Theater of Collective Desire


Evio Isaac

American/Puerto Rican

Rice University


-FINALIST of BUYING Competition


Shopping the Subconscious







There is nothing more thrilling than satisfying a deep desire in a dream nor anything more frustrating than realizing satisfaction was a transgression of the subconscious. The brain’s reward circuit is brightly illuminated as we dream, and dims as the dream recedes. As we awaken, we lament the loss of these fleeting cognitive artifacts, though, through this exchange, we learn about ourselves.


The persistence and specificity of information about products and services (notifications, advertisements) curbs our ability to imagine ourselves. Paradoxically, the more information we are told about our preferences by brands, the less we know about ourselves. The Theater of Collective Desire is a retreat from obvious externalities in a refurbished suburban mall, a place as idiosyncratic as it is familiar. Much of the artifice of commerce remains but stripped of any previous content.


The Theater reorients commerce as a reflective rather than reflexive act facilitated by mindful sleep in balloon-like sleeping pods. Digital ledgers record individual dreaming, and, after each sleep cycle, project our desires on the inside membrane of individual pods. Aloft, and withdrawn from the physical world, we peruse our subconscious and alight after each dream with a clearer understanding of who we are becoming.

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