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  • Writer's pictureAVIROOP ROY

Liminality and AR Art

Imagine you're at the grocery store buying some groceries with your family, your mom forgets the milk and you're at the front counter paying so you run back to get some milk and as you're picking up the milk. You realize there is no one around you no one in sight, pure silence aside from the faint hum buzz of the fluorescent lights above your head it's isolation like if the floor just opened you would fall in and nobody would notice. It's unnerving to say the least you quickly head back and deliver the milk but that feeling, it sticks with you the rest of the way home. In this situation the best way to describe the feeling you felt is from being in a liminal space and a liminal space is basically a waiting area between one point and the next it's a space between what was and what's next (imagine it in the context of AR) and you were just with your family happily making jokes and buying groceries and now you're completely alone, nobody to talk to, nobody to associate with. It's you, these walls and the milk it's that feeling of loneliness that entices the liminal space feeling a place at any other time that would normally be populated densely with other people is now completely empty. You go in relying on others to keep you company just to find that it's just you and it will only be just you. It feels strange, it feels like the walls are closing in like I'm somewhere I shouldn't be somewhere foreboding, forbidden, forgotten but what qualifies as a liminal space?

Things like empty schools and stores abandoned buildings and stairwells are all examples of liminal spaces places that make you feel uncomfortable after prolonged periods of exposure. But you can also have liminal spaces in your mind periods of emotion that lead you from one state of mind to another can also qualify as a liminal space. Job loss, divorce, moving houses all things that signify a change in one's life. So what am I getting at here why am I explaining liminal spaces well it's more or less another sensation to add to your personal lexicon of feelings. A word to describe the way that you felt that one time where it wasn't quite fear but it also wasn't as innocuous as simply being uneasy. It's a prolonged exposure to an environment that is supposed to serve as a quick passage from one place to another, a metaphorical conduit of one's mind and body or maybe it's the act of noticing things that aren't meant to be noticed. Things that were intended to serve as nothing more than background information something that exists only for the reason of existing. Whatever you take away from this just know that that feeling is real is a biological response to being somewhere at the wrong time, an alarm going off in your head telling you to get out but

what does your brain want to escape from so badly? why do we feel this primordial sense of fear when exposed to these environments?

AR art exhibitions in liminal spaces are another question all together, capable of adding substance to that emptiness, to that sense of dread, the AR medium is at the point where its not perfectly viable neither is it completely avoidable. AR is at that point of liminality where healer itself suffers from the disease they aim to cure.

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