At TEDxFultonStreet in New York City, long, white, plushy mats lined the lobby of the theater, emblazoned with the invitation to “Dream on Me.” This was the work of conceptual artist Xavier Roux, who aimed to create a project that would complement the cerebral, creative atmosphere of a TEDx event.
“TEDx [events] are very inspiring events, so I thought it would be interesting to provide a space for people to dream,” said Roux. Attendees sat, posed, laid and stretched out on the mats, taking a few minutes to relax, collect thoughts, daydream, and chew on the big ideas of the day.
But little did they know that evidence of these dreams would be captured. Roux’s mats covered two layers of canvas, one filled with ultra-marine blue pigment and the other blank. Each time a person applied pressure to the mat — a footstep, a touch — the imprint was preserved in blue, adding to day-long, collaborative artwork. “I wanted to record the traces of dreams, so I decided to place the layers of canvas underneath,” he said.
“I love the concept of TED,” Roux said. “When I met with Aaron Sylvan, the organizer of TEDxFultonStreet, he explained to me his concept … and I immediately wanted to contribute one way or another. Like Joseph Beuys, I believe that everybody is an artist and I use participation as an ingredient to my art projects. I thought that TEDxFultonStreet would be the perfect platform to share my vision about arts. I believe that the more people tap into their creative spirit, the better the world we would live in.”