To­wards (Co-au­thor­ing) Com­mu­ni­tas: The Fa­cil­i­ta­tion of Be­com­ing through Par­tic­i­pa­tory Art/Tech Pro­jects and the Prac­tice of Place-Mak­ing

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Travels Through Hyper-Liminality: Exploring the space where digital meets the real

Presentation Title:

  • To­wards (Co-au­thor­ing) Com­mu­ni­tas: The Fa­cil­i­ta­tion of Be­com­ing through Par­tic­i­pa­tory Art/Tech Pro­jects and the Prac­tice of Place-Mak­ing

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • 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.
    Ref­er­ences:

    1. Witt, C. Ways of Being: Po­ten­tial­ity and Ac­tu­al­ity in Aris­to­tle’s Meta­physics. Ithaca: Cor­nell Univ. Press, 2003.
    2. Turner, V.  Lim­i­nal­ity and Com­mu­ni­tas, in The Rit­ual Process: Struc­ture and Anti-Struc­ture. New Brunswick: Al­dine Trans­ac­tion Press, 2008.
    3. Waskul, D. D. Net.?seXXX: Read­ings on Sex, Pornog­ra­phy, and the In­ter­net. New York: P. Lang, 2004.

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