Experiencing Dr. Hugo's Fuzzy Dreamz
Candina Hutchings
Published on: February 16, 2001

Dr. Hugo has created a fascinating site that takes us into the "fuzzy logic" of dreams. Dr. Hugo's Fuzzy Dreamz contains a series of stars. You are invited to pick a star, and when you do, a vignette appears. Set up in a series of six boxes, three on top, three on bottom, each vignette cycles through completely in about three seconds, then repeats, until you click on another star. The three images on top are identical, as are the three on bottom. With the disjointed audio, and with no further explanation, the experience is set up to explore whom we are when we are dreaming. Each cycle is open to interpretation, adding to the surreal experience.

The vignettes cover a range of emotions from fear to fun. The split screen effect is used to effectively convey humor in one episode showing the effects of G-forces on a man's face. The same effect is eerie when used to depict a woman sleeping and a man's silhouette running within a bright light. Dr. Hugo takes full advantage of the digital resources available. He bombards you with short, fast images that can be plumbed deeply, or skimmed over. Rather than ask this generation, which grew up on 15 minute television bites, and 30 second screaming commercials to spend hours pondering the meaning of a particular shade of red, Dr. Hugo makes his art in quick, noisy, easily digestible chunks.

While there has been much lamenting over the computer society, there can be no doubt that we have seen an irreversible change in the way we process information. With the advent of instant everything, an artist who refuses to acknowledge that, and continues in the tradition of the "old masters" will find his work good for nothing except decoration. The old masters were so masterful because at the time, they were on the edge. They were exploring new concepts and methods, which is what this generation of Internet artists are doing. With instant and constant access to knowledge on any subject, we no longer look to art as an object apart-to teach and edify. While good art may do both, that will not be its sole purpose. Dr. Hugo's fuzzy Dreamz is successful because his art is interactive, inviting the viewer to choose his own experience. In this way, it becomes a joint effort between the artist and viewer. The artist is dethroned from his position of omniscient wizard, and is instead a facilitator-an appropriate role for an artist to assume among a culture of rabid individualists. 

Another worthwhile endeavor of Dr. Hugo's site is his Museums of the Mind, which contains links to his work, as well as the work of others. This is an excellent resource for Internet art, which can be difficult to locate amidst the scores of conventional art links. This section contains a brief description of and link to Dr. Hugo's past works. As digital art is becoming more prevalent, look for more sites of this caliber to appear. In the meantime, enjoy Dr. Hugo's Fuzzy Dreamz, and have a few of your own.

Museums of the Mind ||