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The project Liminal Desires addresses the development of the ‘character’ of a present day spacial archaeologist and is specific to the site between a nightclub and a kebab shop. The role of the archaeologist is to preserve the collected details and encourage more interrogation of the space. For this site, the archeologist is capturing and documenting behaviours, interactions, artefacts, architectures, narratives, cultures and actions of the mundane. Liminal Desires explores the spectrum between fiction to non-fiction in the space.

The video series explores the area of non-fiction by documenting the journeys of a real space. They have been collected using an incognito filming jacket and are presented on a three-way split screen layout to represent the filming of the peripheral vision which also creates immersion. The public nature of the journey allows for multiple potential interactions. It exposes and documents the journeys using single-shot, 180°, incognito filming. The videos act as research tools of the space and preserve the actions as an archaeologist would. It allows users to understand the site but to also, observe behaviours. The real-time filming contextualises the narratives created in ‘Liminal Desires’.

This liminal site is a place for interaction with multiple narrative possibilities. This introduces the fictional area of the space. The Kebab Shop Love Stories are a collection of modified traditional love stories that fit into the context of the space. The kebab wrapper is an artefact that is consistent in all kebab shops, and has been used as a tool to introduce the narratives to the space. Traditional romance fairytales act as starting points for these narratives, and have then been modified to take a small detail of the journey and enhance it to fit the scene at the site. The stories have been printed onto kebab wrappers and reintroduced into the space to be used by the characters, to enhance and preserve the kebab wrapper as an artefact.

They are stories of complete fiction, however there is a space between these two areas that combines both the fictional and non-fictional sides of the journey. The liminal space between the nightclub and kebab shop, where the two architectures act as bookends, can be approached as a set. The nocturnal site presents a set of consistencies that are repeated between each pairing of night club and kebab shop. Each pairing has reoccurring characters, lighting and props such as bouncers, neon lights, and club stamps etc. The occupants of the site maintain an intoxicated mind-set within a space confined by a specific time frame. These are all characteristics that play a part in creating each set and narrative.

Using these consistencies, a proposal for a set was created. Only specific common characters, architectures and props have been selected from the original space that are relevant and important to the time-frame. Orange or red lighting outside the nightclubs and the bright white lighting outside the kebab shops, along with the audio from the original space have been incorporated into the slow panning shots of the model to create an atmosphere that relates to the real space. The lights act as territory markers for their space that highlight their activity and represent visible trauma lines that rely on the eyes to function.

The model is a tool used to change perspectives of the journey which is done by introducing potential interactions, and therefore potential stories.

‘Liminal Desires’ represents the space between a nightclub and kebab shop, each area sitting at a different point along the spectrum between fiction and non-fiction. All three tools change the perspective of the space, as the outcomes are created for a sober audience, whereas the users are intoxicated. ‘Liminal Desires’ has enabled the formation of research tools that create the character of a present day archaeologist of this site. The filming jacket, kebab wrappers, and model are all tools of this archaeologist.

2016 by Harriet Langford

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Harriet Langford