Gregory Paschalidis (email@example.com)
In the late 1970s, Greimas observed that «The theory of the visual – and even more, that of the audiovisual, which is nothing more than a convenient label – is far from being fully developed. Also, visual semiotics (or the semiology of images) is often no more than a catalogue of our perplexities and incorrect facts». This panel aspires to address and assess the current state of visual semiotics by inviting proposals for original and rigorous papers that discuss theoretical, methodological and research-driven issues concerning, but not limited to, the following: nonverbal communication, imagetexts, visual rhetoric, visual language, intersemiotic translation, semiotics of color, digital media and Web-related imagery.
Proposals must be submitted electronically to Assoc. Professor Gregory Paschalidis (firstname.lastname@example.org) and include paper title, author(s) name and institutional affiliations, ciontact details, and brief descritpions of paper (300-400 words)
1) Evripides Zantides, email@example.com Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Semiotics and Visual Communication Lab, CyprusUniversity of Technology
Anna Zapiti, firstname.lastname@example.org Semiotics and Visual Communication Lab, CyprusUniversity of Technology
Strike a pose: The semiotics of electoral images in Cyprus after state independence in 1960 until 2013.
Political advertising as a communication process aims in attracting the viewers’ attention towards what a candidate or a party has to say with the ‘intention of influencing their political attitudes, beliefs and/or behaviors’ (Kaid, 2004). In electoral photography the candidate does not only attempt to establish a program with the voters but also a ‘personal link’ with them, articulated through ‘a style of life of which he is at once the product, the example and the bait’, heroized through the iconography of his appearance in familiar social settings, gestures and other predetermined set ups (Barthes, 1993). As Capistran (2013) argued, the posed, constructed and photographic image of the candidate in the studio or another controlled environment indicates the power of control by the individual represented. Dumitrescu (2010) identified two communication roles that political posters play; the first is to provide “factual” information about the candidates whilst the second is to present “nonverbal” information through pictures of the candidate, signaling behavioral intent. Political posters can also significantly alter their motivational and persuasive power simply by using images that elicit emotions such as fear or enthusiasm (Brader, 2005). Different feelings and preferences can be elicited through the image of the candidate alone.
The purpose of this study is three-fold: to examine which non-verbal attributes/connotative mechanisms are used by candidates in the construction of their political image; to investigate the linguistic meaning of headlines–isolated and in respect of the candidate’s image; and to explore the semiotic characteristics of the typography used in the main headlines. One hundred and forty seven (n=147) political posters were taken for analysis. These posters came from presidential and parliamentary elections from the 1960s until 2013 in Cyprus. All posters include an image of the candidate. The posters were drawn from the Press and Information Office (PIO) in Cyprus, the archives of different newspapers and magazines and from various advertising agencies that have dealt with these posters. The methodology of content analysis was used and the coding frame developed was based on previous published work.
The data revealed that there are changes in the connotation procedures on the photographic messages of the political candidates as well as in the linguistic meaning and the typography of the headlines used. The study shows that political images, linguistic messages and typography of headlines vary over a period of time and suggest that there are associations of these changes with socio-historical landmarks and events.
Barthes, R. (1977). Image, Music, Text, S. Heath (trans.). New York: Hill and Wang.
Barthes, R. (1993). Mythologies. London: Vintage
Brader, T. (2005). Striking a Responsive Chord: How Political Ads Motivate and Persuade Voters by Appealing to Emotions. American Journal of Political Science, 49(2), 388-405.
Capistrán, J.B. (2013). Semiotics of the Political Image: The 2012 Mexican Election. Journalism and Mass Communication, 3(6), 361-374.
Dumitrescu, D. (2010). Know Me, Love Me, Fear Me: The Anatomy of Candidate Poster Designs in the 2007 French Legislative Elections. Political Communication, 27, 20-43.
Kaid, L.L. (2004). Handbook of Political Communication Research. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
2) Gregory Paschalidis, email@example.com, Associate Professor, Department of Journalism & Mass Communications, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
Credible Fictions: on the semiotics of banknotes
Semiotic approaches to money have so far focused on the general functions and characteristics of money as a form of symbolic communication and social interaction. This paper apparoaches money, and in particular, banknotes, as part of what Billig calls ‘banal nationalism’, being integrally involved in the process of constructing collective identities, and at the same time, as part of global nationalism, being overdetermined by the rules and conventions of the internationally established visual languange of national symbolic projection and display. More specifically, by focusing on the analysis of the syntactic structure of banknotes, in other words, on the configuration of its signifying elements as a highly complex imagetext, the paper aims to describe the basic strategies involved in the selection of the symbolic images that constitute its dominant visual vocabulary. Particular attention is paid on the recent innovations that mark this visual vocabulary, as a result of which the design of banknotes seems to be in a process of radical revision, dictated by drastic changes in the way collective political and cultural identities are refashioned in the post Cold War period.
