74% of dream 030916 (edited typos to allow for basic comprehension)

the skin of my eyes feel heavy but even if it close then i cant stop thinking. what else must i do. what else can i finish doing. i want to work on the lyrics i want to write i want to produce keep producing something if its the only way i can get this turmoil into some shape someway or the other if i draw what should i draw maybe another 2 col piece black and white positive and negative space but ive been doing that a lot recently its an apt style for my mood but i must keep progressing, im bored i want to do something else. ive watercoloured too much for work. maybe acrylic again i liked the effect with luna. or matcha paint thatd be interesting or a silver/gold toned work whenever i find my brush pen. who has it? who can i blame? this is why i hate giving anything. even though i tried to no one appreciated it no one seemed to like it no one cared and in the end why did i do it? i hate giving anything. loaning anything. of course you shouldnt be expecting gifts back but i always feel so underwhelmed. i gave this gift which i worked so hard on and no one cares. maybe im succumbing to a superiority complex again, remember when i mentioned this and all i got was the suggestion that i seem to think im the only one whos “unique”? any element of not liking others must mean some form of egoism. “theyre bad” “theyre inefficient” to be able to say that must mean in some form that you think youre better. “theyre bad and i am too”? what does bad even mean what right do i have to define that word, i dont have jurisdiction what must i do to gain that right
my heart skips a beat when my phone drops. it also skips many beats when i have to say nothing ive thought through a lot, i cant breathe it hurts, my heads dizzy, i can focus on nothing but the rapid beating of my heart and i have to struggle to control my breathing, is that what it means to “be anxious” or to “have anxiety” ill never know because ill never work up the courage to believe that i have a “right” to having a mental illness, thats so incorrect to say and that just makes me sound like an asshole, but honestly im just normal norm normal all the way i wont ever be outstanding or dysfunctional in any way

29% of sleeptalk 290717 (edited typos to allow for basic comprehension)

What I enjoy is the fact that they don’t seem like they make sense, but at the same time they kind of do, especially dreams. Once you write it down it becomes truly apparent how bizarre it is, but when you’re still experiencing it, it all makes logical sense to you. The challenge, of course, is to make it make sense beyond just me.

For the dream I find it bizarre that new characters can be introduced so easily without it seemingly weird, and sometimes order is maintained just by the same character appearing again even if in the most different scenarios (and even if you have no awareness of their appearance you can still tell it’s them). Also, how incredibly weird it is that you can have the most detailed information even with the most vague descriptions. And how very different things are happening, but with an adequate explanation you can convince people that it’s all interlinked.

For the sleeptalk it’s also interesting to see how it’s a lot about the person themself. For the me of then, when I think of what I can do, I think of drawing, and that leads to me exploring different mediums. Then the fact that I’ve recently lost my brushpen helps to lead from the subject of drawing to general angst at other people. The real world interrupting the stream of thought and starting a new one is also an interesting concept.

So far I’ve only talked about visuals when the emphasis should be on sound, so let’s try looking at a childhood favourite of mine, hanamushi (花蟲)! Hanamushi has a very distinctive, surreal and eerie style, and I think the idea of reverie was nicely shown in this work:

Short Animation 「Daydream Girl」

I opted against doing the full video analysis since that’s kind of long, but I’d say there are 4 very evident categories of sound.

  1. Diegetic: Could be further divided into real sound and “fantasy” sound, but let’s leave it as is. Sound like the mouse’s squeaking, frog’s clapping, page’s flipping, all fall under here.
  2. Non-Diegetic long-term: The closest to mood music there will be, things like the sounds of chimes and xylophones and bongos which transition from each other as per parts of the video. It helps to define changes in the landscape, with things like the frog getting the deeper sound of drums versus the lighter chime sounds of things like flies.
  3. Non-Diegetic short-term: Like long-term in defining movement, only that rather than characterising whole chunks of areas it provides context as to occurrences, such as a scale ascension when the skeleton unfurls.
  4. Non-Diegetic permanent: The consistent sound throughout everything, the static. I think this is more an accident of sound mixing than actual intention, though, because it’s present whenever there’s sound, but absent whenever no sound track is being played.

I think what helps to keep the sounds remaining united even with different instruments is the common time signature, and what helps to separate is the deviation from that, sometimes with increasing tempo too. There’s a purposeful use of tempo, so fluctuations or off beat sound effects stand out.

I came up with this narrative ordering by myself, but I think it’s a fairly obvious chain of effect which was also shown in hanamushi’s work.

