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Tartu Summer School of Semiotics 2015 hosting the IX Conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies

SEMIOTIC (UN)PREDICTABILITY Book of Abstracts

Tartu 2015


Organisers: Department of Semiotics, University of Tartu Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies Estionian Semiotics Association

Supporters: Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, The Gambling Tax Council, Estonian Semiotics Association, Tartu Convention Bureau

Members of the scientific commitee: Inesa Sahakyan Kalevi Kull Kristin Vaik Lauri Linask Luis Emilio Bruni Morten Tønnessen Peeter Torop Sara Lenninger Tiit Remm Timo Maran Tyler Bennett Organising team: Kalevi Kull Katre Pärn Kristin Vaik Lauri Linask Liina Sieberk Maarja Vaikmaa Tiit Remm Tyler Bennett Editing: Katre Pärn and Tyler Bennett Cover and layout: Katre Pärn Print: University of Tartu Find us in the Web: www.flfi.ut.ee/summer_school/ www.facebook.com/events/148577218809797/


CONTENTS FOREWORD HISTORY OF THE SUMMER SCHOOLS

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ABOUT THE NORDIC ASSOCIATION FOR SEMIOTIC STUDIES 17 CONFERENCE PROGRAM

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LIST OF PRESENTERS

29

PLENARY LECTURES

35

ABSTRACTS

41

NOTES

163


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FOREWORD The paradoxical co-presence of predictability and unpredictability is a fundamental aspect of the dynamics of the semiotic world. Abduction, habit, diversity explosion, (artistic) modelling, code, interaction, meaning-making, signification, innovation, uncertainty, structural change, order and disorder, translation, interpretation – there are numerous concepts that reflect this tension in different kinds of semiotic systems and processes. Predictability and unpredictability are processual notions that have been used for the description and analysis of different forms of creativity and freedom on both the psychological and the social level. They were also key concepts for Juri Lotman. He considered every act of communication and understanding as involving elements of unpredictability, and every dialogue as being not only about language use, but involving language creation as well. From the perspective of cultural dynamics, every revolution, but also every new fact or event within culture and society, is an explosion – a tension between predictability and unpredictability. For a sustainable development, every society needs fin addition to gradual development innovation – explosions – as well. Explosion, from new work of art to revolutionary changes in society, is not for Lotman simply a moment of unpredictability. It creates new metalanguages for interpreting innovation and is a moment that activates collective self-knowledge. (Un)predictability is an aspect of (auto)communication and suggests a balance between diversity of cultural languages and descriptive languages in culture. Semiotics is valuable in both, the understanding of cultural diversity and in the creation of flexible metalanguages for interpreting this diversity. This conference explores the functioning of semiotic mechanisms that mediate order and change in cultural, social, and biological systems from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. (Un)predictability is also of utmost practical value in 9


cognition, for simpler forms of life, for human everyday life, for scientific inquiry, and in practically oriented applications of semiotics. The presentations investigate the processes and structures that facilitate predictability and unpredictability in meaning-making, their particular forms, mechanisms and functions, as well as the role, value and nature of (scientific) predictability in the object domain and disciplinary tasks of semiotics. This conference is jointly the 9th Conference of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies and the 10th Tartu Semiotics Summer School. It includes a extended program of lectures organised in cooperation with University of Tartu Lifelong Learning Centre, taking place from August 10–21, and the main program from August 17–20, 2015. The organisers

Tartu Semiotics Summer Schools I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX X

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– 1964, Kääriku – 1966, Kääriku – 1968, Kääriku – 1970, Tartu – 1974, Tartu – 1986, Kääriku – 1995, Saarjärve – 2011, Palmse – 2013, Kääriku – 2015, Tartu

Conferences of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies I II III IV V VI VII VIII IX

– 1990, Odense – 1992, Lund – 1994, Trondheim – 1996, Imatra – 1998, Oslo – 2000, Copenhagen – 2011, Lund – 2013, Aarhus – 2015, Tartu


... the antinomy of mass historical phenomena and that which is maximally individual, of predictability and unpredictability: the two wheels of the bicycle of history. - Juri Lotman, Culture and Explosion

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HISTORY

OF THE SUMMER SCHOOLS The Summer Schools of Semiotics were initiated by Juri Lotman who, inspired by the first symposium on Modelling Systems in 1962, invited Moscow scholars for cooperation. At the end of 1963 Lotman wrote to Vladimir Toporov: “A. M. Piatigorsky wants you to know that together with the rector we have decided to organise a 10-day symposium in Tartu (near Tartu, in the forest near a lake), where we could invite about 20 people (more, I think, are not necessary), for a real discussion “between ourselves”. The first Summer School took place from 19–29 August 1964 at the University of Tartu Kääriku sports centre. A separate 110 page compilation of theses was published, comprising 30 presentations. Participants were mainly philologists and mathematicians from Moscow and Tartu. The second Summer School was held, as planned, two years later, from 16–26 August 1966 and included as guests Krystyna Pomorska and Roman Jakobson. The organizing committee presented the following topics for the programme: typology of culture, typology of texts, modelling of space and time in semiotic systems, person and collective. The third Summer School shifted to spring and was somewhat shorter, from 10–18 May 1968. Yet there were almost as many presentations as before – the 255 page compilation of theses includes 43 presentations. The fourth Summer School in 1970 (17–24 August) took place in Tartu. Cultural semiotics was the general topic, with 42 presentations in the compilation of theses. Thomas Sebeok was present as a foreign guest, giving a talk on types of signs. In 1970, the Soviet authorities exterted an increasing pressure on semiotics, and volumes of Sign Systems Studies were increasingly difficult to publish. After the first All-Union Symposium on Semiotics of the Humanities in Tartu 13


in February 1974 (Winter School), this period of Summer Schools came to its end. There was an attempt to reanimate them in 1986, when a Summer School took place in Kääriku. In 1995, the Summer School was organized in Saarjärve for the first time by the Department of Semiotics that was formed a few years earlier. It was an international conference with over 30 presentations and in keeping with the Summer School’s tradition, included discussions on central questions in semiotics. A new period of Tartu Semiotics Summer Schools began in 2011 when it was organised in Palmse. The topic of the Summer School was semiotic modelling. In 2013, the Summer School took place again in Kääriku, the topic was autocommunication in semiotic systems. In 2015, we will have it in Tartu. The aim of the revived Summer School, as of its predecessor, is to provide an environment to converse about core issues in semiotics that are of disciplinary as well as transdisciplinary relevance. It aspires to promote dialogue between scholars and synthesis between approaches.

