A minimal declaration of contextual relevance

Liminal Device constitutes a cultural management project that points to defending in-person space-time as a standard for inhabiting, relating to, and building the present. At the same time, it constitutes an exercise in specialized dissemination based on the critical recovery and practical revision of trade collaboration strategies of a resistant nature in the face of the aesthetic onslaughts of zoomization and the enforced inclining of reality toward virtual space/time. In that sense, its main objective is to spark a dialogue that, I believe, concerns us all as specialized cultural agents: to acknowledge, analyze, and question the motives that have lead us (or obliged us?) to embrace digitalized contemporary art production, promotion, and dissemination strategies with such naturalness, from an independent bastion, but also from an institutional one.

The three questions accompanying me constantly throughout the whole project were: How much are we willing to give in and what are we willing to give up for the sake of art, the art industry, and the public administration of this sector? How does this trade-in-practice virtual normalization process define us as political and social agents, with regards to and within our communities? And, which present and future historical implications does / will the trade’s conduct have in terms of the creation of and attention to audiences and, therefore, social impact? The answers, of course, are still unknown, and I know that generating them will be a collective effort.

We, the agents that comprise Liminal Device, believe it is essential to allow for the existence of other ways of relating to others with and through art. The texts and works included in the device address the whole host of daily impacts derived from the ‘COVID-19 pandemic’ bombshell; propose strategies to rehumanize the process of inhabiting the space-time plane; analyze the varying aspects of the phenomenon’s onslaught; offer strategies with which to rebuild community structural frameworks; reflect on the evolution of the trade; and appeal to revaluing the body as a means of producing reality and creating memory.

Aware of the perceptual disturbances infringed upon us by the pandemic and the aesthetic and relational repercussions of the quarantine, we departed from having respect for the time that ‘life time’ and ‘work time’ deserve. Each piece, each text, and all the production processes these implied have been carried out in their own time, that is to say, in the time the pandemic life-rhythm of each author, invitee agent, and collaborator has allowed them to allocate to this proposal.

Liminal Device is an exercise of a procedural nature and is an open invitation to altogether think of, configure, and propose aesthetic and collaborative channels for approaching and constructing reality that truly attend, respond, and correspond to the criticality of the shared social and community contexts, always appealing to the defense of fairer and more respectful contemporary art creation, production, management, dissemination, and consumption processes. In the face of an emergency: prudence, critical and ethical congruence, and much creativity. Let us play.

Mayarí Hernández Tamayo,

Arts manager and cultural analyst.

(1) I am aware younger generations have grown up in a highly digitalized world and that this fact directly influences their preference for using these kinds of tools to solve the issues addressed here, and collectives whose members belong to these ranks run most of the ISes. Notwithstanding the above, their indiscriminate integration sends up red flags for me, revealing critical deficiencies of a trade practice nature that are closely related to the pedagogical and curricular characteristics of the training processes that back them as cultural agents. At least in the case of Mexico, I believe, the Study Courses and Programs in force in the majority of Art Schools and Faculties do not meet the training requirements of the students, nor do they correspond to their learning characteristics. #CriticalRevisionsRequired