As part of One Thing Leads to Another – Everything is Connected, a series of artworks commissioned for the Jubilee line, Daria Martin undertook a survey to discover passengers’ daydreams as they travelled on the Jubilee line.
Using a questionnaire designed in the 1970s by Auke Tellegen and adapted for her project, Martin conducted a face-to-face survey of 800 passengers at ten different Jubilee line stations during early 2011 in order to uncover their susceptibility to ‘absorption,’ i.e. to getting wrapped up in their own inner world or their subjective perceptions.
Martin also visited the Freud Museum, based near the North West end of the Jubilee line, and took photographic images of the objects on Freud’s desk. A selection of the varied responses to the questionnaire and to Martin’s simple question “What have you been daydreaming about on the Tube?” have been combined with the images of these objects from the Freud Museum to make a series of new, poster based, artworks which were presented across the Tube network during 2010.
Travelling underground, or spending any length of time there, is not a natural human inclination. Martin wanted to find out to what extent people travelling on the Tube use self imposed psychological tricks on themselves as a distraction from the reality of being under the ground. It seems that one thing people do is to mentally transport themselves elsewhere, into the realms of fantasy. These daydreams can take myriad forms; they have occasionally been transformed into artworks by some artists and have even been the subject of analysis by psychologists. More often than not though they go unnoticed, even by the daydreamers themselves. What ever Tube users do mull over when they travel is, naturally, influenced by the environment around them; its design, atmosphere and visual language, as well as the wider context and culture of London itself and beyond. In other words, the contents of any body’s daydreams are a reflection of their everyday experiences.
Daria Martin’s daydream survey is an attempt to present these fleeting images ‘en masse’ as a way of revealing surprising, or critical, aspects of the way we live our city based lives and how we deal with everyday situations.
Some of the daydreams reported by Tube customers on the Jubilee line are represented below. A wider selection of the face-to-face Jubilee line customer daydream survey responses can be viewed in this downloadable PDF.