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Quantification Trilogy- Liminals


Set three generations from today, Liminals is presented as a single chapter cut from a future documentary about marginalized societies. With the discovery that the long-abandoned notion of faith had biologically evolved to become an essential aspect of human survival, the species hovers on its imminent and apathetic extinction. Small, clandestine groups, known as "periphery altruist cultures," have taken it upon themselves to search for effective ways of inciting new evolutionary advancements in hopes of saving humankind. One of the most radical of these groups are the Liminals, who believe that by augmenting their brains with machine DNA and re-engaging forgotten cathartic spiritual rituals, they will be able to access The Liminal—a speculative paraspace between the physical and the virtual. It is here they prophesize that humanity will temporarily exist in gestation towards a new phase of evolution.

Liminals explores the relation of belief to aesthetics through the use of mediation and catharsis in human cultures. The work is set against a cinema vérité aesthetic that appears to repurpose archival black and white 16mm footage of a 1970’s experimental dance group—or possible cult—to tell its story. Narrated by a hypnotic, BBC-like voiceover, the piece follows eight subjects through their engagement in varying cathartic ritualistic behaviors from Kundalini meditation and whirling to modern dance and contemporary head-banging. Scenes, interviews and music eventually build into a hypnotic and immersive climax in which the paraspace of The Liminal is reached and illustrated via a drastic shift from outmoded 16mm film to contemporary digital VFX that serve as a visualization of the subjects attainment of transcendence while aiming to incite a phenomenological response from the viewer themselves.

Screens in program Quantification Trilogy

Director Jeremy Shaw
Country of Origin: Germany
Year: 2017
Running Time: 31 mins
Print Source: Jeremy Shaw


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