Where are the limits of Knossos?

An experimental workshop exploring digital arts and games, languages and archaeology

What does Knossos have to do with Mytilene 2016?

What does the myth of the Minotaur have to do with present-day migration?

How might walking in an archaeological space help us reflect on states of emergency in the present?

This workshop invites people - regardless of origin, race, gender, language, profession, age and other dividing lines - to participate together in a workshop of experimental games. Combining elements of gaming with spatial/architectural and artistic approaches, every game begins from a different starting point: from a version of Knossos, from a drawing we make, from a «foreign» word. Each game also takes us to a different place; on a journey from the past, to the present or future.

Part of the workshop includes a 3D guided tour through a digital interpretation of Knossos (based on the drawings of Arthur Evans), combined with a series of mini-games and animation shorts. In these games, Knossos becomes a trigger to ask wider questions about how we interpret the past and how this relates to the ways we understand and relate to the present we live in.

Another part of the workshop focuses on mythology, which has played an important role in how Knossos has been widely imagined throughout the 20th century until today. Myths are stories a culture or social group tells, often about how it sees the genesis of the world, how it views faith, nature and social relationships. Myths are not to be confused with historical records documenting actual past events. They can - however - be an important source of clues in figuring out what the values, beliefs and practices were/are of the people who create/d and told/tell these myths. Myths can reveal ideologies. Old myths were frequently passed on verbally but also through broken pieces of iconography and from cultural material findings. Each culture and group has its own myths it tells - even today. The stories we see in films, or read about in comic books, are a form of modern-day myths.

From Medusa to the Cyclops, there are many characters throughout Greek mythology who were perceived as “foreigners”, condemned to live in the margins of society. The myth of the Minotaur is another example, in which King Minos locks the Minotaur in the labyrinth of Knossos. What limits and borders are present in the myth of the Minotaur and what similarities do we see in society today? What role does mythology play in the transmission of ideas and attitudes we hold towards “foreigners”? What can we learn from myths that are beyond our borders?

The workshop seeks to explore storytelling - audiovisual or performative, past or present - within a multi-cultural society. How storytelling through games can offer an approach to unite theory with practice, education with creativity, personal with collective reflection, beyond social borders.

At the end of the workshop, participants are invited for a collective discussion to exchange thoughts and share experiences from the games, discuss experiences around archaeological histories and the different ways we experience the past in everyday life. Finally, we seek to also ask how archaeological practices can adapt to current pressing social needs. How might archaeology be useful in current emergency situations, perhaps offering tools or methodologies in current extreme moments.

«Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity». – Kay Redfield Jamison

The digital games have been created in the context of research by the Media Art Innovation division of ISL at NCSR Demokritos. The first presentation of the games took place during the Archaeological Dialogues of 2015. This years’ workshop features an updated version of the games.

Creative team of digital games:
Maria Bessa, Giorgos Farazis, Marilena Kouvidi, Christos Maroglou, Alexandra Papagianni, Ino Theodorou, Christina Thomopoulos, Panagiotis Tsimpiridis

Organization team of Archaeological Dialogues 2016:
Eleonora Doukoudaki, Betty Evangelinou, Ino Theodorou, Christina Thomopoulos, Eirini Papadopoulou, Alexandra Papagianni

Sign-up to participate here .
Walk-in participation available but priority will be given to registered participants.

For more information contact us.