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A code is not only a rule which closes but also a rule which opens. It not only says ‘you must’ but says also ‘you may’ or ‘it would also be possible to do that’. If it is a matrix, it is a matrix allowing for infinite occurrences, some of them still unpredictable, the source of game. - Umberto Eco, Semiotics and Philosophy of Language

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ABOUT

THE NORDIC ASSOCIATION FOR SEMIOTIC STUDIES One year from now will be the thirtieth anniversary of the first symposium of Norwegian semiotics at Bryggens Museum. This event spurned the eventual founding of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (NASS), and it is worth mentioning this symposium with regard to the fact that the NASS has chosen to hold their biennial congress in Tartu specifically this year considering that, on special last minute request from the participants of the symposium in 1986, Juri Lotman made his way out from Soviet occupied Estonia to begin what later amounted to the fruitful inclusion of Estonia and the ideas of the Tartu-Moscow school within Nordic semiotics at large. As Dinda Gorlée, former president of the NASS, put it in her address of 2013, “Joining the NASS with a number of qualified semioticians, the Scandinavian countries have been enriched with the Baltic environment of semiotics, including the first semiotic journal, Sign Systems Studies”. Needless to say, the reverse is also true, and we here at the University of Tartu are greatly pleased to invite members and participants of the NASS to the Summer School and for the School to be a part of the NASS’s biennial congress. The current president of the NASS is professor Luis Emilio Bruni of Aalborg University, Denmark. Previous congresses have been held in Odense, Denmark (1990), Lund, Sweden, (1992), Trondheim, Norway (1994), Imatra, Finland (1996), Oslo, Norway (1998), Copenhagen, Denmark, (2000), Lund, Sweden (2011), and Aarhus, Denmark (2013). We trust that for our joint conference here in Estonia the interaction of ideas between Tartu semiotics and Nordic semiotics will conduce to a productive cross pollination.

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CONFERENCE PROGRAM

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MONDAY, AUGUST 17, TARTU REGISTRATION PRE-SESSION

Analysis of the influence of gadgets on visual communication

Ilya Dvorkin

Dialogue and communicative act: continental and analytic models

LOCATIONS REGISTRATION

on Monday morning : Hall of the Lecture Theatre, Jakobi 2-226 during summer school : Jakobi 2-337

INFORMATION AND BOOK SALE open every day from 9:00-18:30 : Jakobi 2-337

PLENARY LECTURES

when in Tartu : Lecture Theatre, Jakobi 2-226

GENERAL ASSEMBLY Lecture Theatre, Jakobi 2-226

SESSIONS

PANEL As : Jakobi 2-438 PANEL Bs : Jakobi 2-336

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PANEL Cs : Jakobi 2-306 Pre-session : Jakobi 2-306

Lunch

Valentina Korabelnikov

12:30-14:00

The theory of figurative speech of Moshe Ibn Ezra (XII century)

PLENARY LECTURE

Semen Parizhskij

11:30-12:30 Jordan Zlatev The semiotic hierarchy revised: From life to language

Space for meetings and meanings in J. S. Foer’s Everything is Illuminated

Opening at the Lecture Theatre

Ekaterina Yanduganova

11:00-11:30

Semiotics and poetics (Chair: Ilya Dvorkin)

Break

Registration and coffee

10-30-11:00

09:00-10:30


Martin Charvát

Gilles Deleuze and the Stoic theory of signs

Michal Karľa

Imposition and semiosis in Roger Bacon`s De Signis

Ekaterina Velmezova

From “formal” to “semiotic” reconstructions in the light of the (un)predictability of their results

Interlinguistic translation (Chair: Elin Sütiste, Peeter Torop) Elin Sütiste

Strategies in recreating semiotic coherence of fictional worlds in translation

Eric Klaus

Gateways of meaning making: Unpredictable translations in the texts of Yoko Tawada

Translation is a delicate dance: Unpredictable trajectories in norRovena Troqe mative environments. Anticipative and configurative translational practice for National Geographic

Cognitive development and education (Chair: Göran Sonesson) Katherine T. Peil Kauffman

Semiotic information: The essential role of emotion and value

Leyza Lucas, Erick Machado, Rosangela Silva, Waldmir Araujo-Neto

Explosion and (un)predictability in classroom practices: Gestures, tools and their cultural integration

Štěpán Pudlák

Mental disorders as semiotic constructions

Kyra Landzelius

Habits and their discontents: Autism and the re-worlding of empathy

General semiotics and historical perspective

Possibilities and paradoxes of interpretations of history of semiotics. The case of sophistry and Greek rhetoric

SESSION 2

Intersemiosis: (Un)predictability versus (un)translatability

Martin Švantner

16:30-18:30

Cognitive semiotics meets biosemiotics / biosemiotics meets cognitive semiotics

General semiotics and historical perspective Intersemiosis: (Un)predictability versus (un)translatability Cognitive semiotics meets biosemiotics / biosemiotics meets cognitive semiotics

PANEL B PANEL C

Perspectives from history of the semiotics (Chair: Martin Švantner)

Break

PANEL A

SESSION 1

16:00-16:30

14:00-16:00

Discovering semiotic unpredictability (Chair: Martin Švantner, Remo Gramigna) Olga Bogdanova

Lotman and his study on creativity

Maja Gwóźdź

A theoretical model of the meta-semiosphere

Taras Boyko

How Juri Lotman “met” Ilya Prigogine

Intersemiotic texts in culture (Chair: Elin Sütiste, Peeter Torop) Tatjana Pilipoveca

Predictability of text interpretation: Who is the Dragon?

Lia Yoka

Infertility from folktale to film: Jan Svankmajer translating the menace of the unpredictable

Marco Sonzogni

Predictability, unpredictability and pluralism of interpretation: Book cover design as intersemiotic translation and crosscultural communication

Neža Zajc

Juri Lotman and the question of the personal Poetics

Culture and cognition (Chair: Morten Tønnessen, Lauri Linask) Sara Lenninger

When the other’s responses are unpredictable: Why does the baby still pay attention to the interaction?

