My essay The Shimmering of the Tipping Point explores how Davies' work often explores and attempts to capture the 'shimmer of a tipping point' (the point at which things oscillate or waver), by focusing on the nature of the ambiguous threshold zone between one state and another, or on spaces that are somehow liminal or transitional. An extract can be read below.
"In sociological terms, a ‘tipping point’ describes the moment of a critical turn, the unstoppable momentum of an emergent trend, the accumulation of innumerable minor factors resulting in some form of major – often epidemic or catastrophic – transformation. It is the final straw that breaks the camel’s back; the moment of recognition or realisation that prompts the declaration that enough is enough, that things have gone too far. It can be imagined as the invisible boundary scoring the limits of a particular belief system or moral code, which once breached might force the individual or collective to rise up and make a stand. It has been used to signal the point at which the metaphorical tide turns, the irreversible passing of the point of no return. Here, the tipping point designates a line of separation that distinguishes between the events of the past and a future way of being; it is the threshold where one thing suddenly slips into or becomes something else. However, tipping points can also be experienced at an individual level as those daily yet often imperceptible shifts and transformations that form part of the fabric of lived life. The term can be used to describe the moment at which a decision is made or an opinion changed; or the threshold crossed when you realise that you are no longer a child. In these terms, the tipping point is not experienced in the same tenor as that of the sociological model - as a clear or abrupt cut between one state and another – but can be understood instead as a pivot about which things turn; as a gesture of tilting that sets in motion. It is that which creates the interstice between one thing and something else; an interval of reflection that momentarily holds two or more possibilities in the balance where they remain equally present. Here then, the tipping point inevitably produces a zone of potentiality or ambiguity, a period of instability and indecision before a definitive choice has been made or a fixed stance taken. This is the shimmering of the tipping point, the point at which things begin to waver".
Extract from the essay 'The Shimmering of the Tipping Point", which will be published by Yorkshire Arts Space.