liminal neologies

A series of workshops

Liminal Neologies is a title attributed to an ongoing research in the form of a series of workshops, which emerged within the scope of this doctoral study and have since been taking place in different contexts. The research is based on the premises below:

Our materially, visually and orally designed environment is based upon binary oppositions. From our value judgement systems to our identities, everything is signified by dichotomous reference points which not only delineate our gender, sexuality, race, class and other socially constructed identity categories; but also demarcate normalcies that exclude, marginalise and violate the ones that do not fit in these dichotomous way of beings. Although in gender scholarship and queer activism the resistance against binaries already has long challenged both heterosexual matrix that aligns male/female, masculine/feminine, man/woman in line with each other and pathologic emergence of heterosexual/homosexual, and although thinkers of decolonial and critical race studies have long demonstrated how today’s socio-corporeal segregations are rooted in such oppositional classifications of bodies, dichotomies are still too layered and ingrained in our everyday designed life to eliminate. Moreover, these binaries are not only reproduced in our languages as we constantly perform and embody them un/sub/consciously, but also further materialised (or designed) into images, objects, spaces and technologies and so on. All in all, dichotomous languages (discourses) and things (materials) are reciprocally regenerate each other in a vicious circle, while they together perpetuate segregation.

Problematising this binary way of thinking, being and living as a materially and discursively (material-discursive) produced form of ‘othering’, in this workshop, participants first divulge the all-pervading dichotomies in their lexicons and make a collective inventory of them. They diagnose all kinds of binary words, things and concepts materialised and visualised in different forms, and unravel their grounded meanings and associations underpinned by our personal narratives. They, then, discuss, deconstruct and overturn them by using various neologistic techniques as a way of envisaging and exercising other lexical and visual possibilities. The outcomes are often new Frankenstein-like material-discursive reconfigurations defined and visualised by participants, as an alternative ‘deviant’ glossary, and are later analysed in terms of methods, languages and contextual contributions.

An image that shows the first part of the workshop (GUD 2020, Leipzig)