Nora Kahil, Menna Mostafa, Mostafa Emad and Christine Ramez

Paul Walter, Matthias Kutscher and Maximilian Wambach


In our project we used drawing in expressing a certain dream by some patients and analyzing them by some doctors, which is related to psychoanalysis as it's mainly about analyzing a person's psychological state but through dreams. It's mainly a skype conference between us Egyptian students and German students where we are playing the role of the patient and they are playing the role of the Doctor (Analyst).

As defined on wikipedia Psychoanalysis is a body of ideas developed by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and continued by others. It is primarily devoted to the study of human psychological functioning and behavior, although it can also be applied to societies. Psychoanalysis has three main components:

	1.	a method of investigation of the mind and the way one thinks;
	2.	a systematized set of theories about human behavior;
	3.	a method of treatment of psychological or emotional illness

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Psychoanalysis - Drawing - Patient - Doctor - Gestalt Therapy


Psychoanalysis is having a difficult time promoting research. As a profession, it's deeply committed to concerns that involve individuality, struggles with conflict, and constructing psychological meaning in the midst of the surrounding culture and life context. So after researching we thought about trying a different approach in psychoanalysis which is drawing, where the analyst and the patient should interact only through drawing. As a result this approach can make the whole process a lot easier for the patient, as he won't have to listen to any verbal comments neither say any that may interrupt him while expressing his feelings. Our purpose in this project is to test a new approach in psychoanalysis which is using drawing instead of using a verbal communication and to examine how much does an analyst interpretation differs from one another.

  • Concept Process

We went through several stages to decide on our final concept, At the beginning we thought about Psychoanalysis from the perspective of analyzing one’s personality through his/her appearance and behavior, and we Combined this concept with that of the game-pictionary –which aim is to draw words for others to know- so we got this idea: Through a Skype conference, with a camera focusing only on both participants’ hands, a piece of paper and a pen, the communication is going to start. Both participants (A and B) are supposed to communicate silently via drawing: which means that both members have to make a conversation but through drawings! For example, when participant A is drawing, participant B will instinctively analyze his/her character through his/her drawing and hands, then talk back via drawing too. Afterwards we developed our concept slightly, we thought of making participant B analyze participant A's drawing but this time via talking not drawing, so for example participant A will draw something where the camera focuses on his/her hands while participant B will be analyzing the drawing with a camera focusing on his/her face to show his/her expressions to the drawing and also to show him/her while talking and analyzing the drawing.

  • Final Concept

After we researched more about psychoanalysis we thought of it from a wider perspective, we wanted to examine not the person's personality but rather his/her emotional and psychological state. So we though about analyzing this psychological state through dreams, which is a part of the Freud's concept of psychoanalysis, combining this with the German's concept of distortion we decided on our final concept; where we will make a SKYPE conference between two participants (A and B), A (The Egyptians) will take the role of the patient and B (The Germans) will take the role of the Doctor who will analyze the patient's psychological situation through a dream that the patient will draw, then the doctor will distort this drawing and this shall be the analysis. One dream will be scripted then each one of us (The Egyptians) will draw it in his own way according to his imagination and this will leave us with 4 different drawings of the same dream. The thing is that the distortion will be based on the performance of each person's drawing, so for example if someone is drawing a bit quickly or with kind of violence, then the image will be highly distorted, or if another for example is drawing too slowly and softly then there will be a little distortion and so on. In this conference both camera's will be mainly focusing on the drawings, the first (participant A) will focus on the patient's hands and the drawing from the top left angle, while the other camera (participant B) will focus on the image while being distorted from the top view.

  • The Dream

In the dream there's a girl wearing a dress, standing in the middle of an island filled with flowers, trees and gardens looking freely and joyfully at the world around her. However, beyond her small world the rest of the world is filled with horror and terror and very dark and there is only a sea that separates both worlds. This dream conveys one's fears from the outer world and what's far or unknown.


  • Methods

This performance included 4 participants around the same age which is 20, where each one had a different way of drawing than the other. The first is fast, the second is shaking an hesitated, the third is aggressive, and the 4th is calm and very slow.

  • Instruments

To be able to make our performance we needed Skype for the call, Screenium for capturing the call, and a web camera to capture the participants' hands from the top view. Also max/msp was used in the distortion by the german participants but unfortunately the results weren't very strong, so we changed their part and did another distortion instead using some effects from final cut and finally made a split screen using after effects.


  • First Video

We found out that the video is not really working as the distortion was basically quite the same for all the participants and didn't differ according to their way of drawing. So we decided to repeat the distortion part all over again.

  • Final Video

We chose a different effect for each participant to make the image distortion that analyzes his psychological state. For example for the first participant (fast) , we made the image shake in a very fast way meaning that she thinks too quickly that makes her mind crowded and disarranged. For the second participant (hesitated) we chose an echo effect to let his actions go back and forth meaning that his mind is unsettled and confused. For the third participant we chose a very strong effect which is inverting the image colors to let the majority of the image black meaning that her mind is destructive. And for the last participant (slow) we used a blur effect meaning that her mind is blurry, she doesn't know what she wants, she's lost in her thoughts.


  • Conclusion

After this performance we concluded that drawing maybe a very good way in expressing one's self not only regarding his psychological state, but also his way of drawing may reveal some parts of his personality which can help in the analysis. But the thing is this interpretation of the personality or the psychological state is not constant it changes according to the analyst perception and eventually could differ from one person's to another. So basically one could not base his/her impression on someone else's personality through psychoanalysis, because it's not enough and it won't be accurate.

  • Inspiration



We were inspired by Pictionary the game, which is now developed into a Wii game called "uDraw" and by the video of the speed painting in chat-roulette. They both gave us the idea of communicating via drawing.

  • Future recommendations

Our approach was just rising a new idea; there was no any practical attempt, so if this idea can be applied in a software it will make a great progress in that field as the software should be able to analyze one's psychological state without using any verbal communication just by analyzing the drawing of the patient, also there are other aspects that can help forming this analysis as it can give a hint about the person's personality which will help in knowing him/her and eventually analyzing him/her accurately these aspects are: The colors chosen whether it's only one color or a lot and what are these colors, also the types of colors chosen whether water colors, pastels, or markers for example, and the way of drawing: fast, slow, calm, violent... etc So the main elements needed are: Mixing the use of colors + the way of drawing = good analysis. Further experiments are going to be done in order to reassure that this software gives a specific analysis of one's personality. If it does, then it's ready to be published, if it doesn't then further research about techniques should be done.

After realizing our project we found a therapy that's more related to our project as it moves more toward action, away from mere talk therapy and our project is about using other visual approach in communication instead of the verbal communication, This therapy is also influenced by psychoanalysis. It was part of a continuum moving from the early work of Freud, to the later Freudian ego analysis, to Wilhelm Reich and his notion of character armor, with attention to nonverbal behavior. It's named Gestalt therapy, it focuses more on process (what is happening) than content (what is being discussed). The emphasis is on what is being done, thought and felt at the moment rather than on what was, might be, could be, or should be. which is more related to our project than psychoanalysis so if this approach is applied it would be a developed approach in gestalt therapy rather than psychoanalysis.