  1. Something of the real world acts as a trigger
  2. The trigger leads onto another thought and another, and another
  3. The chain is broken when something of the real world snaps you back to reality

There are very few examples I could find, but I thought this was good too:

Good Books – Metamorphosis (Buck) (nice variation of sounds, with appropriate animations)

Regardless, the point of the reverie style is to allow a mixture of different types of sounds and mediums. I don’t want to be limited to anything, because it’s all about your head and where your thoughts lead you, so it could go anywhere.

Again, though, it’s about trying to make it relatable to everyone, which is hard because the ways people think are different from each other, so things that have an obvious correlation to me might not link up as well for another. At the very least, though, the location I’m working on is


It’s very specific, but necessary I suppose. I’m still working on the sequence of images and sounds, trying not to focus too much on images as opposed to linking sounds. The trigger I’m thinking of is the bus halting sound, so I suppose I’d try to find sounds which sound similar, or which are commonly associated with that.

Or maybe I can try the Good Books thing, in having a sort of monologue, although I don’t think that’d be as effective simply because people DON’T monologue in their head (as far as I know, which I wouldn’t because I only know I don’t).

Analysing SHAFT surrealness & Quote exploration

Alternative title: Excerpt of me brainstorming on Sept 23 at 01:03:29 because I couldn’t think of anything.

The fact that I myself, at the moment of painting, do not understand my own pictures, does not mean that these pictures have no meaning; on the contrary, their meaning is so profound, complex, coherent, and involuntary that it escapes the most simple analysis of logical intuition.

I always feel like I have problems conceptualising “surreality”, probably because my opinion on it is very close to Salvador Dali’s, that true surrealism is when I create something that even I can’t understand. But I don’t think that’s something I can do, to let go of all rationality and be able to confidently say that’s what I’m presenting, and yet, I can’t feel comfortable creating something that was purposeful, imbued with meaning, and call it “surrealism”. And that’s problematic for me, because it really affected my ability to complete Project 1, and, as evidently shown by my lack of progress even by this date and time, Project 2.

So I’m writing to make sense of things. When I try to narrow down the scope to something more tangible, then, I think more of SHAFT. They’re a Japanese company renown for their unique style, which often treads the line of symbolic surrealism.


I think the best examples are their portrayals of witches, otherworldly beings of despair (sample 1 and sample 2). In both examples, the witches and their domains are seen in juxtaposition to the “real world”, where they create a world which is nonsensical, filled with extended imagery, repetition, etc.

(Some background knowledge, first. The “witch” is an otherworldly monster, which has her own domain, a world separate from the real world and shaped by her warped consciousness. She also has minions, servants which act as her proxies. Also, Madoka is the pink-haired girl.)

Sample 1 shows the domain of the witch Elly, who is described as the “box witch with a covetous nature. She is a staunchly reclusive witch. Anything she covets she locks away within glass. The thoughts of her prisoners are laid bare, but one can strike her without thought without problems.

The video presents this nature in a surreal way which I will now attempt to analyse.

The witch herself takes the form of a girl. Her torso is like that of a ball jointed doll’s, and her bottom half is a mess of colours (a skirt?) resembling some kind of haphazard oil painting. Everything about her looks like a messy painting, but when presented on screens she is shown to have a clear form, though she is but a silhouette. Perhaps this pays homage to her nature as a recluse, as she appears only through screens, only appearing as her true form when dead. That her body is like that of paint (and of a doll) is also suggestive of how she is easily struck, like paint which can be melded easily (or a doll which can be fragile).

Her servants are humanoid, but anti-naturalistic, and with one wing and a halo. “The box witch’s minions with the duty of transportation. Anything they touch becomes easy to carry.” Again, the bizarre form ties in with the crazed mind of the witch, and the wing and halo likely represents how they are like angels, which “carry” precious things to “paradise”. Their purpose also likely ties in with her coveting nature, in wanting to take precious things. This is shown thoroughly in the video, where they carry Madoka, defying the laws of physics (she’s probably heavy!)


SHAFT also uses a lot of imagery, and for conciseness I’ll just summarise:

