Liminoid Encounters

A three-day live online programme

Date: 10 – 12 December, 2020 

Akademie Schloss Solitude – Online

With: Aouefa Amoussouvi, Lisa Biscaro Balle, Genevieve Costello, Maayan Danoch, Seyed Mohsen Hazrati, Giuliana Kiersz, Solælune (Nardeen Galuaa & Alieldin Ayman), Sofie Verraest, Valentina Sciarra

Curated by: Berit Fischer

Liminoid Encounters explores apertures for meta-explorations, for the beyond and beneath, the between the fixed and the finished, for ambiguous states of becoming. Liminoid Encounters as a live digital event, not only responds by its format to the necessity of operating during pandemic times, it equally seeks to address the possibilities and limits of the medium itself in which it operates. Can we “humanise” the technology we operate in, can its algorithmic binary codes live up to the multisensorial and multidimensional complexities of human existence? How can we practice between the personal and the collective, in order to maintain human and more-than-human spheres? Not least the current Covid-19 Zoonosis brings afore the delicate vulnerabilities and deeply interwoven interdependencies of human existence, and co-existence with the non-human agents. 

The notion of the “liminoid”, dates back to cultural anthropologist Victor Turner (1974). Critically to be situated in the tradition of structural-functionalism as an anthropological tool to analyse especially tribal communities, Turner sought to challenge the dominant structural positions of his time, towards the idea of anti-structure and the informal in social life of the modern and industrialised society. His concept subsisted its modern and anthropological origins as a philosophical idea to grasp states of emergence, heterotopian and transitional modes of flows, the “betwixt and between” (Turner). 

Liminoid Encounters offers a diverse range of  transdisciplinary approaches and live experiments – from poetic readings, dance-and screen-performances, to writing-, conversation- and telepathy gatherings– that reach beyond Turner’s modern anthropological idea, towards one of contemporary situatedness. In particular today’s precarious planetary and social existence –that is governed by power-seeking, exploitative neo-liberal and cognitive capitalism– can be seen as a deep liminoid transitional state that urgently demands to contemplate “what will be next”. A hopeful aperture to re-imagine alternative futures, a shift towards a genuine, a more just and mindful emergence of social co-existence and response-able planetary guardianship. 

Additionally, in the run-up of the event, a three-week Ecosystem of Knowledges on the notion of the liminoid took place. Ecosystems of Knowledges is a platform by Akademie Schloss Solitude for the fellows to work and reflect collectively on specific topics to share practices and processes of knowledge in an open way.  In the dialogical discursive sessions further aspects of the liminoid were explored and discussed. The three iterations were conceptionally fuelled by Atelier Ad Hoc Architecture (Maria Daria Oancea & George Marinescu), Olivia Berkowicz & Carla Garlaschi and Valentina Sciarra. 

DAY 1 Thursday 10 December

Welcome by Elke aus dem Moore (director Akademie Schloss Solitude)

Short introduction by Berit Fischer and “roundtable” with all contributors to voice the different approaches

Solælune ( Nardeen Galuaa & Alieldin Ayman), I, In Empathy, 2020. Live screening

To refuge is to cross a border, an act of consuming the past to let rise to a new possible future. Refugee is a state of dual existence, two separate entities, rescuer and rescued. The selfless consciousness is consumed to pave the way for the dormant yearning self in total awareness. Alchemy’s magnum opus is the transmutation of base elements into the philosopher’s stone, the transcendence of the human soul into its divine form. The refugee is the dual-natured Ouroboros. I, In Empathy is a meditative interactive virtual experience that reflects on unsettlement and the liminal state of constantly existing fragmented, yet interconnected, by ties of empathy through occupying different narratives concurrently. Exploring the fickle space between the two sides of a refugee, and visualising the erratic temporal span that takes place during the transition interpreted through symbols of spiritual alchemy.     

Lisa Biscaro Balle, Live au Zenith, 2020. A 3-day sequenced live dance performance

The project is born out of Biscaro Balle’s personal sense of incompatibility between the two cultures that she inherited. Having been trained in contemporary dance in France, and having been transmitted Brazilian dances through her family heritage, she regards as a privileged position that not only has influenced her dance practice, but that has made visible to her certain norms, constraints and stereotypes inherent to each of these cultures. With Live au Zenith, Biscaro Ballewishes to open up a dialogue with Brazilian composer Chico Buarque’s music, who was a political actor in the resistance during the military dictatorship in Brazil (1964-1985). Many of his songs became popular anthems of Brazil. In Live au Zenith Biscaro Balle’s central question is, how to live her cultural heritage outside its original context? A subject that exists in multiple relationships, that are constantly in motion. Over the course of the three days she offers to perform a daily image of these questions.

DAY 2 Friday 11 December


Giuliana Kiersz, Collecting Language, 2020. A two-part writing gathering – Part 1

What does language collect itself and how do we relate to this language? The writing gathering will become a sensitive and political space to reflect on the overwhelming information we receive through digital platforms and how we adapt/struggle with these structures. How does this information resonate in our body? What narratives are we creating? What worlds?     

Aouefa Amoussouvi, Waiting to Be Born, 2020. An experimental conversation

With the experimental format Waiting to Be Born, Amoussouvi explores the “in–between” liminoid concept by presenting some of her works-in-progress as well as opening a conversation on the ambiguity of the creative progress itself. She will share her current inspirations and interests in an intentional loose structure to reproduce the chaotic and passive workflow of thoughts in the mind. We will discuss the non-human, James Baldwin, epi-genetics, “Women who run with the Wolves” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, the need to decolonize digital technologies… How will the group process those opening topics? How do connections appear between seemingly isolated thoughts? How much control do we really have on the maturation of ideas into a coherent project? Alone? As a group? No expertise on these subjects is required. Taking as an inspiration Frederick W. Hickling’s Psychohistoriography methodology, while the content of the discussion matters, additionally the group dynamic itself will become a raw material to be further processed into a poem by Amoussouvi after the session.

