Sunday, January 27, 2008

Norman Klein and Lev Manovich's Freud-Lissitzky-Generator

Some of you might still know this great project by Lev Manovich and Norman Klein, the Freud-Lissitzky-Generator:

(about:) Freud-Lissitzky Navigator: FAQ

1. What is Freud-Lissitzky Navigator ?

Freud-Lissitzky Navigator is a computer game prototype; a software narrative*; a virtual exhibition; an imagionary software; a tool to navigate through 20th century cultural history; an experiment in developing analysis of new media which uses the very forms of new media (in this case, computer games and software interfaces).

Software Narrative-- a theoretical or fictional narrative about software (L.M.).

2. Where is the actual game?

We will post the playable prototype once its reconstruction is complete. Note, however, that the project history and the accompanying historical images are are also important parts of the game. If in normal computer games, motion rides and other forms of new media "background story" is usually a prelude to the game experience, here this story becomes the main part.

3. What kind of gameplay can I expect?

The gameplay in Freud-Lissitzky Navigator will largely consist in navigating through the narrative of game development. Each part of the narative (i.e., Freud’s meeting with Lissitzky; Eisenstein’s contribution; Prague episode, etc.) will occupy a separate level. The player will also have a chnace to uncover various related cultural events of the 20th century for extra credit, hidden on each level.

4. Is Freud-Lissitzky Navigator a game or a software?
It is both. Since the key part of the game is the historical narrative, we are developing diffirent software interfaces to navigate through this narrative. They will be based on common software interfaces such as a database, virtual space, hypermedia, image composing, spreadsheet. For example, a Photoshop-like interface will allow composing of separate "text objects" (i.e., particular historical events) into a coherent narrative. A complementary "de-composing" operation will allow to decompose a snapshot from the game into its historical layers.

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