Key Words: visual semiotics, semiotics of money
Billig, M. (1995) Banal Nationalism. London: Sage
Dyer, Alan (1989) ‘Making Semiotic Sense of Money as a Medium of Exchange’, Journal of Economic Issues 23: 503-510
Unwin, T. & V.Hewitt (2001) ‘Banknotes and national identity in central and eastern Europe’, Political Geography 20: 1005-1028
Wennerlind, Carl (2001) ‘Money Talks, but What Is It Saying? Semiotics of Money and Social Control
3) Yannis Skarpelos, Associate professor of Visual Culture, Panteion University, Dept. of Communication, Media and Culture
Towards Quantitative Visual Semiotics?
Visual Semiotics, as is the case with most of Visual Studies so far, have not found yet a sound and methodologically rigorous equilibrium between ‘visual’ and ‘semiotics’. Instead, following existing examples, they scrutinize visuality, the gaze and other similar objects of inquiry, or work on visual grammar and syntax. In all cases, they deal mostly with meta-language about images than with images themselves. They deal mostly with words used to describe the visual (either produced by the researcher or by others) than with the visual itself.
In this paper, I am to propose the use of existing software tools in order to achieve research in quantifiable signifiers in visual images, and their manipulation towards a quantitative semiotics. Concepts like ‘entropy’, ‘hue’, ‘saturation’, ‘mean RGB’ etc. are the computed signifiers which are actually visible but so far visual researchers were unable to tap upon. Illustration of the method will be provided by my current research.
4) Michalis Kokonis, Professor, School of English, Aristotle University
Film Theories Old and New: A Semio-Pragmatic Revision through Cognitive Visual Semiotics
In the last quarter of the 20th century modern film theory had stumbled upon some insurmountable theoretical problems as a result of post-structuralism and deconstruction and shifted its focus on history, cultural or media studies, abandoning structural semiotics, linguistics or film language. Metz himself was forced to back down from his linguistics-based theory and turn to psychoanalysis instead. However, in the beginning of the 21st century, as Warren Buckland notes in his book The Cognitive Semiotics of Film, film semiotics re-enters the field of modern film language as a more rigorous and mature theory with the aid of a new brand of cognitive science. A number of film theoreticians, mainly in Europe, keep on dealing with the most difficult problems of film language drawing on the cognitive science of Lakoff and Johnson, Fauconnier, Langacker, Turner, Sweetser and others who expand on the Language Analysis Tradition (of Frege, Carnap, Moore, Russell, Ryle, Wittgenstein; Saussure’s structural linguistics; Habermas’ pragmatics; C. S. Pierce’s semiotics). Thus Metz’s initial semiotic project “to understand how cinema can be understood” is revived.
In a project entitled “Semantic and Pragmatic Boundaries of The Film Frame as seen through Cognitive Film Semiotics” published in Greek (2012) (also appearing in a revised form in International Handbook of Semiotics, to be published by Springer) I expanded on Buckland’s line of argument by developing a theoretical model that combines the findings of innovative cognitive science with more traditional film theoretical positions in order to show how this new brand of film semiotics can be revived, offering new insights into the aesthetics and narration of film language.
The object of this paper is to focus on the methodology of the above mentioned project just to show that sometimes by combining new, innovative approaches with old traditional theoretical tools may yield quite unexpected and efficacious results. The point is that some of the old, traditional theoretical views, such as of Rudolf Arnheim, Ettiene Souriau, Jean Mitry or Christian Metz, might prove still forceful and vigorous when placed in the new, innovating framework of cognitive film semiotics, like old wine tasting as good even if served in new bottles.
The good tidings are that some of the unsolved problems of film language might find ways towards their solution.
Key words: new and old film theories, methodology, cognitive visual semiotics, film language
5) Eirini Papadaki, firstname.lastname@example.org, Lecturer, Department of Traditional Music, Technological Educational Institute of Epirus, Greece
Signs of space in artistic, scientific and children’s drawings: Differences and similarities
While drawing, children, as well as artists and scientists are energetically searching, choosing, simplifying, abstracting, analyzing, composing, completing, correcting, comparing, combining, demarcating. All these processes form the way that the human brain elaborates cognitive material in every level. Children’s and adults’ drawings can be seen as critical tools and discovery processes, valuable perception aids, visual thinking mechanisms and routes to knowledge. Both children and adults use the same resources (lines, shapes, orientation etc.) in order to realize meaning. These semiotic acts “should be seen as part of an intertextual chain… as stages in an ongoing dialogic process” (Van Leeuwen: 1998, p. 275). Artists, scientists and children alike construct knowledge as they deploy meaning across different modes and combine them in image ensembles (Kress: 2003, p. 141).
This paper tries to interpret children’s understanding of space by examining children’s drawings of spaces parallel to artistic and scientific spatial drawings. For the purposes of this research, children from 8 different schools in Greece (both northern and southern Greece, both in big cities and in villages, both mainland and in islands), between 5 and 12 years old were asked to draw four images of spaces: their room, their house, a map and a maze. The children described in word or in writing their choices and evaluated their final drawings. These drawings were gathered and examined—as a process and as a final result—as signs conveying valuable information on children’s understanding of space, emplacement, as well as sign-making.