  • Entering the domain: I’m classifying this together because it’s a mess of fast-paced “blink and miss” patterned images. Doors opening, windows with people behind curtains, a screen with illegible green digital text, headless women dressed in different colours, flipcard-worthy girl-walking animation, then the “eye” opening. I think the door is pretty obvious, the curtain not so much (the idea of a guest being anticipated?) The screen, perhaps the witch setting up; the headless women, possibly previous prisoners, all similar looking with only minute differences, and the flipcards, possibly showing the witch preparing herself? The eye opening is rather clear, too, that it’s about entering the soul.
  • Carousel horses: Gaiety? Naivety? I’m not too sure on this, but it’s probably safe to say it shows a certain carefree festivity. The horses are also shown to carry the screens, and line the domain in a cylindrical shape, so they possibly act as the “bars” as well.
  • Screens: Likely the “box” that she is mentioned to be the witch of. The screen likely represents her nature as reclusive, in that she appears only through a proxy. It also shows the ability to lay bare the thoughts of prisoners, where the screens show things about Madoka which the witch should not know
  • Water: Or is it? It appears to be, but there’s no oxygen deficiency, and the water doesn’t seem to adhere to physics. Nevertheless, this probably corresponds to the idea of being trapped within “glass”, where both are clear.
  • When Madoka is saved, au contraire, things shift back to “reality”, the original art style, and proper “real” forms fighting against the surreal witch’s world.
  • Even at the end, “blood” is presented as a colourful rainbow, or black ink spurting out and splattering onto the domain’s borders (the real screen)

I won’t talk about Sample 2, which involves a main character and will definitely have a lot of things which can be mentioned.

Some of their backgrounds too, especially when the background doesn’t represent the physical space as opposed to a character’s feelings, or a certain overarching theme/aesthetic. I mostly like the random/alternating/whatever rhythms, especially geometric shapes with a chaos of intersecting lines at random angles. (1 2 3 4)


For me, what I find most admirable is the beauty of extended imagery. I really like having consistent ideas running throughout and reminding you of their existence. I also like contrasts, so the whole surreal versus reality/single person vs repeated background/etc is really appealing to me too.

I initially wanted to do some other “real people” films, like the charming (but also non-international release and obscure) Tetsu no Ko and Kingsglaive (just because I’m FFXV trash). For the sake of actually having a linking theme, though, I decided to just go with animated Japanese youth drama films, i.e. over the top drama, some existential crises, social anxiety, etc.

The problem I previously had was lack of personal input. So I’m going to do what I do (almost somewhat) best, which is writing prose about my feelings, then taking the key points and associating it with images.

どうすれば良かったの?(What should I do?)

I’m at a loss as to what to do, with too many burdens pulling me down. Somewhere out there must be some form of salvation, I wish that I could purge it all, throw away everything, but vines hold me down, they ensnare me and whisper to me that there is no hope beyond this mundane existence. Please let me be free. I want to be free from all of this.

  • At a loss (human figure background)
  • Burdens (a mess of stuff)
  • Salvation (water, heavenly and clear)
  • Ensnarement (snakes, holding you down)

I’m feeling somewhat dissatisfied at my current composition, because I did it separately before the others so I don’t feel like I’ve put enough linking qualities to the other compositions (e.g. border shape, repeated/similar imagery), and it feels very different from the rest in terms of overcongestion. I do want to include koi fish and “no solution” math, but it seems somewhat irrelevant…

それが結び。それが時間。(This is connection. This is time.)

Even though my body is torn to shreds and I am wrecked beyond repair, but my existence still remains. As long as my influence on this world remains, even in the smallest shard, I still remain, for all my ephemerality, for all time and space. Even my cough can change the world, or perhaps not, but somewhere, somehow, I changed something in this world, and that binds me eternally to this space.

  • Destroyed body (cracked sculpture)
  • Ephemerality (sand)
  • Influence on world, even smallest (butterflies)
  • Time and space (ancient architecture)
  • Eternal binding (??

私の声消えたことみんな喜んだ (Everyone is happy that my voice has disappeared)

No more, I am afraid, don’t listen to me. How audacious, how filthy the sound, and when even I can see the entrails of these soiled words, no matter how innocent they seemed to be when they came out. I can’t breathe knowing that someone possibly holds disdain for me, by what I said, I can’t breathe thinking their eyes tear me apart and my words which I didn’t think of prior have were always monsters which would create a rift between me and everyone else.

  • Disgusting words (bleeding ink)
  • Twisted words (scrabble tiles, THEA or HATE)
  • Disdain for me
  • Rift creation

もう一回。 (Just once more.)

Just once more, I’d like to remember what it was like. To be able to careen in fields of green with bare feet, sing unabashedly into the night sky, forget the passing of time with fine lines. If I am to spend eternity as a cog in society, doomed to tedium and normality, then please let me remember once again, what it was like, freedom and serenity without the scorns of time, and all of humanity’s business and productivity which I cannot bear.

  • Insignificant piece of society (cog)
  • Tedium (also cog)
  • Freedom and serenity (??)
  • Cannot bear it (??)

[To be continued. Or edited. Maybe]

[Edit: Now my problem is conciseness. Why am I so weak]