Göran Sonesson

Beyond Hobbes and Rousseau: The cognitive semiotics of cultural evalution

Aleksei Semenenko

Lotman’s approach to the problem of human vs. nonhuman semiosis

Carlos Vidales

A semiotic multi-level approach for the study of conceptual systems in communication

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TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, LEIGO 12:00-13:00

SESSION 3

ROUNDTABLE

Perspectives from Tartu (Chair Peter Grzybek)

Chair: Peter Grzybek Kalevi Kull

Semiosis and time: Logical conflict and habits

Anti Randviir

Predictable dynamism between the central and the peripheral

Mihhail Lotman

Semiotics and ontology

Participants: Peeter Torop, Anti Randviir, Kalevi Kull, Aleksei Semenenko, Myrdene Anderson, Ekaterina Velmezova

Lunch

Welcoming coffee, introduction to the place

Buses leave to Leigo, in front of Jakobi 2 semiotics department

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Unpredictability in Tartu semiotics

13:00-14:00

10:00

09:00

10:30-12:00


In the evening

Conference dinner, sauna

Buses leave from Leigo to Tartu

On semiotic (un)predictability

OPEN DISCUSSION

18:00

14:00-15:00

Ilya Utekhin How humans deal with their future: Towards an anthroposemiotic account

PLENARY LECTURE

Break

Kaleidoscope of (un)predictability in semiotics (Chair: Anti Randviir)

17:00-18:00

SESSION 4

15:00-15:30

15:30-17:00

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WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 19, TARTU

Evangelos Kourdis & Georgios Damaskinidis

(Un)predictability in verbal-visual interactions of English and French caricatures translated in the Greek press

Tiina Põllu

Translation and censorship of the French Nouvelle Vague movies

Elżbieta Magdalena Wąsik

(Un)predictability in the significative and communicative activities of the linguistic self

Biosemiotics and cognition (Chair: Morten Tønnessen) Tommi Vehkavaara

Common grounds for Peircean oriented biosemiotics and phenomenologically based cognitive semiotics

Andres Kurismaa

Towards the biosemiotics of cognition: Criterial and categorical processes in brain dominants

Andreas Weber

The fertile wild. Towards a poetics of mutual transformation

Claudio Julio Rodríguez Higuera

In place of a placeholder: The role and future of predictions in biosemiotics

Habit as regularity and irregularity

SESSION 6

Intersemiosis: (Un)predictability versus (un) translatability

Unpredictable literature: Reading and intersemiotic translation

Peeter Torop

14:00-16:00

Cognitive semiotics meets biosemiotics / biosemiotics meets cognitive semiotics

Habit as regularity and irregularity Intersemiosis: (Un)predictability versus (un)translatability

Unpredictabilities in intercultural translation (Chair: E. Sütiste, P Torop)

Anticipation and semiotics. One cannot not interact

Cognitive semiotics meets biosemiotics / biosemiotics meets cognitive semiotics

PANEL A

Thirdness as the observer observed: From habit to law by way of habitus

:

PANEL B

Göran Sonesson

Mihai Nadin

PANEL C

On habit: Peirce’s story and history

Lunch

Dinda L. Gorlée

12:30-14:00

The semiosis of Peirce’s dicisign in early habit-formation

PLENARY LECTURE

Donna E. West

11:30-12:30

Immanent habit (Chair: Myrdene Anderson, Donna E. West)

Break

SESSION 5

11:00-11:30

09:00-11:00

Contextual habit (Chair: Myrdene Anderson, Donna E. West) Adam A. Ferguson

From Peirce’s habit to Bourdieu’s habitus: Reading masculinity in Gerard Manley Hopkins

Benjamin P. Jackson

Habit, super-markedness, and transgression

Jeoffrey Gaspard

Discourse regularities and predictability: Making sense of discursive habits in communication situations

Institutionalising intersemiosis (Chair: E. Sütiste, P. Torop) Armando González Salinas

A research project on linguistic and cultural predictability: Unpredictability in translation of English and Spanish texts

Indrek Ibrus

Audiovisual heritage metadata systems as ambivalent curators of cultural innovation

Maarja Ojamaa

Unpredictable heritage: An autocommunicative aspect of transmediating archival materials

Umwelt and agency (Chair: Göran Sonesson) Gisela BrucheSchulz

On the awareness of engaging the world

Morten Tønnessen

Agency in biosemiotics and enactivism

Luis Emilio Bruni

On the heterarchical processuality of semiotic freedom

Timo Maran

Towards a Critical Umwelt Analysis: Preliminary considerations


Habit as regularity and irregularity Creativity, probability, (un)predictability in semiotic analysis

PANEL A

Myrdene Anderson and Sara Cannizzaro

Conversations between agency and patiency: Instinct, habituescence, addiction

Tyler Bennett

The debatable necessity of unpredictability in Peirce’s semiotic

Kaie Kotov

Change of habits: A case of upcycled by Reet Aus

Probability, predictability and their alternatives in semiotic analysis (Chair: Peter Grzybek) Peter Grzybek

What’s next? (Un)predictability, probability and their relatives in semiotic analyses

Jonathan Griffin

Choice and the irreducible role of inclination

Massimo Leone

Earthquakes talk: Semiotic reactions to unpredictability

Ignacio Ramos Beltran

Predictability and unpredictability in the understanding of pre-hispanic art: Growth within tradition

General assembly of the Nordic Association for Semiotic Studies (Lecture Theatre)

Break PANEL B

Habits in use (Chair: Myrdene Anderson, Donna E. West)

18:30

SESSION 7

18:00-18:30 Break

16:00-16:30

16:30-18:00

Modelling and unpredictability

PANEL C

Modelling and unpredictability (Chair: Kadri Tüür, Riin Magnus) Tiit Remm

(Un)predictability in semiotic space: From action to abstract spatial models

Katre Pärn

On the role of creative modelling in human sciences

Zdzisław Wąsik

Abstraction as a source of creativity: On the (un)predictability of imaginative inventiveness from the perspective of semio- and techno-ethics

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THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, TARTU

Cultural dynamics among gradual and explosive processes

Heidi Piña Gasca

Human thresholds: Meanings of re-routing towards 2050 Singaporean slogans: The demand to be taken seriously

Mary J. Eberhardinger María Eugenia Flores Trevino, José María Infante Bonfiglio

(Un)predictability, explosion and disorder in Mexican politics. An intersemiotic study of the film “La ley de Herodes”

Playing (un)predictable

PANEL C

Playing (un)predictability (Chair: Olga Bogdanova) Vincenzo Idone Cassone

Culture (at) play: Unpredictability and ruling in games and culture

Mattia Thibault

Games and unpredictability: From playing cards to procedural generation

Michael Grinfeld and Anne Pittock Silja Nikula

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The cognitive task of a cryptic crossword clue

Pictures in crossword puzzles: A game of cultural language

Political semiotics: Conceptualizing contingency

SESSION 9

The dialectics of predictable / unpredictable in cultural semiotic productions

Julieta Haidar

14:00-16:00

Action in environment, natural and man-made

PANEL A

Political semiotics: Conceptualizing contingency The dialectics of predictable / unpredictable in cultural semiotic productions

Dialectic cultural dynamics (Chair: J. Haidar, E. Chávez Herrera)

Stuart Kauffman : On enablement and the unprestatability of living

PANEL B

Unpredictability of political discourse: When words come to mean what they didn’t when uttered

Inesa Sahakyan

Lunch

Necessity of antagonism, contingency of content (un-) predictability explained through post‐foundational semiotics

12:30-14:00

Dmitry Okropiridze

PLENARY LECTURE

Political semiotics and/as relational political analysis

Peeter Selg

11:30-12:30

Antagonistic relations and power (Chair: Andreas Ventsel)

