Pre-Organised Special Sessions

To be competed with more special sessions soon...

Prof. K. Moraitis & M. Mela

Title: Virtual insularity and virtual navigation networks as compared to physical sea itineraries

Co-Chairs

Prof. Konstantinos Moraitis, Professor, School of Architecture NTUA, Greece

&

Marilena Mela, Architect Engineer NTUA, Postgraduate Student NTUA

Description:

“Working in a Mediterranean web of trans-national histories suggests

that the conceptual landscape peculiar to one of its shores,

in particular its northern, hegemonic European one, can be exposed to

very different understandings and unsuspected variations”.

Iain Chambers: A Fluid Archive

It is normal to use the term ‘navigation’, in order to describe virtual information itineraries; thus recognizing the fact that physical sea voyages could be used as an explanatory metaphor for immaterial digital wandering.        

It is rather obvious that rich nautical history could offer an initial paradigm of human need to conquer cosmic extension through abstract schematization; through mapping or “smart” mathematical space correlations, through the use of earthly and celestial projections that secured human movement against the liquid instability and the threads of the sea environment.

However the purpose of the session proposed does not refer to the poetical narration of the glorious naval past. It is rather associated to the geopolitical importance of the Mediterranean, where present and future cultural exchanges will continue to present important challenges. It is under this general concept that Mediterranean, and especially its eastern part, could be described as a dense communication network, where the term ‘insularity’ acquires a new significance. Instead of isolation and seclusion it connotes proximity and cultural contact; the possibility of being “smart” through continuous exchange of ideas, knowledge and differentiated modes of expression.

What we should like to discuss in the session proposed, is the contemporary possibility of the amplification of this age-long experience of dense communication, through virtual networks presenting the possibilities of cross-border contact between the different population groups of the Mediterranean perimeter;  of virtual networks that could offer to the different Mediterranean population groups the possibility to surpass ethnic, religious and cultural differences and create a politically and culturally “smart’, continuity of the coastal zones of Western Asia, North Africa and Southern Europe.


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