Kress, G. (2003). Literacy in the New Media Age. London: Routledge
Van Leeuwen, T. (1998). “It Was Just Like Magic: A Multimodal Analysis of Children’s Writing”, Linguistics and Education 10(3): 273–305.
6) Georgia Chaidemenopoulou & Anastasia Christodoulou, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Ηeroes' dress code in the fairy tale “The heart of the little princess” by Penelope Delta.
It is known that clothing is a code that conveys information such as gender, age, economic status, traditions etc. Clothing is a strong conductor of culture between the transmitter, who is the illustrator and the receiver, the reader. The dress code refers clearly to our social and economic status and our national identity. This research is a case study of the book of Penelope Delta, Fairy Tales and Others. We study one fairy tale of her collection, named the Heart of the little princess. The aim of our research is to study the different themes and the different illustrations of the fairy tale and to compare the oldest version (1915) with the new one (1998). In particular, we want to compare the dress code of the eleven heroes in the two versions (old and new one), through a semiotic approach (Barthes, 1985). Our research is based on a mixed semiotic model (Barthes, 1985 & Greimas, 1966). Additionally, we study the relation between the text and the images.
The results of our research show that in the new version, comparing with the old one, the illustration is richer and contains more images (2 images in the old version and 30 images in the new), with a long variety of colors. In this way, is more attractive and interesting to the reader. In both versions, we observe that the illustrators follow the fashion and the clothing system, of the time that the story was taken place. Through the illustration, we see how strong the dress code is, by transmitting messages and promoting the communication, such as language and every other human code (Kapsomenos, 2001).
Barthes, R. (1985). The Fashion System. Jonathan Cape, London.
Greimas, A. J. (1966). Sémantique structurale. Larousse, Paris.
Κapsomenos ,Ε. (2001). 'Typological criteria for a semiotics of Greek culture'. In G. Paschalidis & H. Hondolidou (eds) Semiotics and Culture, vol. I. Thessaloniki: Paratitiritis (in Greek)
7) Maria Troullou, Phd Candidate, Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, email@example.com
From photos to ‘covers’: the politics of representation and photorealistic discourse in Facebook.
In this paper we explore a type of virtual community that has grown enormously in popularity over the past few years, attracting the attention of numerous researchers from all over the world. More than any other social network, Facebook has a profound influence on contemporary popular culture and practices of on-line interaction, in general. More specifically, it provides us with the largest and most complex storehouse of data regarding the effects of digitization on dominant identity strategies and discourses, offering us the opportunity to study how people engage with visual rhetorics and the politics of representation in the context of hypertexts and social networking sites. In this “reorganized and reinterpretated reality-based culture” (Dueze 2006, Koenig 2008), where users shape the media according to their own interests and needs by transforming the rules of traditional cultural economy (Paschalidis 2010), personal photography seems to assert more than ever its role as a: 1) way to confirm or explore an identity (Holland 2007, Wells 2007), 2) process of rendering observation self-conscious (Berger 1972), and 3) means of constructing the cultural Other (Nordstrom 1991). In the context of the new facilities and possibilities opened up by digital imaging and distribution, “making pictures” instead of “taking pictures” has come to rule the discourse of social networking. On the other hand, for reasons of classification and surveillance, Facebook applies stifling visual restrictions (Petersen 2010), controlling the appearance of millions of users’ personal pages, through constant technical regulations and rearrangements. While personalized content is strongly encouraged, the basic layout of one's page cannot be altered. In this study we built on theories and research of “social capital” (Bourdieu 1986, Coleman 1990, Putnam 1995 & 2000, Resnick 2001, Ellison et. al. 2007) and “self-presentation” (Counts & Stecher 2009, Ellison 2007, Goffman 1959) in order to study how users employ/negotiate image-based identity-making practices, enabled by Facebook, in order to enhance their interaction. Photographs are studied in relation to the contextual meanings of all interaction enabled by the site, which underline identity, relationships and community (Grimmelmann 2010), through the analysis of “presence” (Romiszowski & Mason 2002). Content analysis is applied to instructions given by the site developing thematic categories. Visual socio-semiotic analysis is used to study the iconic aspects of images and of different patterns of presence, as conveyed by the juxtaposition of “profile picture” and “cover photo” arrangements.
Key words: visual semiotics, personal photography, identity formation, social media, Facebook.
8) Marcelo Santos, Associate Professor, Santo Amaro University, Brasil, firstname.lastname@example.org
A new approach to visual semiotics: how to explain drawings produced by the blind?
Studies developed in the last few years have demonstrated that blind people – including congenital ones – are able to express themselves by means of outline drawings. Such drawings, to the amazement of some, are remarkably similar to those made by sighted people. Even constructions considered as exclusively visual, such as perspective, can be produced and comprehended by blind people. This occurs because the lines are able to represent corners and edges, spatial discontinuities captured in a similar manner by both the haptic and visual systems, and necessary to the perception of objects and groups of objects. If both blind and sighted persons graphically comprehend and represent the space in a similar manner, it does not seem absurd to suggest that many of the principles considered as foundations of visual communication are, in fact, originated from the spacial qualities themselves. Based on this premise, the research hereby presented discusses, precisely, in which measure touch and vision offer similar data to the cognitive system. Furthermore, we inquire as to whether it is possible to envision an accessible model of graphic language, concurrently, to both sighted and blind people. To that end, initially, we made a critical revision of the main theories employed in the explanation of the communicative power of pictures. Mainly, those developed in the 20th century, such as: Gestalt, Ecology, Symbolism and Semiotics. As a consequence of the finding that the aforementioned approaches were restricted to the opposition between an arbitrary language and a natural language (always prioritizing one of these poles), a new discipline, developed from the Peircean Philosophy, was coined.
