Panel: Travels Through Hyper-Liminality: Exploring the space where digital meets the real
The ease in which we experience the liminal through technology mediated virtual space is even more pronounced when the space is avatar-mediated creating an oscillating state of existence between the virtual and the physical. Yet both consciousness and the imagination depend on this liminality of space. With a focus on the ‘threshold’ this continual ‘about to become’ is almost a necessary condition of being. Some virtual environments (or worlds) deliberately play with this ‘existential overlay to the physical’ (Lichty 2009: 2). Working with a new framework of the emergent imagination consideration is given to the transitional spaces created in artworks in virtual world spaces where aspects of the liminal come to the fore. This paper considers to what extent we can examine imaginative or liminal states that are, as Edward Casey notes, ‘remarkably easy to enter into’, yet their ‘very ephemerality renders [them] resistant to conceptual specification of a precise sort’ (Casey 2000: 6- 7). The paper considers to what extent transitional spaces share similar characteristics to the liminal. Does the liminal always find the point of the threshold? Does avatar-mediation (re)space the imagination to a place geographically distant from the body? Do we experience liminality in a similar way? Or is the liminal more closely bound to the temporal? To what extent are both conditioned by the virtual? The relationship between the transitional and liminal, and the avatar experience, sets out a particular view of the imagination and its elusive, and sometimes liminal, qualities.
- Denise Doyle, University of Wolverhampton, UK, recently completed her research at SMARTlab Digital Media Institute, University of East London (UK) (under the directorship of Professor Lizbeth Goodman) where she undertook a practice-based PhD investigating the Artist’s experience of the Imaginary and Imagination in Virtual Worlds. She has developed a new framework for the Imagination that incorporates experiences of mediated spaces created through interdisciplinary research in Art and Technology. Denise recently guest co-edited a Special Issue on the Imagination and Virtual Worlds for the Journal of Gaming and Virtual Worlds, where she also sits as an editorial board member. She recently joined the editorial board for the International Journal of Performance Art and Digital Media. A recent collaborative artist residency in West Bengal, India, has developed new avenues for her research on the virtual, the imaginary and place. Her research interests include: virtual worlds, interactive film, philosophies of the imagination, practice-based research methods, and digital narratives. wlv.ac.uk/about-us/our-staff/denise-doyle