The Storyverse is the most innovative piece of technology that we develop as part of Frozen Atlantis. It tells a story in its own right – a story of finding a medial format suited for our generation.
At the beginning of The Storyverse stands a confession of failure. Somewhere in the depths of my hard-drive there is a Word-document that is well-travelled.
In the course of years, I have copied it from laptop to laptop as models changed. And there were times when I literally avoided opening it.
The document was once supposed to become a book about Rudbeck’s Atlantica. Every time I open it today, I watch the page count at the bottom. Even on the latest laptop model, it still takes some breaths until it stops, somewhere far beyond 500.
The file is the result of years of reading. Of browsing old prints and Latin dissertations while the first snow fell around the Carolina Rediviva. Of studying manuscripts at Stockholm while the leaves turned yellow at Humlegården.
The file is coagulated lifetime. Its rambling style accounts to a search for a narrative to keep a curious collection of material and observations together.
Much of that time I was navigating in the fog. As I said, there have been years when I didn’t dare to open the document. This, too, is part of the story.
Sometimes, images appear among the pages of this file – diagrams, woodcuts, artworks, maps, or photographs. At some point, I had begun to paste them right into the file. All of them reference books, museums, or landscapes where my journey with the Atlantica had taken me.
During those years I felt inspired by the writings of W.G. Sebald – the mix of text and images in his books, his vertiginous blend of modern antiquarianism, travelogue and curious digressions. And still, as I juggled and re-juggled chapters, I felt unsure about what narrative could frame all this.
The images in the file were like keyholes into the Atlantica. The visual dimension made it easier to pass on the awe and wonder that lay hidden behind the Latin and Swedish text.
Keeping this fascination accessible for others motivated us to consider more visual, more accessible forms than the academic book.
Reaching for Atlantis was a first step in this. With this visual database, we open up non-linear gateways into the work.
You as the reader decide where you begin your journey through the illustrations that Rudbeck connected in a web of meaning. With ‚The backstories‚, we also opened a sub-section to deep-dive into stories behind selected illustrations.
From early on, we have commited to digital formats instead of academic monographs. This way, we keep our material free and easily accessible. At the same time, we want to offer respite and sustenance in contrast to the vortices of streaming platforms and social media.
As an early step in this we have launched Too long, didn’t read. It is a platform dedicated to digital storytelling, with long-reads exploring the borderlands of academic writing, storytelling, and the illustrated travelogue.
With The Storyverse, we now go a step further. It will create a world that places well-researched stories at your fingertips, told in text, image, and film. It targets a generation for which the worlds hidden in ancient books have begun to feel distant, inaccessible, or simply irrelevant.
A the same time, it is It creates a world for you to explore freely – a world created by a team that inspired by the adventure games we ourselves played as kids.