Olivier Giron

Threshold Consciousness

The concept for Threshold Consciousness sparked from the time where I can have the most focus: moments before sleep. My curiosity about how other people approach this space gave way to this body of work. I sought to explore the thoughts and ideas that last haunt a person as they slip into unconsciousness. As you drift into sleep, distractions in your life subside as your body shuts down. There is no cell phone, no television; even the people in your life become a faint whisper. As the physiological aspects of your body dull your senses, your thoughts are allowed to roam free. I wanted to utilize these last traces of consciousness as a vehicle to talk to people about the things that matter most to them.

The photograph serves as a vessel for this conversation. It is an image of their thoughts. Each person is photographed at the moment that they transition into unconsciousness. For the photograph, control is ceded to the subject. A 4x5 camera is focused and framed. I leave the room, but only after I have set up a simple mechanism to capture the subject as they transition. The subject is given a rope, which is connected to a book directly tied to the shutter release. The book acts as the counter weight, allowing for the documentation of this moment. When I leave the room, I instruct the subject to hold the rope as they drift into sleep.  As each subject moves through this stage, they forget about the rope, inadvertently release it, and their transition is recorded. The images are shown with the soundscapes that surround the subject, and traces of the thoughts they last think about before they drift.