FLSE.00.148 loeng 2013.09.24

FLSE.00.148 Semiotics and Theories of Art loeng 2013.09.24

Don't put "clothes" on the scheme!
Jakobson's communication model doesn't work in real life. Indrek claims that it doesn't have to. Theory is about theory.
For Roman Jakobson communication is act is the receiver trying to send a message to the receiver (with context, channel and code). According to Mihhail Lotman it is not the transmission of a ready-made message from A to B, but message and context are bound to each other and transform both Sender and Receiver.
This is a poor approximation of Indrek Grigor's saying because he's talking so fast, but there is a point (one that can be discerned from M. Lotman's own writings more readily). Too bad I can't dwell on that further here.
Saussure's sign is abstract. It is realised in concrete substance. Whereas the realisation already corrupts the sign. A sign realised in speech is not a sign anymore, in the direct sense. Speech only represents language signs.
I am instantly reminded of Derrida's grammatology.
Signified and signifier can not exist without each other. Signified is primary towards the signifier, but their relationship is symmetrical. The relationship between signified and signifier is arbitrary (non determined). Language sign itsely is determined by the language system, but the relationship of the elements forming the sign is arbitrary.
I have no idea what this means. I'm interested in neither language nor Saussure so I've done my best to avoid this kind of stuff. Should I reconsider it, at least for sake of concursivity?
To solve this paradox Saussure introduces value (valeur). Meaning is created in the combination of signified and signifier. Value describes the position of the element in the system. Value is the complex of all the relationships that the element has in the system (for example grammatical categories). (That means the relationships between the signs have an determinating character, whereas the relationship forming the signs are arbitrary).
Again, no idea. I have a faint memory of trying to understand semiology and coming up with nothing. It seems to give rise to more misunderstanding than understanding. I'm especially put off by the philosophers/semiologists who try to make sense of Saussure and end up with even weirder outcomes. This is an awkward situation for a young semiotician: you won't understand Saussure and you can't fully understand Peirce (because his system of semeiotics is infinitely complex).
Peeter Linnap, photosphere. All photos ever belong to this photospheres.
There is an endless array of spheres or imaginary totalities. The point seems to be that this is not ontological but methodological/epistemological. "We just treat it as such."
A language is always monolinguistic. There is the language and then there is what is outside of it, and can be translated into the language, but there is never two languages within one language.
I argued against the absoluteness of this statement and tried to refer to Bakhtin. Saussure's abstract language system is "no-one's language" but in reality there is my language and a multitide of other languages for every person who speaks.
1. Speech has semiotic characteristics which are not determined by language.
2. Speech can be a closed and stable system. This kind of system is called a text.
Text is an immanent system, the elements of the text form a structure, and every element of the text has a value.
This sounds like the structure of the artistic text. Text as a system makes sense from this point of view, but then again you have to presume that there are "elements".
Verbal language is not the primary modelling system? - Mihhail Lotman.
Just because primary and secondary are relative to each other.
Indrek Grigor seems doubtful.
A semiotic system has three obligatory components: language, field and author. Language consists of lexicon and grammar. Field consists of places, which are not determined by the language. But language and field depend on each other.
In chess we have pieces (lexicon), the rules (grammar) and the board (field). THe match is a dialog between two authors.
The place of authors here seems weird and Silvi Salupere points this out.
Use the work of art as it's own metatext.
I'm sensing the emic and etic contrast. I came to a similar conclusion lately, that I should not apply my neat typology on the works I'm studying but rather pay attention to the "native theories" within the works themselves. E.g. Zamyatin's geometric interpretation of facial expressions, for example. The "native theories" are surely limited and rather metaphorical, but valuable nevertheless.
John Deely: Understanding that a sign is a sign, not the use of signs is what differs anthroposemiosis from zoosemiosis.
Priit Põhjala: True, but it is also true that people usually are not conscious about using signs. That's why we speak about common language.
Grigor: Our awareness of the language is limited. We are aware of using language, because we are aware of other languages, but we are not aware of the language we are currently using.
This is what is commonly referred to as "metalevel" awareness.
A language can realise itself not only in materialistic substances (sound images, objects, etc.), but also in other languages.
For example, a fabula can be realised in prose, film, dance, comics... They all have lexicon and grammar that means they are languages in a semiotic sense.
In this case functions one language (primary) as the field for the other language.
This sounds like isology between language and fabula. Just like in the case of Jelena Grigorjeva, I'm skeptical if "language" is such a valuable term. I made this suggestion and referred to Charles Morris. Silvi Salupere corrected me that Morris said this about "meaning" not "language". I can't find the exact quote so I might be wrong - it's about time to re-read Morris's book.
The world is materia
The world is a horse
First refers to descriptive metalanguage, multilingual world. Second refers to (mythological) meta(linguistic) text, that belongs to the same languages as the world it describes. There are no metalanguages.
I thought about this yesterday. If I approch bodily behaviour in literature with intellectual tools from the study of nonverbal behaviour then it is a case of "the world is materia". But if I take up the "native theories" within the novels and try to explain nonverbal behaviour that certain authors describe with the intellectual tools (explanations) that the author him- or herself provides then it is a case of "the world is a horse". I should of course consult Lotman and Uspensky's article on this before proceeding.
Describing the object in the language constituted by the metatext, can be described as a translation, where the describing language starts to act towards the object, it is describing, as a metatext. The object described becomes the world. Because the describing metalanguage precedes the object and constitutes the order fixed by the metatexts which determine it, despite the language of the object. (That's why you should be very cautious when APPLYING A THEORY).
I'm not sure what exactly it is that this passage says, because it seems like something that should be laid out in a scheme before I get it. Indrek repeats his earlier point: "Don't apply theory on art, apply theory on theory." That seems to be exactly how many a theoretician operate.
Loomulik keel on loomulik keel, sest ta on meil loomulikult olemas, aga kunstikeelt tuleb õppida. (Salupere)
Ka huvitav, aga kuidas seda "loomulikku antust" mõtestada?

The dialectic of word and image seems to be a constant in the fabric of signs that a culture weaves around itself. What varies is the precise nature of the weave, the relation of warp and woof. The history of culture is in part the story of a protracted struggle for dominance between pictorial and linguistic signs, each claiming for itself certain proprietary righs on a "nature" to which only it has access. (Mitchell 1986: 43)
My own first article was essentially about the dialectic of bodily behaviour (standing for image) and text (standing for language). I tried to "unweave" this fabric by marking out certain "intersections" of bb and text - the result was an outline of four different phenomena.
There is the natural, mimetic image, which looks like or "captures" what it represents, and its pictorial rival, the artifical, expressive image which cannot "look like" what it represents because that thing can only be conveyed in words. There is the word which in a natural image of what it means (as in onomatopoeia) and the word as arbitrary signifier. (Mitchell 1986: 43-44)
Actually a useful distinction, because what again comes to my mind is the opposition between descriptions of bodily behaviour (describes what it captures) and bodily metaphors (can only be conveyed in words).


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