The book you see below, with the eyesore that is a QR code sat there on the cover, is Liminal (obviously).
Liminal is a processual term, referring to the spaces where you find you are somewhere ambiguous and disorienting. Any liminal project is one that is at the boundary between spaces – like that weird psychic realm between the conscious and unconscious mind.
This book, Liminal, is one of disorientation, but also of confession. Who’s confession? Cameron’s, of course!
What is Cameron’s crime? Read the book to find out!
This autobiographical novella could easily be compared to some of the best cyber-punk science fiction available to us. Over his journey, throughout this period of his life, Cameron is confronted by symbols from Ancient Mesopotamian and Buddhist theology, goth and punk subcultures, and anarchist traditions, all the while confronted by questions that are both strange and common to us all – “what is going on?”, “what is happening to me?”, “what do I trust as real?”, etc.
There is a particular concept that Cameron brings to the reader, which I want to comment on here, as it is one I intend to use and is perhaps the best gift to the reader from the book. This concept is semiotic-driving. If you’ve not come across the idea of psychic-driving, prepare yourself to feel disappointed in how awful people can be!
A techno-therapeutic practice used by psychiatrists, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s; psychic-driving involves repeatedly playing an audio-message to “patients”, until behaviours were moulded to the psychiatrists intended form. This is reported to have been popular with brainwashing programs, such as MKultra. As a mind-control technique, psychic-driving is an aspect of depatterning procedures that include the use of electro-shock therapies and psychotropic drugs in further stages of “treatment”.
Semiotic-driving, like psychic-driving, involves certain forms of repeated messaging, but through the use of sign-processes that encode signs with meanings that usurp the activity of communication. What semiotic-driving might do to the Semiosphere – the interconnected realm of activities that invoke meaning through an environment – is enable the manipulators of meaning to play “mind-control” type games through indirect informational streams. In all probability, not necessarily as some kind of conspiracy, but semiotic-driving is likely already underway through digital and virtual semio-state-capitalist production narratives, as this culture of Reality-building does what it does.
What is Liminal then? A confession – yes! But more than this, Liminal is Cameron’s cautionary tale of how innocent individuals, with no ill-willed intentions, can build mechanisms of semiotic-driving.
Click the link below to find more on this fantastic little book –