9) Amanda Roberts, PhD Candidate
Howard Riley, Professor of Visual Communication, email@example.com
Dynevor Centre for Art, Design & Media, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Swansea
Interpreting Illustration: A Systemic-Functional Semiotic Model for Visual Imagery
Semiotics is a powerful tool of interpretation, able to facilitate the negotiation of multiple meanings from visual works. This article introduces the provenance of systemic-functional semiotic theory, and contextualizes its application in the domain of illustration. Demonstrating the flexibility of a visual semiotics through the compilation of a chart formulated for decoding visual (rather than linguistic) modes of communication, the article examines divergent interpretations through an analysis of selected illustrative practice. Alternative interpretations and insights are shown to be negotiable as a result of a series of choices made by both artist and viewer. Semiotics reveals how images generally deemed to be straightforward and natural within their conventional discourse are actually cultural constructions, the result of social and historically formed positionings.
Keywords: Visual Illustration, Systemic-functional semiotics
10) Hyosup Song, Sogang University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Three Korean Orchid Scholar Drawings in Deconstructive Process
This paper aims to show how metaphysical meanings in Korean traditional orchid drawings by Confucian scholars are deconstucted in later orchid drawings. Orchid has been regarded as one of four plants that have represented Confucian scholar's virtues figuratively in East Asian cultural tradition. Confucian scholars in Chosun Dynasty had cultivated their minds by drawing orchids and had thought that the result of such cultivation had been revealed in their drawings figuratively. As verbal messages have been always added to traditional scholar drawings, we can find new meaning generation process by interactions between their pictorial forms and verbal messages.
This paper analyzes three orchid drawings. Firstly, I will show how metaphysical meanings are represented figuratively in most typical Confucian orchid drawing of 18 Century. Secondly, I will analyze another scholar drawing of 19th Century that shows the deviation from traditional typical form and orthodox Confucian meaning. Finally, I will show how every metaphysical meanings in traditional orchid drawings are totally deconstucted in orchid drawing of 20th century by a Korean postmodern artist.
11) Sonia Andreou, PhD Candidate, Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Semiotics and Visual Communication Lab, Cyprus University of Technology, email@example.com
Stephanie Stylianou, PhD Candidate, Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Semiotics and Visual Communication Lab, Cyprus University of Technology, firstname.lastname@example.org
Evripides Zantides, Associate Professor, Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts, Semiotics and Visual Communication Lab, Cyprus University of Technology, email@example.com
Gendering the Nation: Female Representations on Cyprus Postage Stamps
The proposed case study aims to discuss the ways and roles in which the female figure is represented in postage stamps produced in Cyprus, after state independence in 1960. While female role portrayals have been examined in the local culture in the forms of lifestyle magazines and radio advertisements (Maniou & Photiou, 2013), the potential interest of a postage stamp analysis has been overlooked. However it is important to note, that the social role of women of Cyprus is documented and analysed using theoretical framework in a number of studies and books. The current study is based on the notion that ties the importance of the selection of postage stamp representation with a nation’s profile. As Bushnell argues (2011), the postage stamp designs produced in order to represent a nation’s image are chosen following decisions essentially made by formal committees of experts and civic personalities. As a result, the figures and symbols recruited are obviously “revealing to one extent or another political and cultural values in a society”. In the analysis/interpretation of the data a combination of methodologies was employed, namely content and semiotic analysis. A sample of 158 plates was selected from a corpus of 1.121 postage stamps printed from 1960 until 2013, all of which feature at least one recognizable female figure. The starting year 1960 stands as a landmark in the island’s history and it signals the beginning of state independence. The postage stamps, as well as information regarding their production, were collected from the Cyprus Postal Museum and the Cyprus’ Ministry of Communications and Works publications. Upon close examination of the female iconography on the postage stamps the research reveals a strong preference for specific roles, intricately related to the country's socio-cultural context, including religion, heritage and prevailing social norms, but also to specific historical experiences and national imaginings.
Key Words: female representation, postage stamps, Cyprus, visual semiotics
Bushnell, D. (2011). Philatelic feminism: The portrayal of women on stamps of Argentina,
Colombia, Cuba, and the United States (1893-2006). Women’s Studies, 40, 829-852.
Cockburn, C. (2004). The line: Women partition and the gender order in Cyprus. New York: Gutenberg Press Ltd.
Maniou, T., & Photiou, I. (2013). Representation of gender relations in Cypriot popular
culture: The cases of the Cypriot radio sketch and Cypriot lifestyle magazines.
