02 Semiotics


  • Imagination is an act of knowledge; baroque representation turns on language and its formulas

  • The total has another effect than the adding up of the parts; there is the remainder.

  • Grand rhetoric: To defer perception is to engender a new meaning. Like a riddle, there is no fun if you solve instantly but if you took great effort and time to arrive at the solution, you will find great joy and satisfaction with the meaning. “The forced” participation empowers the viewer to find meaning.

  • A myth is a type of speech not confined orally, but also to modes of writing or representation

  • The special trick of myth is to present an ethos or beliefs as it was a natural condition of the world, though however, it is simply a man-made perspective. A myth expresses the intentions of the source, be it a storyteller, designer, or writer.

  • The evolved definition of myth: any cultural activity that implies an ethos or ideology as the focus of belief.

  • A myth is not just speech but also a a form of communication in a culture, that promote the myth-makers own position.

So what? & Notes

  • In a way, when we use abstracted graphics or visuals in our projects, are we not using the same rhetoric as Arcimboldo did? In motion graphics, we are encouraged to seldom use a direct representation of a concept or a product but rather use related images to create a meaning that arrives back at the concept.

  • Composite heads: heads hesitates between coding and decoding. We see the whole (portrait) first, then the sum of its parts (vegetables and fruits). Duality of visual communication of both direct and ambiguity.

  • Metaphor dependence on coup de force ( A sudden, violent act.)

  • PES would be a modern-day Arcimboldo; orchestrating animation with auditioned everyday items

  • The uncanniness of Arcimboldo's paintings play on two levels; objective and suggestive. Hence is what you see what it really is? A graphical friction. A duplicity of graphisms.

  • Metaphors, metonymy(conceptual), allegory, allusion, antanaclasis, agnomination

  • Builts off the previous class on authorship and intentionality, intentions reaches a depth of fun and playfulness

  • We are visual magicians that draw from many centers of culture to concoct an illusion or a mystery that draws the participants close

  • A myth is like a magic trick, the wonders of the magic is only appreciated if one believes in it. Or rather it is like a conjured illusion. For example, Malaysian politicians would start construction projects for the public to create the myth of being generous and compassionate, and that people are willing to vote for them. In this example, another metaphor would possibly be that it is similar street-cred. The stories associated with modern products or figures creates a mythic appeal that people succumb to.

  • My understanding of Barthes’s myth is that it is a discourse, any medium can contribute to the discourse, giving it the power to become a natural condition of the world. A dominant discourse of ideology becomes a center where all unique expressions are positioned.

*Paraphrased notes from online sources used in this reading summary

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