Break

SESSION 8

11:00-11:30

09:00-11:00

Contingency in discourses (Chair: Andreas Ventsel) Andreas Ventsel

Semiotic analysis of power relations in online communication: Online sphere as semiosphere

Ernesto de los Santos

Domínguez and Lariza Elvira Aguilera Ramírez

Mexico’s president in the presence of unpredictability

Contingency, translation and parliamentary talk

Jaakko Turunen

Explosive moments in society (Chair: J. Haidar, E. Chávez Herrera) (Un)predictability, disMaría Eugenia order and intersemiotic Flores Trevino, relations: The mayor of Olga Nelly Estrada the city delivers the keys to Christ. Eduardo Chávez Herrera

Popular discontent as a catalyst device for unpredictability. Ayotzinapa: “The Mexican moment”

Griselda Zárate and Homero Zambrano NiclaeSorin Drăgan

Financial discourse of the 2007-2008 crisis: From un-

predictability and explosion to predictability

Politicians in the mirror: A semio-functional approach of televised debates for the presidential elections in Romania, from November 2014

Knowledge and environment in movement (Chair: Timo Maran) Morten Tønnessen

The future umwelten of wolves, sheep and people in Scandinavia

Riin Magnus, Kadri Tüür, Eva Väljaots

Unpredictability in the Estonian narratives of marine itineraries

Muzayin Nazaruddin

Natural hazard and semiotic changes on the slope of Mt. Merapi, Indonesia


Political semiotics: Conceptualizing contingency The dialectics of predictable / unpredictable in cultural semiotic productions Action in environment, natural and man-made

PANEL A PANEL B PANEL C

Unpredictabilities in the process of constructing new literary history in Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic

Ott Puumeister

Production of unpredictability in biopower

Pietro Restaneo

The unpredictable language: The debate over language policy and language unpredictability in A. Gramsci: A case study

Narration between predictable and unpredictable (Chair: J. Haidar, E. Chávez Herrera) Lyudmyla Zaporozhtseva

Darth Vader in Ukraine: Exploring unpredictability between archaic and contemporary mythology

Yulia Aprosina

The categories of predictability and unpredictability in Hitchcock’s cinematic narration

Małgorzata Zadka

Picture translated into a message in Greek Myths

CLOSING SESSION (Sisevete Saatkond, on the river Emajõgi)

Break

Kristin Vaik

18:30

Constructing subjects and their histories (Chair: Andreas Ventsel)

Walking to the closing session

SESSION 10

18:00-18:30

16:00-16:30

16:30-18:00

Monumental predictability (Chair: Kadri Tüür, Riin Magnus) Federico Bellentani

The multiple meanings of monuments: The case of Vabaduse väljak, Tallinn

Mario Panico

The spatial unpredictability: Artistic and ideological practices about a soviet army monument in Sofia

Kevin Raaphorst

The politics of landscape design communication: Power/knowledge and signifying practices in landscape architecture

Lise Schrøder

Cultural heritage as a meaning-making mechanism and a resource for collaboration in spatial planning processes

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LIST OF PRESENTERS PLENARY SPEAKERS Ilya Utekhin Jordan Zlatev Mihai Nadin Stuart Kauffman

European University at St. Petersberg, Russia Lund University, Sweden University of Texas at Dallas, United States Institute for Systems Biology in Washington, US

PRESENTERS

Adam A. Ferguson

Aleksei Semenenko Andreas Ventsel Andreas Weber Andres Kurismaa Anne Pittock Anti Randviir Armando González Salinas

Benjamin P. Jackson Carlos Vidales

Claudio Julio Rodríguez Higuera

Dmitry Okropiridze Dinda L. Gorlée Donna E. West

Binghamton University (SUNY), United States Stockholm University/Södertörn University, Sweden University of Tartu, Estonia Independent scholar, Germany Independent scholar, Estonia University of Stirling, United Kingdom (Scotland) University of Tartu, Estonia Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León Monterrey, Mexico Purdue University, United States University of Guadalajara, Mexico University of Tartu, Estonia University of Heidelberg, Switzerland University of Bergen, Norway State University of New York at Cortland, US 29


Eduardo Chávez Herrera

Ekaterina Velmezova Elin Sütiste Elżbieta Magdalena Wąsik Eric Klaus Erick Machado Ernesto de los Santos Domínguez Eva Väljaots Evangelos Kourdis

Federico Bellentani Georgios Damaskinidis Gisela Bruche-Schulz Griselda Zárate Göran Sonesson

Heidi Piña Gasca

Homero Zambrano

Ignacio Ramos Beltran Indrek Ibrus Inesa Sahakyan

Jaakko Turunen

Jeoffrey Gaspard Jonathan Griffin José María Infante Bonfiglio Julieta Haidar

Kadri Tüür

Kaie Kotov Kalevi Kull Katherine T. Peil Kauffman Katre Pärn 30

University of Warwick, United Kingdom University of Lausanne, Switzerland University of Tartu, Estonia Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland Hobart and William Smith Colleges, United States Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil Escuela Normal Superior “Profr. Moisés Sáenz Garza”, Mexico University of Tartu, Estonia Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Cardiff University, United Kingdom Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Independent scholar, Germany Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico University of Lund, Sweden Independent scholar, Mexico Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico National Autonomous University of Mexico, Mexico Tallinn University Baltic Film and Media School, Estonia University of Grenoble, France Södertörn University, Sweden Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium University of Tartu, Estonia Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico University of Tartu, Estonia University of Tartu, Estonia University of Tartu, Estonia EFS International, United States University of Tartu, Estonia


Kevin Raaphorst Kristin Vaik Kyra Landzelius

Lariza Elvira Aguilera Ramírez Leyza Lucas Lia Yoka Lise Schrøder Luis Emilio Bruni Lyudmyla Zaporozhtseva

Maarja Ojamaa

Maja Gwóźdź Małgorzata Zadka Marco Sonzogni María Eugenia Flores Trevino Mario Panico Martin Charvát Martin Švanter Mary J. Eberhardinger Massimo Leone Mattia Thibault Michael Grinfeld Michal Karľa Mihhail Lotman Morten Tønnessen Muzayin Nazaruddin Myrdene Anderson

