DESIGNER

Ardak is an experienced multimedia designer with a demonstrated history of working in the online education and television production industry, with printed and physical media as well as digital and virtual spaces. Arts and Design professional with a BA and MA in Graphic Design from St Petersburg University and an MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons School of Design. Currently focuses on visual and motion design, creative technology, game design and XR.



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09 THE CATCHER
DICTIONARY OF THE KHAZARS





project made in collaboration with Katerina Kovaleva
THE CATCHER

The Catcher is the visualization of the non-linear text in the virtual space. The basis of the project is a multi-level game based on “Dictionary of the Khazars” – the first novel by Serbian writer Milorad Pavic, published in 1984.


The animation is embedded below the stills.








Text, objects, and space are determined by the material of the novel «Dictionary of the Khazars» by Milorad Pavic. The Catcher is a dive into meta-text through information and subject environment in virtual reality.

The structure of the dictionary is made up of three books, which are divided into articles. That makes it possible to read the story in fragments. One way of interpreting such nonlinear text is through a game.

Moreover, the text of Milorad Pavic contains a lot of semantic connections, conceptual load, the interweaving of times and characters. All these features allow improvising and focusing on selected aspects of the dictionary.




The Central Theme of the novel is the controversy about the choice of religion by the Khazar Khaganate. This real historical event took place at the end of VIII – the beginning of the IX century.

In his work, Milorad Pavic considers the possibility of choosing
a religion for the Khazars between Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Each version of the selection is dedicated to the book (red, green, and yellow, respectively). The dictionary is a nonlinear text, which combines the times, the characters, and their stories.

Most of the characters and events in the book are fictional, as is the culture attributed to the Khazars. The author creates a new mythology, intertwining historical facts with fiction, enriching the novel with a layer of meanings, concepts, legends, and interpretations.





© 2022 Ardak Mukanova