In A. Ternes (Ed.), Communication: Breakdowns and Breakthoughts (pp. 99-110). Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press.
Mick, G. D. (2003). Consumer research and semiotics: Exploring the morphology of signs, symbols, and significance. The Journal of Consumer Research, 13(2), 196-213.
Ogletree, S. M., & Merritt, S., & Roberts, J. (1994). Female/male portrayals on U.S. postage stamps of the twentieth century. Communication Research Report, 11(1), 77-85.
12) Robin Fuller, Trinity College Dublin. firstname.lastname@example.org
What is a Letter?
‘What is a letter?’ may at first seem to be a grammatological question. Geoffrey Sampson (1985), and other grammatologists, have shown the variety of roles letters can play within writing systems. Beyond grammatology, the extra-linguistic meanings attributed to ‘visual’ or ‘material’ aspects of letters is of increasing concern — notably in ‘Linguistic Landscapes’ (cf. Seargeant 2012), and the semiotics of typography (cf. Van Leeuwen 2006). For the grammatologist letters are functional units of orthography; for the visual-semiotician the letter is often a polysemous aggregate of connotations. Rather than these two positions contradicting one another, each describes the letter in a different semiotic context. This paper seeks a fundamental semiotics of the letter, arguing that the letter is not defined by linguistic uses; nor does the letter’s semiotic foundation reside in ‘materiality’.
David Abercrombie (1949) defined the three attributes of the letter in Classical grammar as follows — ‘figura was the letter as written, potestas as pronounced, and by its nomen it could be identified for discussion’. Although Abercrombie was concerned with the letter only in orthography, this paper uses expanded definitions of these three attributes to discuss the fundamental semiotics of the letter. Potestas here means any function attributed to a letter (phonetic, algebraic, etc.). A comparison of orthographies and mathematical notation reveals that letters are not restricted to any function. If the letter is not potestas, but that to which a potestas is given, should it be defined as figura — as shape? Palaeography and the history of typography reveal that for each letter there are many figura. Ultimately then, the letter is to be understood as nomen — here meaning not literally ‘name’, but conventionally-established category. Drawing on Charles S. Peirce’s analysis of symbol and replica (1931–58), and Umberto Eco’s type/token ratio (1976), the relationship of figura to nomen is modelled.
Letters pre-exist — structurally if not historically — the systems that supply them with potestas. Nevertheless, letters are not semiotically neutral prior to their exploitation in particular semiotic systems. Letters have been developed into a uniquely vast range of styles that can be rendered and recognised with ease in an array of functional contexts. What allows this is recognition of the letter as nomen — it is only when the identity of letters is recognised that visual similarities and differences can become meaningful.
Keywords: grammatology, semiotics of typography
Abercrombie, David. 1949. ‘What is a “Letter?”’, Lingua 2
Eco, Umberto. 1976. A Theory of Semiotics. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press
Peirce, Charles S. 1931–58. Collected Papers of Charles S. Peirce, 8 vols., ed. C. Hartshorne, et al. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press
Sampson, Geoffrey. 1985. Writing Systems. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press
Seargeant, Philip. 2012. ‘Between script and language: the ambiguous ascription of “English” in the linguistic landscape’, in Linguistic landscapes, multilingualism and social change, ed.C. Hélot,et al. Frankfurt: Peter Lang
Van Leeuwen, Theo. 2006. ‘Towards a Semiotics of Typography’, Information Design Journal, 14(2)
13) Markus Hilander, email@example.com, Doctoral Student, Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, Finland
Taking a step outside of photo’s frames: In which ways is the ‘blank site’ of a photo filled in?
The combination of geography and semiotics seems to be rather rare. Nonetheless, geography as a discipline has always been visually oriented because of the usage of maps. However, geographers tend to be interested in the final meanings of visual representations rather than the processes during which the meanings are being produced. To approach these processes, we printed a photo taken in New York City (2008) on an A3-sheet and asked in total 64 Finnish high school students to draw around the photo. Next step of our study is deciding in which ways we are to analyze the drawings in question; during our presentation, we hope to gain new ideas from the audience to approach our data-set.
In the 1970s, Roland Barthes stated that connotations are likely to be important in semiology. He continued that connotative phenomena have not yet been systematically studied. In addition, a Finnish researcher, Virpi Blom, has said that the analysis of connotation is in the heart of interpretation. When it comes to the drawings we have collected, we can, for example, focus on what sorts of connotations the students have drawn. In her book, Decoding Advertisements, Judith Williamson approaches advertisements both as signifieds and signifiers. The same division can be used for drawings as follows: when the photograph itself is the signifier, the drawing is dominated by the photo; instead, when the drawing is the signifier, the drawer abandons the ready-made signified (the photo), and a semiotic act will take place. The former example is to do with synecdochal signs, the latter with metonymic signs. When it comes to visual literacy and semiotics, iconicity, indexicality, and metonymic signs are said to be the most important aspects we should concentrate on. It was Barthes who said that there is an abundant literature on metaphor, but next to nothing on metonymy.