Neža Zajc

Nicolae-Sorin Drăgan

Olga Bogdanova

Wageningen University, Netherlands University of Tartu, Estonia Chalmers Technical University, Sweden Escuela Normal Superior “Profr. Moisés Sáenz Garza”, Mexico Semiotics and Chemistry Education Research Lab (Leseq), Brazil Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece Aalborg University, Denmark Aalborg University, Denmark University of Tartu, Estonia/National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine University of Tartu, Estonia Jagiellonian University, Poland Instytut Studiów Klasycznych, Poland Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Mexico University of Bologna, Italy Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic Emerson College, United States University of Turin, Italy University of Turin, Italy University of Strathclyde and University of Stirling, United Kingdom (Scotland) Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic Tallinn University / University of Tartu, Estonia University of Stavanger, Norway Islamic University of Indonesia, Indonesia Purdue University, United States Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Slovenia National University of Political Studies and Public Administration (NUPSPA), Romania University of Tartu, Estonia 31


Olga Nelly Estrada Ott Puumeister

Peeter Selg Peeter Torop Peter Grzybek Pietro Restaneo

Riin Magnus

Rosangela Silva Rovena Troqe

Sara Lenninger

Sara Cannizzaro Silja Nikula

Štěpán Pudlák Taras Boyko

Tatjana Pilipoveca Tiina Põllu Tiit Remm Timo Maran Tommi Vehkavaara Tyler James Bennett

Vincenzo Idone Cassone Waldmir Araujo-Neto Yulia Aprosina Zdzisław Wąsik

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Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León University of Tartu, Estonia Tallinn University, Estonia/University of Tampere, Finland University of Tartu, Estonia University of Graz, Institute of Slavistics, Austria Sapienza University of Rome, Italy University of Tartu, Estonia Federal Institute of Technology of Rio de Janeiro (IFRJ), Brasil University of Limoges, France/University of Geneva, Switzerland Lund University, Sweden Middlesex University, United Kingdom University of Lapland, Finland Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic University of Tartu, Estonia University of Tartu, Estonia University of Tartu, Estonia University of Tartu, Estonia University of Tartu, Estonia University of Tampere, Finland University of Tartu, Estonia Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Instituto de Química, Brazil Chelyabinsk State University, Russian Federation Philological School of Higher Education in Wrocław, Poland


The absolute, objective world, which constitutes an all-embracing stage for all the world affairs, is something specific to us. The only thing that we can detect, is a an incredibly rich web of subjective umwelten, which overlap and match with one another. This umweltweb is ruled by a Planmässigkeit, which defies all doubts and which meets us at each step, once we’ve learned to pay attention to the biological relations. - Jakob von Uexküll, Die Bedeutung der Umweltforschung für die Erkenntnis des Lebens

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PLENARY LECTURES Jordan Zlatev The semioTic hierarchy revised: From liFe To language Zlatev (2009) presented a general framework for cognitive semiotics called The Semiotic Hierarchy. This consisted of four macro-levels: life, consciousness, sign use and language. The basic claim was that meaning – in the sense of a value-based relation between the world and the subject – has evolved along these four levels, so that each one builds on the preceding one(s), and presupposes it/them. For example, language is only possible for sign-using, conscious living beings, like us, and not for machines. A proto-language is however within reach for some other animal species. The framework still holds, but during recent years it has been revised, so that now it includes an extra level between consciousness and sign Use: culture. I will thus argue, both conceptually and empirically, that culture – in the sense of historically transmitted shared meanings – precedes sign use proper, though presupposes a fairly extended social consciousness. *** Jordan Zlatev is a prominent figure in the robust cognitive semiotic movement of Northern Europe. He has served as president for Scandinavian Association for Language and Cognition and for the International Association for Cognitive Semiotics, and is also on the board of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association. He has published over forty articles on a variety of topics, but his main interests have to do with language acquisition from the evolutionary and developmental perspective, comparative inter-linguistics, and mimetic schemas, or in other words the non-arbitrary grounds of verbal language. For him, semiotics brings to cognitive science a qualitative edge that is indispensible to a deep understanding of mind. In an article from

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2011 titled “What is Cognitive Semiotics?” he notes, “in a nutshell, cognitive science has from its onset in the 1950s adopted an explicitly physicalist (computational and/or neuroscientific) take on mind, connecting to the humanities quite selectively, and above all to philosophy of mind with a distinctly reductionist bent (e.g. Dennett 1991). CS is considerably more pluralist in its ontological and methodological commitments, and thus, with a firmer foot in the humanities.” Currently he serves as professor of cognitive semiotics at the Center for Languages and Literature at Lund University.

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Ilya Utekhin How humans deal with their future: Towards an anthroposemiotic account *** In an interview with a Wikimedia Foundation Storyteller, Ilya Utekhin is said to have “lived the ethos of community and sharing all his life,” and this description is apt not only because of his work on the topic of communal living, but also because of his active contribution to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. Having earned his PhD in Anthropology at the Russian Academy of Sciences, a major focus of Utekhin’s publication has been the deconstruction of the idea of agricultural and residential communes in Soviet Russia, but his work has spanned topics such as multi-media culture, disability and impairment, and semiotics. Utekhin has held positions at the American University at Prague, the University of St. Quentin-en-Yveline, the Sorbonne, the Institutum Studiorum Humanitatis at Ljubljana, the University of Helsinki, and St. Petersberg State University. He currently teaches at the European University at St. Petersberg where, when asked what students should write about in class, he tells them they should write whatever they would write about if they were to make a Wikipedia entry because, “to some extent, the ability to create a Wikipedia entry is a criterion of knowledge, of a successful education.”

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Mihai Nadin Anticipation and Semiotics One Cannot Not Interact To know is to account for change as an expression of interaction. All knowledge, regardless of the perspective from which it is acquired, is expressed through representations. They encapsulate the experience of interactions resulting in change, and the awareness of its consequences. The semiotic nature of interaction representations reflects the condition of the living. Anticipatory processes correspond to awareness of change. A new foundation of semiotics, integrates the sign in a dynamic perspective better adapted to capturing the meaning of interaction. *** Romanian polymath Mihai Nadin took a masters degree in science, a masters in arts, a doctorate in aesthetics, and a post-doctorate in philosophy, logic, and the theory of science. The breadth of his research is not unlike that of Charles Peirce himself, who served as lodestone for Nadin’s early work and Dissertation, “The Semiotic Foundation of Value Theory”. Nadin has worked at the University of Wuppertal, Ohio State University, Stanford University, Rhode Island School of Design, and SUNY Fashion Institute of Technology. His most recent book is titled Are You Stupid? A Second Revolution Might Save America From Herself (2013), where he writes, “Taking the rewards of change for granted, Americans—like the Soviets at their time—do not understand what change entails. Gazing into the rear-view mirror (of religion, history, politics, economy) in the hope of seeing where change might take them, they get the illusion that they are in the driver’s seat.” In a 2005 review of the current state of semiotics, Nadin leaves us on an optimistic note, granting that “the day when scholars and students of semiotics become the hottest commodity in the labor market and are traded like neurosurgeons, high-performance programmers, footballs players, movie stars, or animators, we will all know that semiotics finally made it. I am convinced that this can happen.” Nadin is currently professor and director of the Institute for Research in Anticipatory Systems at the University of Texas at Dallas.

