The Liminal Spaces

Photo: Steve Marshall

I'm always interested in how creativity happens in the 'liminal' spaces. The threshold areas of our experience where we are 'just' noticing.... something.... In these loosely defined spaces we have the capacity to notice what Gregory Bateson termed 'the difference that makes a difference.' Bateson said that mind and nature were effectively the same thing and argued against the usual analysis and categorisation that is prominent within our conventional models of Western science.

Bateson used the idea of a blind man with a stick, tapping his way along a pavement, to challenge our sense of boundary. He claimed that there is no way to say where the self begins or ends - isn't the stick really part of the self?  The stick is really a pathway to his environment but where does the pathway end?  At the handle? At the tip? Half way up the stick?

I have recently been navigating the liminal space of not really being able to see through a camera with my 'viewfinder eye'. Once I got over the 'problem' of not being able to see clearly through that eye I simply carried on - I knew what I thought I was 'seeing'.  The experience opened up a whole new set of creative vistas that I might not have otherwise noticed...

But where, then, was the picture actually being 'seen'?  Where in the neural or embodied pathways of vision does my perception and image-making take place?

As my viewfinder eye continues its recovery, I realise that I am looking through the viewfinder much less, composing less, thinking less... Rather I am trying to feel my way into the image by using other 'pathways'...

I like the sense of this shot as somehow 'liminal'... The space between light and dark, work and leaving for home, presence and absence...

I hope you'll enjoy more 'liminal' shots as I continue the experiment.  

Let me know what you think...