In addition, there are other interesting findings in the drawings; one, for instance, is whether the students have drawn people in their city landscape or not. It seems that quite often people are not drawn. Is it because of a human being is somewhat difficult to draw or do youngsters really not consider people to be part of an urban landscape?
14) Ifigeneia Vamvakidou, associate professor, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN MACEDONIA
Andromachi Solaki, PhD candidate, UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN MACEDONIA
Students of Florina's university are painting the locality: historic significations
The present research refers to the particular art crafts had been made by 66 students of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts in Florina. Students were asked to capture in an artistic/plastic way the toponyms of the region of Florina (villages and towns) according to their new and their older name (Kostopoulos, 2008) in the historic process of renaming the “places” and signifying the localities.
We as historic researchers try to analyse the specific toponyms using the figurative semiotics and the semiotics of plastic arts (Greimas, et al., 1989) in order to find out if the pictorial which we usually perceive in terms of its framed surfaces, lent itself to a paradigmatic analysis.We also use the process of “semiosis, a term borrowed from Charles Sanders Peirce, expanded by Eco as meaning production: semiosis is a social activity and subjective factors are involved in each individual act of semiosis”. The toponyms can be categorized a) as the terms that had not changed their signifiers like (Kladorabi – Kladorahi) b) those that had absolutely changed both the signifiers and the signified (Sorovits – Amyntaio), Bufi – Akritas, Rakovo – Kratero and as some c) with little differentiation (German – Agios Germanos).
The sample consists of 132 artcrafts (two for each toponym) in accordance to the representations of the double connotations/significations. It’s important to be mentioned that for the particular students some of these places were completely unknown because they belong to the extended/regional region of the municipality. Nevertheless we as teachers and researchers using the brain storms’ technique we tried to debate on the conceptual art and the process of visualizing the “soundscape”. In this project the students had the freedom to choose the artistic material and the technique that they preferred. Most of them had chosen the paintings while the rest chose collage, handicrafts and other constructions.
On a strict historical reading, the expression ‘conceptual art’ refers to the artistic movement that reached its pinnacle between 1966 and 1972 (Lippard 1973): we find artists such as Joseph Kosuth, Robert Morris, Joseph Beuys and Mel Ramsden. Conceptual art sought to overcome a backdrop against which art's principal aim is to produce something beautiful or aesthetically pleasing. The job of conceptual artists is instead to encourage a revisionary understanding of art, artist, and artistic experience. In conceptual art, the representation at work is generally semantic rather than illustrative. It is important to note that the representation favoured by conceptual artists is semantic in the sense of representing a meaning, or having a meaning. So that even in cases where a work makes use of illustrative representation, conceptual art is still putting that representation to a distinctively semantic use. Accordingly, the conceptual artist's task is to contemplate and formulate this meaning – to be a ‘meaning-maker’ (Albero, 1999).
The purpose of this paper is to study how the new artists choose to visualize the historic locality as an image. Furthermore the researching problem refers to the realistic or other associations between the village’s name and the art craft – work in a mythological/ideological context.
Key words: locality, visual, history, semiotics
15) Soren Vigild Poulsen, Ph.D., Research assistant, Department of Language and Communication, University of Southern Denmark, firstname.lastname@example.org
Semiotic resources of Instagram – a description of represented resources for meaning-making in the Instagram interface.
This paper presents a preliminary study of the mobile photo-sharing and social networking service Instagram. The aim of the study is to describe Instagram as a semiotic technology, i.e. how the Instagram interface digitally represents an array of semiotic resources for social meaning-making in visual discourses. The study suggests that social media technologies are not developed in isolation, but in conjunction with remediated photographic practices.
Working within a social semiotic multimodal framework (Kress & van Leeuwen 2001, 2006; van Leeuwen 2005), the claim of the study is that there is an interdependent relationship between the mobile technology and the social practice of photography. On the one hand, Instagram gives rise to a new photographic practice, since mobile technology enables particular ways for its users to take pictures (and short videos), edit these pictures, and share them on social networks, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Flickr. On the other hand, the design of Instagram’s interface is informed by photographic practice, demonstrable when the technical features of the interface are traced back to their historical roots of instamatic photography (Gustavson 2009; Bonanos 2012).
Following the analytical approach for semiotic analysis of media technologies laid out by Djonov and van Leeuwen (2011, 2013), this study maps out the semiotic resources embedded in the Instagram interface. Each technical feature of the interface is analyzed and described in terms of function and its meaningmaking potential. This description also involves a brief historical account of these photographic features.
Key words: Applied semiotics, multimodal, multicodal and multisensorial semiosis, semiotic technology, Instragram.
Bonanos, C. (2012). Instant - The Story of Polaroid. New York: Princeton Architectural Press.
Djonov, E., & Theo Van, L. (2013). Between the grid and composition: Layout in PowerPoint's design and use. Semiotica, 2013(197), 1-34.
Djonov, E., & Van Leeuwen, T. (2011). The semiotics of texture: from tactile to visual. Visual Communication, 10(4), 541-564.
Gustavson, T. (2009). Camera - A History of Photography From Daguerreotype To Digital. New York/ London: Sterling Innovation.