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Stuart Kauffman On enablement and unprestatability of living Biosemiotics concerns meanings. These could be, with Jacque Monod in the background, merely teleonomic. If mind and sentience can be involved, even free will, we are beyond teleonomy. Independently, if evolution is not a Machine, life is not an evolved machine. I will discuss the fact that the concept of “biological function” is well grounded in the non-ergodic historical becoming of the universe above the level of atoms, where one way to exist is to be a Kantian whole, where parts and whole exist for and by means of one another. Then the function of a part is its causal role in abetting the preservation or propagation of the whole, other causal consequences are “side effects”. Physics cannot distinguish among causal consequences, so if functions, subsets of causal consequences of parts of an organism, are legitimate, biology cannot be reduced to physics. The evolution of the biosphere is in large part the evolution of novel functions, and functional “closures” or “sufficiency” that persist in their worlds. I will show that we cannot prestate these functionalities, so can write no law for the evolution of the biosphere, so no laws entail that evolution, so evolution is not a machine. Once we have functions we have one sense of semiosis. The sugar does signal to E. coli, food this way, and its swimming toward sugar is a doing. But to have CHOICE, it must be true that the present could, counter-factually, have been different. This cannot arise in classical physics, where given the initial and boundary conditions, what happens just happens, and the present cannot have been different. In quantum mechanics, on most interpretations, measurement is real and indeterminate. Then the outcome CAN have been different, so the present can, counterfactually, have been different, so choice is ontologically possible. I will briefly discuss a new interpretation of quantum mechanics in which Possibles, Res potentia, are ontologically real, and converted to Actuals, Res extensa, by measurement, and measurement may be carried out by conscious mind at the human and lower levels, 39


perhaps down to quantum variables. Weak evidence by Radin 2012, 2013, suggest human conscious attention can alter quantum measurement. If all this should be true, life may have started conscious, biosemiotics includes conscious awareness and a potential capacity for meaning of signs, and a role for this awareness in evolution in wide ways. *** Stuart Kauffman’s Reinventing the Sacred (2008), not to mention his previous work in theoretical biology and the origins of life, is a singular contribution to the development of biosemiotics. His insistence on non-reductive explanations of living processes and evolution stand as lasting defenses of some of the most key principles of theoretical biology. Among his most important concepts are the emergence of collectively auto-catalytic sets, cell types as attractors of dynamically critical far from equilibrium networks, the adjacent possible, and the unprestatability of the evolution of the biosphere, some of which hypotheses of unpredictability at the foundation of even the simplest instances of life have even found experimental verification. Kauffman has authored four books and numerous articles and has held positions at the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, the Santa Fe Institute, the University of Calgary, Harvard Divinity School, Tampere University, and the University of Vermont. He currently works at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, Washington.

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ABSTRACTS Adam A. Ferguson From Peirce’s habit to Bourdieu’s habitus: Reading masculinity in Gerard Manley Hopkins This paper will take C.S. Peirce’s concept of habit as rooted in Thirdness as its point of departure: the habit grounded in law-like relations and symbols; as these law-like relations ground and codify the habit, social doxa serve to culturally embody habits as habitus. Pierre Bourdieu theorizes the habitus of masculine domination in terms of perception, thought, and action (1998: 8). When combined with what he calls “the paradox of doxa [socially mandated values or beliefs]” (1998: 1), habitus takes the form of actions or power structures informed and enforced by the various strands of social circumscription – juridical, medical, educational, etc. The argument will be made that as gendered masculinity is embodied as habitus (what Bourdieu identifies as objectified and therefore “sexed”), there is an inherent tendency toward violence – both in the construction and in the enforcement of “traditional masculinity,” despite the claim that “androcentric vision imposes itself as neutral” (Bourdieu 1998: 9). By contrast, Peirce’s concept of habit subverts Bourdieu’s habitus by distancing habit from unchanging laws in the physical and natural world. This instability between habit and habitus will inform a re-reading of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poetry through the lens of hegemonic and problematic masculinity. Despite Hopkins’ repeated attempts at repression (both through self-discipline and entry into the Jesuit order), the male body and male sexuality emerge/erupt as thematic elements in his letters, poetry, and his sermons, most notably “Christ Our Hero.” This particular sermon is illustrative 41


of the erupting body in Hopkins’ prose, insofar as it presents the body of Christ in the form of a blazon, that is, the poetic practice of describing the body (usually a desired one) piece by piece. The claim here is that Hopkins cannot escape the male body as an object of desire, nor can he escape it as a trope within his writing. By confounding the textual with the sexual, Hopkins unintentionally reveals his repressed desires at the same time that, as Foucault would have it, ars erotica is giving way to scientia sexualis. This paradigmatic shift toward a nomenclatural “science of sex” situates Hopkins precisely within the psychosexual and naturalized (or as Peirce calls them, “mechanistic”) boundaries from which he seeks to escape. Using Peirce’s concept of habit to take into consideration the Victorian juxtaposition of the familial narrative with the national metanarrative, i.e., that the nuclear (heteronormative) family represents the broader nation, Hopkins is twice dispossessed in the habitus of masculinist patriarchy – as a celibate priest in the Jesuit order, and as a nascent homosexual.

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A Aleksei Semenenko Lotman’s approach to the problem of human vs. nonhuman semiosis The concept of semiosphere is arguably the most important concept coined by Juri Lotman. Lotman describes all semiospheric levels – from human personality to the text to larger semiotic unities – as “semiospheres inserted into one another,” thus reiterating his thesis that culture is isomorphic to the individual consciousness (intellect). However, this isomorphism suggests an intrinsic opposition of the individual to the collective, which, paradoxically, appears to be the main catalyst of human cultural development. To reiterate this idea, Lotman often draws parallels with the animal world to illustrate his thesis of the uniqueness of human consciousness, especially in his last books Culture and Explosion and The Unpredictable Workings of Culture. Although the majority of works that emphasize the uniqueness of human culture focus on our symbolic consciousness and the multimodality of our communication, Lotman accentuates polyglotism and dialogicity as the truly unique features of human culture, manifested primarily in our capacity to reflect on the boundaries of our own umwelt and to conceive of other umwelten. In my paper, I revisit the main arguments of Lotman’s discussion of human vs. nonhuman semiosis and argue that his approach might offer a new outlook on human cognitive evolution. From this point of view, it may be argued that the unique shift from animal to human cognition in anatomically modern humans could be traced back to the period of their immigration to Europe and coexistence with Neanderthals for some 5400 years.

