Portals: Here/There Round Up
Last month The Door Frame Appreciation Society visited our deep sea lab to introduce their love of portals and left us with an invitation to expand the collective space of the doorframe.
Most of us are no strangers to being agents of liminality, fluent in occupying the slippery border between states, so in this session we collectively put this experience into action with an exercise in wedging apart this in between space and making a home inside the membrane.
The portal in science fiction is often a matter-less boundary that attempts to collapse space and time. The door connects the local here to a remote there. Here/there, pushed flush against each other. The slash is the portal. But what might be contained inside this atomic sliver? Just as a piece of paper is a narrow slice when viewed from the side only to become a vast plane when viewed from above, we turn the portal over in our hands, attempting to pry it open into expanded dimensionality.
We talk about the function of doors in storytelling, in ceremonies, in ancient societies, discussing what narratives the door embodies. Across cultures allegories of change and transformation accompany these histories. Routinely marking the height of a growing child with pencil marks against a doorframe, is the doorframe a keeper of time? But also the doorframe embodies isolation and separation, a dream of containment. We discuss the role of doors architecturally as being contracts that separate the function of a space. Did we always have this many doors? Overarching this conversation is a pondering about what the doorway would be if it wasn’t a space defined entirely by its function to facilitate transit. What if the doorway was really intended as a space to be inhabited and not passed through? What if the doorway was a room just like a kitchen or a bedroom? What cultures and symbolisms arise from this queer rescripting of the doorway?
Our conversations sandwich an exercise in writing our collective doorway. After writing our individual stories of the doorway, we exchange texts with each other and from this input begin to fabulate the space of our shared portal. These portals eventually are spilling over with collective exchange, vines of memories growing into and around each other, stories that cross pollinate and weave a molecular structure for a ‘third space’, an intermediary hot compost heap of storytelling formed in the unique interface between individuals. Messy and wild, these portals are impossible to be flat packed. And with that we entered the doorway that was really a world of its own.
Some of our deep sea divers offer their reflections and takeaways from the session below:
Here/There is a liminality which I play with quite frequently in my creative work and so this meeting was particularly close at heart. Something that came up for me while we were writing was that we don’t necessarily have to choose to remain on one side or another - that a passageway through something is still remaining in the in between, a reference from where we are and where we were- and I find that very queer. Because it isn’t a matter of this or that; a space that is separated by a door is filled with unlimited potential between both spaces, mixing infinitely between.
In our post-writing discussion we talked about that felt potential of standing behind a closed door. Any number of things could exist behind it.
The freestyle short story which I wrote from the second part was more like “At Land” by Maya Darren (1944), travelling through various doorways to far off places, jumpcutting swiftly by the movement into each new passage.
12 March, 2023
Miche + Dani
Miche + Dani