Public Programme:        

Sofie VerraestWhat You Have Heard of Brussels, 2020. Live reading 

Sofie Verraest will be reading an excerpt from her novel-in-progress, a story of suffering and renewal, and the moment of transition when all of life trembles in the balance. After the loss of her partner, E., stripped of her former self, tries to find out who else she might be in the chaos of present-day Brussels. She came to the right place: “What you have heard of Brussels is true. Of all the cities in the world it is the city closest to Heaven.”

Valentina Sciarra, The Stone King, 2018. Video screening

​The video brings us to the natural site “Strupanitsa” (Bulgarian: heaping), a rock phenomenon and the largest ancient landslide in Bulgaria. It is a large fall of rock blocks, most of which are in the form of cubes or parallelepipeds with dimensions exceeding 15 cubic meters. The audio accompanying the video is an excerpt of Italo Calvino’s last and unfinished book “Under the Jaguar Sun”, that he dedicated to the five human senses. The text has a similar narrative rhythm like the act of walking, in the sense of movement and also of an interior journey.  In Calvino’s story the protagonist is a nameless king. Holed up in his castle-prison, the king cannot move from fear of losing his throne. To be connected with the outside world, the only sense that remains for him, is listening. The king, motionless on his throne and captive of his passion for power, learns to recognise all possible sounds, that, if invariably repeated, might guarantee his permanence. The noise of the city reaches him almost imperceptibly, until one day he hears a young female voice singing. He is attracted to that voice, he would like to answer, but he cannot. The voice is gone.The video was made possible with the support of Gaudenz B. Ruf Award 2018.  

Lisa Biscaro Balle, Live au Zenith, 2020. A 3-day sequenced live dance performance

DAY 3 Saturday 12 December


Giuliana Kiersz, Collecting Language, 2020. Writing gathering – Part 2   

Maayan Danoch, Telepathy Works, 2020. A workshop on collective consciousness and movement

Telepathy Works is a physical-mental practice, dealing with collective consciousness and movement. It aims to stimulate synchronicity of thought and action between two people (or more) and summon telepathic moments. It promotes thinking on telepathy as a human ability that can be developed rather than a supernatural phenomenon. Seeing the human body as a central common denominator to all human beings, the practice relies and advances body sensibilities as a primer resource for connecting and communicating with others. Through various exercises, we will enhance our capacity for listening and becoming attentive towards ourselves and others. We will work with different modes of mental imaging and explore their power to change what we perceive, feel and do. At last, we will follow longer procedures, through which we will establish an (imaginary) emphatic relationship with another person. In these frameworks, we will use the tools we gained to instantly initiate a common action with our partner independent of verbal dialogue or protocols of collective decision making. The workshop will take place in an online format for the first time. Therefore, it invites an investigation and a critical reflection on how bodily and interpersonal knowledge can be shared through a digital media. 

Public Programme:     

Genevieve Costello, House Rules (Lower Body Protest (LBP)), 2020. Live screen performance

Printed thick and small on your Patient Sheets in hospital letterhead: Diagnosis, Lower Body Protest (LBP). You are a professional swimmer and your leg breaks. No one knows why. While everyone in this universe relies on their legs for walking, it’s against social norms to use vision below the waist. You try to swim with your broken leg. It gets worse. The effects spiral, too endless to name. They become widespread, mixed up. Life as you know it is impossible. You keep doing the best you can, because, what else can you do. You go to doctors of all kinds, they don’t know what to tell you. Not much is known about treating legs. Standard medical approaches to LBP? softshrugs, painkillers, musclerelaxers, indifferentandinfinitereferrals to specialistsandCENTERS. Most people have their legs and can use them. Legs, are, usually, just,, there.  You tape your hospital letterhead to the doors to remind you it’s not in your head. You try to not care that it might as well be, while you remain in this legless world. Diagnosis, Follow up,

a)              You become a torture designer. 

b)              You become a freak.

c)               You work out, how to, throw, a Little Party.

d)              You ___________________. 

Seyed Mohsen Hazrati, QQQ [Can vehicles talk to each other?], 2020. Live performed screening

In eternity without beginning, of glory, the splendour-ray of Thy beauty boasted. Hafiz

A story about creation. How a vehicle has been chosen to be equipped by some terrestrial elements, decorated by different kinds of senses, fed by a pure fuel, to start its mortal journey on the ground.     

Sofie Verraest, What You Have Heard of Brussels, 2020, Live reading 

Valentina Sciarra, The Stone King, 2018, Video screening

Lisa Biscaro Balle,  Live au Zenith, 2020. A 3-day sequenced live dance performance

Solælune, I In Empathy, 2020, still
Lisa Biscaro Balle, Live au Zenith, 2020, a 3-day sequenced live dance performance
Giuliana Kiersz, Collecting Language, 2020, A two-part writing gathering 
Aouefa Amoussouvi, Waiting to Be Born, 2020, an experimental conversation 
Sofie Verraest, What You Have Heard of Brussels, 2020, live readings 
Valentina Sciarra, The Stone King, 2018, video screening
Maayan Danoch, Telepathy Works, 2020, a workshop on collective consciousness and movement  
Genevieve Costell, House Rules (Lower Body Protest (LBP)), 2020, live screen performance
Seyed Mohsen Hazrati, QQQ [Can vehicles talk to each other?], 2020, live performed screening