Semiotics

 

I didn’t know this word, so my first step for the tasks in project 2 has been to explore what semiotics are and at a high level how they work, so how signs create messages.

Some of the concepts I have pulled from looking at YouTube and web sites are:

Signs operate by simultaneously and inextricably combining how we think of something – the impact a sound/image has on our senses and what we think of when we see a sound/image – the concept of what we associate with that sound/image.1

Signs are culturally constructed – the significance of an object in Elizabethan times is different from today etc.

There are different ways that the sign can refer to it’s object:

  • Iconic – ‘resembles or imitates its object’2
  • Indexical -‘signs where the signifier is caused by the signified, e.g., smoke signifies fire’3
  • Symbolic – signs where the relationship to the object is arbitrary  – ‘purely conventional and culturally specific’3

A collection of signs can exist together  to create meaning through their relationship. There are different types of relationships that can be created: paradigmatic, syntagmatic, myths, codes (‘Codes are where semiotics and social structure and values connect.’3) and ideologies.

I think this is going to be a fascinating journey exploring semiotics in classical painting and being able to apply that to art throughout history, photography, video making and advertising.

1628_claesz_vanitas-stillleben_mit_selbstbildnis_anagoria

Vanitas with Violin and Glass Ball (1628) Pieter Claesz

 

  1. Saussure, Structuralism, and Semiotics . https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaRxu1-Z6NY
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotic_elements_and_classes_of_signs
  3. http://www.uvm.edu/~tstreete/semiotics_and_ads/terminology.html
  4. The Signs of Our Times: Semiotics in 2016 and Beyond | Michael Mills | TEDxSUNYGeneseo
  5. Semiotics for Beginners : http://visual-memory.co.uk/daniel/Documents/S4B/sem02.html

Assessment criteria 1

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3 thoughts on “Semiotics

  1. Pingback: Assignment 2: Studio Practice; Task 1: Still Life – research – Piotr Bednarek Photo

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