EUROCON. DRAGON-CON. COMIC CON. The suffix "con" (from con-
vention) has become popular shorthand for gatherings that privilege the Spirit of Fandom.
Fandom is a form of convergent co-creativity that highlights mutual enthusiasm, crowdsourcing, role-playing, liveliness & the good-natured interpenetration between more prominent and more anonymous participants. It invariably involves an evolving balance between welcoming new people and utilizing deeply engaged participants in lively new ways.
The purpose of a -con
is to strengthen and enliven the various subcommunities that are united in a common thematic interest. Can something like this be done for the extended liminal web? Maybe let's try. LIMICON 2024
is an international, month-long (March 6th to April 3rd), crowdsourced collaborative convening of players, fans, newbies, and adjacent intrigued parties hoping to find each other & find the vibe.
Conventions have traditionally been in-person events. Many of us are concerned with bringing the leading-edge digital networks into embodied gatherings connected to places & ecosystems. We need that. However, there will continue to be things that the Internets do especially well -- extended, distributed, multi-national, and flexible participation. Limicon is (so far) proudly virtual.
Their slogan is: Playing With Paradox.
Partly that means that the elements of play, fun, and permeable co-creation are being emphasized. As part of that vibe, once you register
, you can propose sessions that either you would be willing to lead OR sessions that you would love someone else to lead. What kinds of topics are not normally covered? Who would you love to hear speak about what? Invite guests. Contribute to the aesthetic. Find your resonant crews. That sort of thing.
Tickets start at $25 US but include several tiers as well as the opportunity to act as a benefactor to others. But what are they doing with that money? Here's their claim:
“First, we need to cover expenses. We are doing our best to keep these costs down. Second, we’d love to put some of the money towards supporting people logistically and energetically organizing the space. Third, we are going to crowdsource a project: Liminal Commons. The Liminal Commons will be used as an experiment in group decision-making as we try various processes throughout the month to decide as a group how to allot that money to serve the greater ecosystem."
The Limicon team, drawing support from numerous networks (e.g. the Transdisciplinary Leadership Review
, Forrest Landry's Ephemeral Group Process
, the Archdisciplinary Research Center
, the Liminal Space Agency
, and others), has set up a temporally audacious plan for an extended series of diverse practice sessions, talks, rituals, and encounters.
Their stated goals are (1) to build connection and trust between members of the emerging field, (2) to create engaging spaces for individual development and practice, and (3) to nurture the field as a whole. And their scheme for doing these three things revolves around Open Space Technology Principles.
What the heck are Open Space Technology Principles?
1. Whoever comes are the right people.
2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have: happened. Therefore, participants are invited to concentrate on the moment with an open mind.
3. Whenever it starts is the right time:
4. When it is over, it is over.
So it's going to be that kind of scene, man.
* BONUS *
The most fun thing, and possibly the most enduring part of this, involves the network map
on the landing page.
As soon as you register, you have the opportunity to add yourself and your connection (and the strength of your connections) to a dynamic and growing visual map of liminal connectivity.
This is part of an emerging set of tools for collective self-awareness that may take us beyond the conventional attempt to verbally “name the field." The Limicon map is intended to live beyond the event itself and serve as part of a set of new digital and social resources for future collaboration.
And if you find yourself at the outer edges of that map, you are in the best possible position. After all, the periphery is the new center...