Liminoid is an augmented and virtual experience of disintegrating subjectivity.
Liminoid is a portal which triggers a transition between virtual and augmented realities, thus leading to the experience of disintegrating subjectivity. In the context of anthropology, the term liminoid state describes the experience of the liminal stage of a transient selfhood that occurs during rites of passage. Much like liminality in tribal cultures, the liminoid experience, which signifies contemporary society, is achieved through a three-phase passage of separation from the old self, a transitional phase that is characterized by ambiguity and disorientation, and finally a phase of incorporation and the formation of new perspectives. This three-fold experience in Liminoid is reflected in the dramaturgy of the visual experience in the virtual / augmented reality headset, although the artists do not simply translate mental processes by visual means. Liminoid is thus not merely a simulation of the liminoid stage, but instead offers a number of augmented and virtual twists on it, thus making possible the realization of post-structural concepts such as the disintegration of subjectivity, the becoming, the virtual, the immersion and identification. The experience offers an intense and even rather unpleasant sensation of uncertainty, anxiety and existential fear. Liminoid thus represents potentiality, and the participant is in for a surprise.
The system is based on Oculus Rift: a virtual reality headset primarily designed for immersive gaming. The artists have modified this technology by adding a web-cam to ensure a hybrid experience of virtual and augmented vision. Liminoid as a place of transition, a threshold that is also equipped with panoptical cameras overseeing the installation space, and incorporated in the dramaturgy of the visual experience. The participant is seated in a comfortable chair, in order to prevent any adverse physical reactions to the immersive experience, which might result in disorientation, dizziness or even nausea.
The device enables the viewer’s perceptual field to expand in an experience of dispersion, which then collapses at the point of emergence and ultimately appears as a fundamental boundary, which bears witness to the physical reality of mental and virtual experience.