Dreamtime Village F.A.Q.
Why "Dreamtime" Village?
The name of dreamtime was chosen from the aborigine philosophy/life style. Central to their belief system is that their dreams are real & their waking life is a dream. (The Aztecs & probably other cultures also operated on this belief.) Their 45,000 year old culture is the oldest uninterrupted sustainable culture on this planet. As hunters & gathers they have devoted a lot of time to ritual, tribal chanting, dancing, body painting, & mask works, as means of maintaing a spiritual /psychic connection to plant & animal life, far more intense than that of the western world. While our version of dreamtime will pale next to theirs, it is an image of civilization which has powerful impact in the post-industrial Solar Age.
Where is Dreamtime?
Dreamtime Village is located in the "Driftless Region" of Wisconsin (Driftless in its being an area untouched by the glacial drift of the last 7 ice ages) in West Lima, a town of about 60. The nearest small town is La Farge, which is about 6 miles away. Having a car is crucial out here since the closest towns are miles away. Of them, at a distance of about a 30 minute drive, is Viroqua, which houses an alternative high school and food-coop, among other things. West Lima is about 90 miles from Madison, Wisconsin. Some interesting features of this area include Dr. Evermore's Foreverton, the International Crane Foundation, and the Effigy Mounds.
How/when did Dreamtime get started?
The inception of Dreamtime Village was inspired by the donation of five southwestern Wisconsin properties in 1991 to the 10-year old Madison-based experimental arts organization Xexoxial Endarchy, Ltd. Xexoxial had been looking for some time for new ehadquarters to facilitate its multifarious activities. Its Madison headquarters had already become an overcrowded visitor's center for alternative art culture; the front yard display (Avant-Garde Museum of Temporary Art) was running out of room for the homeless works frequently donated to it; acreage was needed for gourd growing & experimental gardening, and so on. Further Xexoxiall was expanding its focus to include earthworks, recycling of used and found materials, the combining of sculptural aesthetics with alternative energy production (for example, wind-machine sculpture), experimental small scale sustainable agriculture, & in general, creative solutions to environmental problems.
What does the lodging consist of?
There are rooms with various degrees of furniture and bedding in the Hotel where visitors often stay. In the warmer months, people often camp out or sleep on the grass, under the stars. Eric's cabin-like house may be available (with an additional rental charge), as well as an old bookmobile parked behind the Gym. Hopefully the Mansion, a building whose restoration was delayed by an electrical fire a while back, will eventually be ready to accept guests.
Can I come visit?
Visitors are always welcome. We ask that you call or email us in advance, and if you're staying the night, for a donation of 8 dollars - but we won't turn people away for lack of funds.
How does Dreamtime govern itself? How do community decisions get made?
We hold weekly meetings where topics of a predetermined agenda are discussed and voted upon using the consensus-minus-one system.
Do people at Dreamtime play music?
There is potential for lot's of music-making a Dreamtime. In the upper room of the P.O. reside dozens of instruments, including flutes, drums, zithers, guitars, a piano, saxophone, didgeridoo, etc. Drum-circles and fire-side jams are not uncommon.
What are some events and projects in Dreamtime's history?
A convention on gourd-craft, permaculture intensives, school for designing society, circuses, lectures, concerts...
What should I NOT expect?
One should not expect to be passively entertained, or to slack and withdraw from helping with the day-to-day projects of Dreamtime without problematic feelings arising. Dreamtime is rooted in DIY-culture, which means getting stuff done by your own initiative. There are no time charts here, and uncommunicated grudges can boil up toward an eventual explosion that could have otherwise been avoided.
Do I have to pay rent?
Residents, interns, and visitors alike are expected to offer $170 per month to help pay for the various expenses involved in maintaining Dreamtime.
What kind of jobs are available proximate to Dreamtime?
Seasonal jobs for cash are often offered by local farms. Organic Valley, the largest organic farmer's co-op in the country, offers a substantial body of professional employment in the area. mIEKAL is their webmaster. Other jobs range quite a bit. There is a good-sized "alternative" community in nearby towns, such as Viroqua, where one may be able to find employment accordingly.
Where do you get your food? How much of it comes from the gardens?
In the summertime, much of our food can come from the gardens, but it really depends on how many people are staying here. Most of the rest of our food comes from grocery stores in nearby towns. In the past, many folks did dumpster-diving, but locks on dumpsters and local law-enforcement has made that much more difficult. There are communal kitchens with space for both public and personal food items.
What are some of the day to day activities involved in living at Dreamtime?
Garden work, construction, cooking, dish-washing, cleaning, music-making, book-making and publishing, enjoying homegrown foods, bonfires...
...More information to come!