Kress, G., & Leeuwen, T. v. (2001). Multimodal discourse: the modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Arnold.
Kress, G., & van Leeuwen, T. v. (2006). Reading images: the grammar of visual design (2 ed.). London: Routledge.
Van Leeuwen, T. (2005). Introducing social semiotics. London: Routledge.
16) LI Qian, Shanghai International Studies University, Shanghai, China
On Emoticons — A Potential “World Language” in the Visual Age
Emoticons were and are spreading and developing at a speed faster than any other languages. Modern platforms on smartphone and computer enable emoticons to transmit in their original forms, which lay the foundation of their development meanwhile weakening the advantage of easy replicability of traditional words. Though now being unsystematical and informal, the readable and vivid emoticons have the revolutionary potential in changing daily communication. And it is undeniable that emoticons are revolving into a new-style “language” that cannot be ignored.
:-D :-P ;-) =)
B-) :-X :-| etc.
(^_^) (T_T) 囧
(O_O) t(-_-t) etc.
First documented user of emoticons is Scott Fahlman
Booming development worldwide. In fact it was a word-making activity involving all people. Word-making is no longer a privilege limited to gods and poets.
Continuing invention. Fusion and selection of the invented emoticons. With the new media available, emoticons begin to make new symbols that can no more be easily interpreted by traditional languages (e.g. the last one). The new symbols now convey not only simple information but also abstract and complicated one.
Probably will evolve into a system with the most efficient and essential symbols and replace many words in traditional languages. A gradual change in alphabet language has begun.
17) Iryna Zhodani, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”, Ukraine
Polisemioticity of Visual Poetry by Viktor Zhenchenko
In modern art writers very often choose not only traditional ways to express their emotions and thoughts. Sometimes they use more than one secondary modeling system (according to terms by the Tartu-Moscow school of semiotics). There are a lot of words which pertain to the phenomenon of synthesis of some arts (intermediality, heteromediality, heteroperceptuality, creolization, interaction of arts and so on), but to my mind, if we use the methodology of semiotic, the best of them is the term of the Polish researcher Marta Kaźmierczak “polisemioticity” which has a parallel with intersemioticity.
This thesis is dedicated to synthesis of literature and graphic arts in visual poetry by a Ukrainian author Viktor Zhenchenko (books “Visual Poetry” (2000) and “Thirst for Two People” (2001)). A lot of his works are about tragic events in the Ukrainian history such as Kolyma, famishment, genocide, Gulag, prohibition of the Ukrainian language, extirpation of the best Ukrainian writers, painters, scholars and other people of culture and science.
Visual poetry by Viktor Zhenchenko is full of verbal and graphic symbols which supplement each other and create the new composite whole. In his works we can see many Ukrainian and international symbols, such as wing, gallows, boots, labyrinth, square, circle, candle, sabres, swallows and so on.
The separate part of the book “Thirst for Two People” is the alphabet for adults where each letter is associated with some important idea-symbol.
Visual poetry by Viktor Zhenchenko consists of different codes and the author is permanently looking for new and original forms of this synthesis of two secondary modeling systems. His works are characterized by graphic imagery, non-linearity of perception and versatility of significance which is inherent to the symbol.
18) Sergei Kruk, email@example.com, Department of Communication, Riga Stradins University
Visual semiotics of sculpture: A neglected plastic sign of 3D objects
Most often literature on visual semiotics discusses painting, film, comics, photography, print advertising, digital images and other flat pictures. Analysis of 3D artwork like sculpture is rare and mostly it resembles an analysis of object’s photographs. However the 3D objects have a peculiar property which make them qualitatively distinctive from flat images – they have a mass. If painters can manipulate with forms as plastic signs with no physical constraints, sculptors are not free to arrange volumes according to their creative whims. Mass determines the physical structure of artwork and accordingly it produces a range of connotations: rest vs. movement, stability vs. change, slow vs. fast…
The phenomenon of mass is envisaged in the notion of tectonics first used in German literature on architecture in 1850s and later borrowed by the Soviet architects, sculptors and designers. The relevance of mass to Soviet sculpture can be explained by its peculiar role in politics and urban design as well as the availability of financial and material resources permitting construction of large scale monuments. This paper discusses the evolution of the terms ‘tectonics’ and ‘monument’ outlining the constructional and aesthetic features of the object’s mass. Practical implementation of the concepts will be demonstrated with examples of the Latvian sculpture. Sculptures realized in 1970-2014 represent three distinctive constructional currents of arrangement of masses; taking mass as a plastic sign these currents are interpreted as carrying three sets of connotations.
Key words: visual semiotics, plastic sign, sculpture, tectonics, mass.