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Andreas Ventsel Semiotic analysis of power relations in online communication: Online sphere as semiosphere The problem situation of this presentation can be expressed by the following question: how is it possible to conceptualize a node (or a centre) in a society that is getting more and more mediated by information and communication technology; and where does the bureaucratic-vertical organization of the logic of social relations (or meanings) co-exist with the competitive horizontal logic of the market? Social relations (power-relations included) are formed in a non-linear manner, in numerous combinations of previously mentioned variants, and they are in constant transformation. In short, it is a world that is characterized by an increasing recognition of the contingency and interdependence of social relations (Castells 2009, Holmes 2005). Considering that hypermedia implicates new textual experiences and ways of representing the world, and experiencing identity and community (Lister 2003), then we have to look for a unified meta-language for studying such processes. One possible way of explaining the relations of political communication and online communication is to conceptualize the online communicational sphere in the terminology of semiosphere, and ask: 1) Will signification-logics of online-communication lead to new kind of power relations? 2) How can we analyze those power relations in the perspective of cultural semiotics? The following presentation tries to explicate that kind of signification-processes by relying of concepts of cultural semiotics (semiosphere and continuous/discrete coding) and synthesizing them with frameworks of counter-publics and digital democracy elaborated by Lincoln Dahleberg. That kind of theoretical approach helps to understand what kind of significationlogics prevail in online communities and hopefully it also allows to open what kind potentialities online-communication have in the context of democratic public.

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A Andreas Weber The fertile wild. Towards a poetics of mutual transformation Our identities arise through that which we are not: through impressions and touch, through sensory exchanges with that which is stone and water, molecule and light quantum, all of which somehow transform themselves into the energy of the body. All life, from the very beginning, derives from solar energy that is given to all. Our existence in an ecosphere suffused with life is part of a vast commons even before individuality can be perceived. Each individual belongs to the world and is at the same time its owner, owner of the rough stone speckled by the waves, ruffled by the wind, stroked by rays. All perception is commons, which is to say, the result of a dance of interdependency with the world. The world belongs to us completely, and at the same time, we are fully entrusted to it. It is only through this exchange that we become conscious of it and of ourselves. Our situation is one of deep transformation through every experience. This is simultaneously a modification of the individual and a modification of the whole. It becomes distinct and visible in an individual only through forms of experience and symbolic expression. Every experience, every interpretation is always an interpenetration, which at the same time joins together what is different, and changes both through the other. In addition, human language participates in this process of mutual transformation. It allows for nominating and thus owning the matters world, but only through missing exactly these matters. Language re-creates objects and relationships through something else which is exactly not these objects and structures. It follows the abductive logics of creation through contradiction. It is a system of mutual embodied transformation, creating identity through continuously posing a threat to identity. In this it is not different to other systems of embodied transformations, aka nervous systems in the sense used here: the autocatalytic reaction of the liquid crystal system in the cell soma, the genetic switches during development, the immune system, the family system, the ecological foodweb. In all these systems complex 45


relationships arise between partners, which through these relationships reciprocally specify their identities and therefore become expressive of a dimension of inwardness, or existential meaning. Systems, which create novelty through the mutual specification of its participants, can all be classified as neural systems. Neural systems transform everything they come into contact with through an active transformation of themselves. If we are entangled with reality in a commons of perception, reality as a whole can be classified as a neural system, an organ of perception and expressive transformation.

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A Andres Kurismaa Towards the biosemiotics of cognition: Criterial and categorical processes in brain dominants This paper shows how the modern theoretical frameworks of neuroscience and biosemiotics converge on a semiotic and anticipatory understanding of causation in biological and cognitive processes and bear new light on brain dominants. This is seen by analyzing the theoretical work of Peter Tse on criterial causation in neuroscience, and the concepts of hierarchical categorical perception and sensing developed by Luis Bruni within biosemiotics. The two frameworks are brought to bear on the basic problem of brain dominants and homeostasis as studied in the neurophysiological school of A. A. Ukhtomsky and his followers. It is shown that Ukhtomsky’s pioneering conception of dominants as global pre-settings of physiological ability find a close correspondence in Tse’s analysis of criterial causation, whereby he brain is able to regulate its own excitability at future time-points through pre-setting (categorical) response criteria for cellular and network level inputs in advance of their arrival. The detailed empirical basis and theoretical elaboration of the criterial model of causation offers significant confirmation of the early notions of Ukhtomsky’s school, while the latter proposes an interpretation of neuronal homeostasis as a phasic non-linear process which remains original and relevant, both by its focus on the dynamics of graded and electrotonic changes in large-scale brain states, as well as the phenomenological, philosophical, and ethical interpretations in the light of which Ukhtomsky formulated and analyzed the model of human brain dominants. Finally, it is shown how Bruni’s work on the biosemiotic problems of categorical perception and sensing, as well as their relation to causality and anticipation in biosystems can help to extend the insights of Tse and Ukhtomsky’s school to the level of fundamental theoretical biology and semiotics. For Anne Pittock, see Michael Grinfeld 47


Anti Randviir Predictable dynamism between the central and the peripheral This presentation will dwell upon the parallel essence of predictability and unpredictability by the example of subcultural phenomena. Cultures as culture cores or core cultures form a holistic system with subcultures, and are not opposed to each other. Subcultures have oftentimes been confused with countercultures, anticultures or the like, which are clearly oppositional movements against the central. That has enabled viewing them as quite predictable both in their structural organisation and processual functioning. Yet, if taking subcultures as subsystems of culture cores, a note of unpredictability may favourably enter the scene. Why are some cultural phenomena regarded as belonging to the core culture and others to the periphery? Answers are connected with minute differences, and the central and the peripheral are in continual movement, replacing each other from time to time. The same goes for cultural developments, those predictable and those unpredictable. In spite of being deviant from culture cores, both from the viewpoint of semiotics and systems theory, that deviance is understandable as (not paradoxically) predictable. Interestingly, the rate of predictability rises, when regarding culture cores as central zones and subcultures as the peripheral belonging to the same cultural system. By the arrangement of information chains, organising public semiotic luggage in open public space and shaping cultural systems also as culture areas, subcultures become as manageable as the central institutional core of the given sociocultural system. Management of cultural systems makes movements of subsystems predictable. However, the predictability of dynamism between the center and the periphery of culture increases unpredictability of relations between the cultural system as a whole and its environments. Logical connections between cultural peripheries and centers, as coexistence of predictable and unpredictable cultural movements and informational circuits will be illustrated by selected examples from contemporary Russian cultural space. 48


