Uniquely capturing the ineffable qualities of dream states, Christopher Royal King first started using AI-tools to document his own fever dreams brought on by Covid.
Since then, King has developed a talent for conveying altered states of consciousness. From astral projections to lucid dreams, King uses AI text-to-image tools to create worlds that depict subconscious transitory states, where time is fluid and familiar objects take on new forms and functions.
Drawing on a wide range of references, from 90s new-age culture to sociology and anthropology, King creates collages that are multifaceted yet thematically coherent.
I was almost in a fever dream state when I had Covid. I had a temperature of 102 degrees (farenheit), and I was experiencing what felt like lucid dreams. I started using my dreams as prompts. Strangely, the computer was doing a good job of replicating what I had dreamt. That sent me into a wormhole of learning everything I could about lucid dreaming, astral projection, and all that stuff. It also formed the foundation for the inspiration of the images I would generate.
“Dweller on the Threshold” (banner image above) came from an actual dream I had. I woke up and immediately typed in what I saw. It’s quite eerie how close it is to what I dreamt.
I am really fascinated by the idea of capturing nether regions, different dimensions, and things we haven’t had the science to access: dreams, provisional waiting spaces, purgatory, describing what heaven might look like – things beyond our own capacity. I feel like these tools give us a way to express what we can’t understand in interesting ways.
I will read nineties new age books and create almost gibberish passages that I think are cool and incorporate them into my prompts. When I am dreaming, that’s how it feels. I am about to do something, and then it manifests into something else.
Christopher Royal King is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles, California. He is best known as the founding member and composer of the cinematic rock ensemble, This Will Destroy You. King has created musical scores for a variety of environments ranging from Michelin-awarded restaurant Vespertine to Oscar-winning films. His work has also been featured as the opening music for the Olympics in China, Climate Resolve in Switzerland, and U.S. Pentagon briefings on natural disasters.
King holds a double BFA in Communication Design and Philosophy from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and Texas State University. He has worked as an art director, senior visual designer, and video/sound editor for the last 20 years while showing fine art at various galleries across the globe. His commercial visual art has ranged from award-winning record packaging for the music group, Deftones to promotional animations for the network Adult Swim.