19) Thiago Moreira Correa Doctorando en Semiótica - Universidade de São Paulo (Brasil)
TEMÁTICA SOCIAL EN LA POESÍA VISUAL DE AUGUSTO DE CAMPOS
El poema “Psiu!” (1966), integra una serie de poemas de Augusto de Campos llamada Popcretos (1964-1966). Este poema visual fue publicado en la década de 1960, cuando una dictadura militar gobernaba la sociedad brasileña. Augusto de Campos fue uno de los creadores de la vanguardia concretista en los años 50 del pasado siglo. Tal movimiento literario se fundó en una práctica artística estricta, como la utilización de las formas geométricas, la eliminación del verso tradicional y el uso espacial de las palabras. Debido a su exceso de rigor, la poesía concreta fue criticada por su alejamiento de las cuestiones sociales, y al llegar los años de la dictadura, la clase artística exigía una postura social. Así que la vanguardia tenía que plantear su inserción en temáticas políticas, pero sin perder el rigor y la creatividad poética. “Psiu!” es un ejemplo de esa incorporación de un contenido político en una forma innovadora. El análisis intenta enseñar, basado en la semiótica visual de Jean- Marie Floch (1985), la labor empleada por el poeta para compaginar la temática social (GREIMAS, 1976), exigida por el momento, con una forma poética novedosa. El uso del bricolaje, de una estética pop art, de la fragmentación poética y de la relación entre imagen y palabra (BARTHES, 1984) se dirigen hacia la denuncia de la censura dictatorial. Por lo tanto, investigar el poema de Augusto de Campos es comprender la unión entre la tradición poética y sus innovaciones.
PALABRAS CLAVE: Semiótica Visual; Análisis; Poesía; Arte; Concretismo.
20) María Eugenia De Zan – Daniel Gastaldello (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Multimodalidad, Imagen compleja y pensamiento visual. Imágenes de la catástrofe como escenarios de lo sin límite.
El presente trabajo propone indagar algunos dilemas cognitivos que suelen presentarse cuando se analiza la conformación de los espacios de la mirada desde “el paradigma de la complejidad” y en los umbrales de una fenomenología de la visión (Catala Domenech, 2005). Conceptualizados no sólo como espacios perceptivos sino también como espacios mentales del pensamiento y la acción, los espacios de la mirada se reconfiguran permanentemente a partir de la incorporación de cada nuevo dispositivo y/o cada nueva tecnología de la visión. Las últimas transformaciones en los dispositivos y en los modos de mirar pueden estudiarse desde la perspectiva transdisciplinar que desarrollan los estudios visuales observando particularmente el impacto de dichas transformaciones en lo que atañe a la producción y circulación de de imágenes visuales a través de las extensas redes de la interfaz tecnológica (internet), particularmente si se piensan los regímenes de visibilidad de ciertos acontecimientos límites que explosionan una cotidianeidad en permanente dislocación.
Partiendo de la tesis -ya conocida- que sostiene que cada nuevo dispositivo de la mirada produce y/o modifica un régimen de visibilidad y de representación del espacio-tiempo, especialmente en las esferas del arte y de la comunicación, nos proponemos indagar sobre los nuevos modos de cognición a los que éstos dan lugar: desde el distanciamiento y la empatía en la observación de las imágenes, hasta las múltiples formas de intervención e interacción que ofrecen las producciones artísticas y las interfaces tecnológicas (Catala Domenech, 2005).
La pregunta sobre los modos de visibilidad que configuran estos dispositivos en los imaginarios de una cultura se dirige al espacio en que se posiciona el sujeto -productor, receptor y/o usuario- de las imágenes en y para la construcción de un pensamiento visual. Cada cultura establece para su tiempo un marco relativamente estable de producciones e interpretaciones posibles, instituye determinados modelos, códigos o esquemas para la percepción, la representación y la comprensión visual. Al dislocarse, quebrarse o desplazarse estos marcos interpretativos, actualizada la pregunta por el límite, se deslocaliza también el lugar del sujeto receptor que se constituye a la vez en productor y usuario de las imágenes de la catástrofe.
Este recorrido nos lleva a reconsiderar una dimensión de la mirada que fluctúa entre escalas globales e individuales explorando las interrelaciones entre la conformación del espacio de lo imaginario y los modos de representación, recepción y circulación de imágenes en la comunicación mediática y en performances e instalaciones artísticas que teorizan la catástrofe. En el paradigma de la imagen compleja, de la espectacularidad, de la reflexividad y la interactividad sin límites, lo imaginario se envuelve de calificativos -“la imagen malicia”, “la imagen reflexiva”, “la imagen pensativa”- que necesariamente nos reenvían de una dimensión fenomenológica y semiótica a una dimensión ética y pragmática de las imágenes (Schnaith, 1997, Didi Huberman, 1997, 2008; Ranciere, 2010). Con este fin nos proponemos interrogar las funciones de la alegoría, el símbolo y el mito como artificios de la imaginación simbólica en instalaciones y performances de artistas latinoamericanos que teorizan la catástrofe a partir de las articulaciones posibles entre técnica, sujetos y sociedad (Andrea Juan, “Rescate”, 2001. Fondo Nacional de las artes, Buenos Aires y “Getting over”, 2004, Fundación Telefónica, Buenos Aires).
María Eugenia De Zan – Daniel Gastaldello (email@example.com): Cátedra de Semiótica. Centro de Estudios de Discursos Sociales. Grupo de Investigaciones Semióticas. Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias. Universidad Nacional del Litoral. Santa Fe, Argentina.