#01 on Floatation / Floater Magazine suggests an inventory of floatation mechanisms within architecture; Without Stability, Without Foundation / Flip is an ocean research platform that capsizes in order to maintain its stability. Yannikos Vassiloulis presents the mechanism of this paradoxical stability / Armin Linke’s images of astronauts and divers project the realities of a utopian body equipped with prosthetics that provide the ability to exist in conditions of No Gravitation / Wave Garden by Yusuke Obuchi and Meduseabloo by b. are performative, highly intelligent environments capable of collecting and administrating data / In 1968, Takis invented Oscillation of the Sea; a device that translates the motion of the sea surface into kinetic energy / Dimitris Antonakakis describes the chronicle of an unusual project commissioned to Atelier66; redesigning the cruiser Libra Y the parameters of instability and non foundation demarcate a new territory for the architect / Louisa Adam explores architectural strategies and practices within contemporary cultural concerns, commenting on OMA’s Harbour of Ideas / Nikos Navridis cooperated with floater magazine for the production of a digital representation of his recent show Tomorrow will be a Wonderful Day... / Evi Sougara's interactive animation is based on J. Swift's Laputa; a mythical island from the novel Gulliver's Travels / Takis Zenetos’ Electronic Urban Planning Utopia is negotiated in juxtaposition with Maurizio Cattelan’s installation Mise-en-Scene. Nikos Tsimas declares floatation experiences as parameters that can provoke feelings of Pleasure and Awe / Micro-organisations, by Elysa Lozano, reflects the socio-political realities of Sealand's micronation, where the artist explores the potential of registering and developing a not for profit organization / in Floating and Sinking in Psychoanalysis Nikos Sideris analyses the mechanisms of floating and sinking in relation to both psychic structure and spatiality / Giorgos Lagoudakis suggests legal aspects of Floating Territories presenting specific archival cases along with the relative legal texts.

Floater #01 edited by Yannis Arvanitis, Elina Axioti, Yannis Papayannakis, Evi Sougara, Eleni Spiridaki, Yannikos Vassiloulis / Fall 2008.
Floating and Sinking in Phychoanalysis
Nikos Sideris interviewed by Alexandra Chronaki

Floating and Sinking. In what way do these two notions appear in psychoanalysis? Do they refer to psychopathology or to the process of psychoanalysis as well?

Floating and sinking are subjective experiences corresponding to vestibular sensations, illusions or hallucinations. They may typically occur in conditions of hypnosis, hypnagogic states (when falling asleep), relaxation and yoga exercises, meditation, drug-induced states or psychopathology of organic (febrile, toxic ...) or functional origin.

Typically, they do not occur isolated. Normally, they are part of a broader complex of experiences corresponding to more or less altered states of consciousness.

As far as the psychoanalytic process per se is concerned, it is highly unlikely to encounter such experiences during a session, because of the preponderance of articulated addressed speech and the effective interaction with the psychoanalyst. Nevertheless, such experiences during the process of free association may occur. Obviously, such mental recollections and verbal reports will be treated as an integral part of the analysand's discourse, according to the principles defining the psychoanalytic listening, perception, elaboration and interpretation of discourse.

The occurrence of floating and sinking experiences in hypnosis, hypnagogic and hypnopompic states, through relaxation, yoga or meditation practices, as drug or pathological effects, is a clear indication of the regressive mechanisms at work. In metapsychological terms, the core mechanism of floating and sinking is actually regression to archaic patterns of perception and mental elaboration - practically, regression to primeval modes of fantasy formation and experience, integrating sensory information of any kind available.

A particular pattern of experience, known as the Isakower phenomenon, after the Viennese psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who first described it in 1936, reveals the main point of fixation and offers substantial and decisive indications about the psychic chora; this is where floating and sinking experiences are emanating from or, more precisely, this is where regression process stabilizes the psychical functioning during this kind of experience. In his article Beitrag zur Pathopsychologie der Einschlafphaenomene (which appeared in English in 1938 as A contribution to the psychopathology of phenomena associated with falling asleep, in International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 19, 331 - 325), Isakower describes a varied set of phenomena that occur in certain hypnagogic states and can possibly be observed "in a number of patients suffering from widely different types of psychological disorders and also in some normal persons". Having examined several clinical cases, Isakower observed:" The most striking of all is the blurring of the distinction between quite different regions of the body, e.g. between mouth and skin, and also between what is internal and what is external, the body and the outside world. We note too the amorphous character of the impressions conveyed by the sense-organs. The visual impression is that of something shadowy and indefinite, generally felt to be "round", which comes closer and closer, swells to a gigantic size and threatens to crush the subject. Then, it becomes gradually smaller and shrinks up to nothing [...]. The auditory impression is of a humming, rustling, babbling, murmuring, or of an unintelligible monotonous speech. The tactile sensation is of something crumpled, jagged, sandy or dry, and is experienced in the mouth and at the same time on the skin of the whole body. In any other case, the subject feels enveloped by it or knows that it is close at hand. Sometimes it feels as if there was a soft yielding mass in his mouth, but at the same time he knows that it is outside him" (p. 333).

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Copy editing: Maria Drossou