#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.
Laputa Island - War Machine
Evi Sougkara

Murray asserts that computers are 'A new medium for storytelling'. [+]

Eskelinen writes that "Luckily, outside theory, people are usually excellent at distinguishing between narrative situations and gaming situations: if I throw a ball at you, I don't expect you to drop it and wait until it starts telling stories." [+]

In literature and other non-interactive narrative media, as much as in interactive media like video games, all fictional worlds are incomplete: the world is partially described or illustrated and the rest is left to the reader's/user's imagination.

In Jonathan Swift's renowned work Gulliver's Travels, the reader encounters with the portrayal of numerous fictional places, one of them being Laputa, a flying island. [+] The hero Lemuel Gulliver, after coming across a terrible accident, is floated in an uninhabited island. A few days later he witnesses a flying rock over his head. Gulliver reaches Laputa with the help of its inhabitants who are able to maneuvre and fly the island due to magnetic levitation.

The author depicts Laputa as a ruined and tyrannic society. Laputa 's king controls the mainland within the region where the island can travel by threatening to crush rebel regions or throw rocks at them. This seems to be the first time aerial bombardment is conceived as a warfare method. Gulliver is impressed by the Laputans expertise in mathemetics and music but finds their incapability to use their adequacies for practical ends unreasonable.

Due to the considerably appealing concept of a floating land and of the concept of the intellectuals as a transcendental culture, the fiction of Laputa, has become the inspiration for the production of several works in literature, filmography, and video game culture . In several video games we encounter the imagery of the floating land bombardising the ground and among them, some have incorporated a flying island called Laputa as an element of their fiction.

However, a fiction is not necessarily a narrative. Video games are generally fictions, but being interactive they make the implementation of a narrative problematic. This idea, lays on the essentially different mechanics a novel and a video game are based on. Unlike traditional narrative media being representational, interactive media like video games are also based on another semiotical structure, "simulation".

'Simulation is the act of modeling a system A by a less complex system B, which retains some of A's original behavior'. [+]

The interactivity of the video game encourages the use of certain narrative tools while discouraging or disabling the author's access to other options. In a video game the advance from one session to another is not required to be coherent, unlike the transitions within a novel or a film. Thus the narrator's ability to manipulate the time line is restricted because of the increased subjectivity endured to the game player. Simulations share some common elements with narratives -character, settings, events. However they are not just sequences of events, they also incorporate behavioral rules. Simulations are laboratories for experimentation where user action is not only allowed but also required.

In this interactive application, another representation of Laputa is attempted. This time under the scope of investigating the inerlinked relations between narration and interactivity. The game player is able to maneuvre the island and throw rocks on a hypothetical surface, margined by their browser's window. As he interacts with the surface of the island's digital representation, a text is evolving, apparted from randomly selected extracts from the novel. So the gameplay is the visualization of a structure that produces each time a new narration.

download pdf