[ISEA2011] Paper: Melissanthi Saliba – Moments of Liminal Space: Methodologies And Practices For The Study Of Transition


Moments of Space is a multiplatform installation of a series of rhizomatic portraits of strangers who are waiting in the Los Angeles Union Station. The waiting room of a train station is a space lost in time where I go to observe. The waiting body becomes the threshold between the everyday experience of public spaces and the unexplored territory of subjective motional states and gestures. The movements of waiting are documented and then tracked and treated as data, and visualized through print, video animation and sound. The waiting body, withdrawn from its everyday functional state, reveals the microgeography of the space that surrounds it. The project brings into attention the purposeless forgotten gestures of waiting, addressing their need for representation. “Moments of Liminal Space” suggest a subjective tracing and mapping of different ways by which individuals move in space. The installation consists of 6 inkjet prints (42.5 x 32 inch), video (3 portable dvd players with 9 inch screen) and sound (3 mp3 players and speakers). The prints and the portable dvd players playing the video of the waiting individuals, are mounted on the wall. Electrical power supply will be needed for the  3 9-inch portable dvd players. The sound of the installation is playing out of 3 small portable speakers, connected to 3 mp3 players and it is not very loud, inviting visitors to go closer. The piece ideally requires bright lighting condition, in order to be viewed. In case of lack of space, the size of the installation could be reduced to 3 inkjet prints instead of 6. “Moments of Liminal Space” is a thesis project that was presented with great success at the UCLA New Wight Gallery, as part of the 2010 MFA show.

  • Melissanthi Saliba (Alumni of the UCLA Design and Media Arts program, USA)is a media artist, designer, and researcher exploring cultural phenomena and practices in urban environments. Her work moves through a spectrum of multiple media forms and disciplines, including graphic design, photography, video and audio installation, design research and strategy, online environments, and data visualization. Drawing from an anthropocentric and anthropometric approach, her work explores the qualitative aspects of the subjective experience in the interactions between humans and the spaces that surround them. Through the development of a transdisciplinary practice, Melissanthi has focused on generating experimental and creative forms that frame and document experiences and interactions that happen in the moment, questioning given processes connected to knowledge and participation. Her work revolves around the constant quest of rendering visible the hidden aspects of open-air cultural practices and public spaces. Personally collected “data” expressing subjective states are the raw material for the curated assemblage of docu-fictional environments and portraits. As a writer, Melissanthi has published her essays on media aesthetics and media archaeology of urban environments, exploring past, current, and future sensibilities. As a design strategist and communication expert, she has worked as a consultant collaborating with well-known private and public organizations and Think Tanks. Melissanthi  holds a Bachelor of Science in Cultural Studies and Communication and a Master of Fine Arts from the UCLA Design and Media Arts program.  art.melissanthisaliba.com

Full text (PDF)  p. 2119-2124