Panel: Travels Through Hyper-Liminality: Exploring the space where digital meets the real
In ARISTOTELIAN PHILOSOPHY, the process of change from a lower level of potentiality to the higher level of actuality is known as becoming. Maslow refers to this process as self-actualisation, or to become more and more of what one is, or capable of becoming. In order for the process of becoming to take place the dissolution of the normative values or understanding of one’s self and context is necessary (Turner 2008). This dissolution, a liminal phase, although initially destabilising, can create an environment conducive to the individual’s values and normal modes of behaviour being reflected upon and transformed. Digital technology, particularly the internet, ‘ a natural environment for liminality’ (Waskul 2004,40) in conjunction with open source software/culture and their inherent liminal qualities are considered as tools for the creation and production of liminal phases / liminoid spaces. The paper introduces the role of liminal phases/liminoid spaces for the process of becoming, drawing from anthropological theories of Van Gennap and Turner, and the concept of individuation as argued through Maslow’s concept of self-actualisation and Jungian psychology. Informed by these theories, the contribution of participatory art/tech projects for the practice of place-making is considered as a process of becoming, both for participating individuals and their wider context. (Place-making simply put is the process of people coming together in space to ‘make’ place). Through examples of participatory art/tech projects and the liminal phases/liminoid spaces they produce, the paper argues how the undoing of given understandings of place can occur, affording new understandings of place and the individual’s place within that context. To conclude, the paper explores the potential of this process to produce communitas (social structure based on common humanity and equality rather than recognized hierarchy the participants and place involved) through the contribution of participatory art/tech projects within the practice of place-making, potentially a process of ‘becoming’ both for the participants and place involved.
- Witt, C. Ways of Being: Potentiality and Actuality in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 2003.
- Turner, V. Liminality and Communitas, in The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure. New Brunswick: Aldine Transaction Press, 2008.
- Waskul, D. D. Net.?seXXX: Readings on Sex, Pornography, and the Internet. New York: P. Lang, 2004.
- Anita McKeown is an interdisciplinary artist, producer, curator and researcher working in the public domain, with a focus on the potential of open-source software / culture to transform space to place. She is currently undertaking a PhD within the SMARTlab Research Institute, University College Dublin (IR), where she is also Artist-in Residence. She has worked as Creative Director of Arts Services Un-incorporated (ASU) a not-for-profit arts organisation based in South East London, which she co-founded (2006). She was elected by invitation to the Royal Society of Arts (2008) and was the recipient of a prestigious Bravo Award (2005), the only non-U.S. citizen to do so to date for a digital public art project in Memphis TN, US. Her experience of project development and management as well as cross arts experience within a range of contexts has evolved through her work with a number of organisations within the arts e.g. ART.e @ the art of change, Lewisham Youth theatre, Music in Prisons, Razor Edge Theatre Company and Heart N Soul Theatre Company. Her work continues to be exhibited and performed nationally and internationally, recently completing a 3 month residency in Taos, New Mexico, resulting in nacfr.?org, a collaborative, on and offline network project.
Full text (PDF) p. 1691-1695 [Title slightly different]