A Armando González Salinas and Adriana E. Rodríguez Althon A research project on linguistic and cultural predictability – unpredictability in the translation of English and Spanish texts It is an initial research project (RP) to introduce the 7th (out of ten) semester undergraduate students, whose major is translation, into the field of Lotman’s semiotics and Torop’s intersemiotics, both linguistic and cultural, by reviewing the concepts of predictability and unpredictability detected in translated texts in English and Spanish (E/S). These RP objectives are: 1. To analyze the process of translation from the translator’s perspective, that is, his linguistic and socio-cultural knowledge that starts off from his own interpretation of content when trying out making meaning through any mechanism available, such as dictionaries, and/or similar contexts and references; then to develop intersemiotic functions based on his individual understanding of the original and resulting ‘message’ within and from both target and source texts, languages and cultures. 2. To define and explain the concept of predictability, conceived by Lotman (1999) as a continuum from those predictable elements involved in a logical process that may explain cultural cause and its logical effect when working on the selection of translating possibilities; and then to reflect on and discuss the unpredictability of those elements which represent a sudden/abrupt change identified as explosion, a tension that can create both negative and positive effects on readers of either E/S text. 3. To introduce the concept of semiosphere applied to translatable texts where the cultural representation through/in language is perceived. This RP is based on a short Newsweek article about Kuala Lumpur (KL) published in E-S, the titles are: “Kuala Lumpur Capital without a past / Kuala Lumpur, capital sin pasado”. The title itself in each version shows predictable and unpredictable elements to be considered and discussed by both E/S readers, i.e.: KL was or was not the Capital once? KL here is considered as an uncommon place. After this, the general layout of each article version: the number of sentences, paragraphs, 49


columns and images, is made from similarities and differences found to determine the predictable and unpredictable pre-reading effects. All this is presented, shown and discussed; as well as the detection of (un)predictable linguistic and socio-cultural aspects in both texts. The translated concept in Spanish: previsibilidad/predictibilidad is also considered for discussion. The goal pursued is to help develop students’ competence to practice translating +/- simple sample texts based on the concepts involved.

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B Benjamin P. Jackson Habit, super-markedness, and Transgression Peirce’s concept of habit as natural and social regularities is conceived as an outcome of statistical probabilities that become regularities in the macro from variation in the micro. Is Peirce’s habit based on the mean, median, and/or mode of occurrences? If one imagines a range, with the taboos (positively and negatively associated for a given culture on a given act/idea) as the ends of the range, a perceived performance transgressing the positive taboo raises the mean so that it no longer coincides with the median or mode and extending the range. If the actor were successful in his or her performance (based on factors of environment and perceived purity; including: Consumption/excretion; Birth/death; Creation/destruction; Social position; Spiritual capital; Audience/field; Eroticism; Perceived effort; Proximity; Temporality; Repetition; Space/Time), the new high end of the range becomes super-marked and an exemplary to the given community. The cultural median and mode are constantly chasing the mean which is constantly in flux because of the temporally fading memory, new transgressions, and changing emphases on ideals represented in performance and language. While this is a very simplified conception, I propose that in order to properly transgress, several perceived pure ideals must be perceptually realized simultaneously as well as be syntagmatically coherent to produce a performance which is translated symbolically into story, metaphor, and idiom solidifying the performance’s influence and preserving the new range. These taboos should not be thought of conceptually as barriers, but rather as purified centers of gravity contending with real-world limitations and contrary, contradictory, and associative signs/ideals impeding meaningful realization. Meaningful, super-marked performance can, through linguistic and semiotic longevity, alter socio-cultural habits.

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Carlos Vidales A semiotic multi-level approach for the study of conceptual systems in communication research Since its emergence as an academic field, communication sciences have had a major problem defining what communication is, what communication is about, and what communication is describing in the natural, human and mechanical contexts. Then, communication theory has been moving from those theoretical perspectives centered in communication as natural, physical, chemical or biological phenomena to particular and more restricted theories centered in communication as a unique phenomena of human language and meaning production, as an attempt to build communication as a scientific field. However, communication is a concept that cannot be reduced to the academic field that we institutionally recognize as “Communication Science”, mainly because communication is a general concept used to describe many things in many different fields. This is a condition that has generated the problem of theoretical relativism in communication research, a condition that implies the elimination of conceptual systems and the constructive principles in which operate all explanatory formulations, and since every concept only operates within a particular theoretical framework, its separation from these frameworks also generates the separation between the concept and its significant nature. Then we have words, terms or expressions, but not concepts in communication research. In this sense, the present paper is a semiotic attempt to clarify the conditions of the emergence and transformation of theoretical relativism in communication research. Since it is part of an ongoing research project, it focuses its attention only in the methodological approach based on Peirce’s semiotics, Brier’s cybersemiotics and mainly in the multi-level approach to the emergence of semiosis in semiotic systems proposed by Charbel Niño El-Hani, João Queiroz and Claus Emmeche. In this paper I explore how theory can be studied as a semiotic system and how texts can be presented as networks of chains of triads, which is also an attempt to identify the evolution of Dynamical Objects as Peirce proposed. The paper also presents an example of the methodology proposed that can be considered as an attempt to observe cognitive processes in communication research. 52


C Claudio Julio Rodríguez Higuera In place of a placeholder: The role and future of predictions in biosemiotics In the constitution of a scientific discipline, there is an apparently clear need for hard-line predictability and exact applications stemming from the discovery of laws governing the objects in the field of study. This does not seem to translate well to biosemiotics in that there are moral and practical premises creating a framework that precludes algorithmic considerations. However, biosemiotics in general is capable of a type of explanations that should not, in principle, be limited to the non-algorithmic. This becomes clearer when considering the subdivisions of the discipline and the necessary boundaries of possible analysis for each branch, as each conduces not only to an explanation of past phenomena, but to a particular understanding of the type of phenomenon explained. This in itself constitutes a form of prediction that can be subjected to scrutiny, and it often does inside the disciplinary branches. However, the formalization of a predictive paradigm remains hard to conceive, especially when considering that semiotic predictions are qualitative ones (Kull 2007: 172). Does this mean that there is a limit to how we deal with predictions in biosemiotics? What would be the costs for a scientific biosemiotics to formalize a system of predictions that does not rely entirely on the qualitative? And would that remain a part of the biosemiotic enquiry? The theoretical gambit we choose for talking about the development of semiotics, in Sebeok’s terms (1990: 350), may well prove worth some consideration for the frame of reference biosemiotic predictions can take, if any. This paper will explore the ethical tenets of predictability in biosemiotics, the practical aspect of qualitative predictions, whether algorithmic predictions can be worked into the biosemiotic paradigm in the long term, and what the consequences of this inclusion could be.

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Dmitry Okropiridze Necessity of antagonism, contingency of content:

(Un)predictability explained through post-foundational semiotics This paper argues that the co-presence of predictability and unpredictability consists of a dialectically intertwined logic that constitutes social semiotic processes, be it linguistic interaction, the construction of cultural entities, the negotiation of political boundaries, or human subjects. This logic of equivalence and difference has been firstly elaborated by the political philosopher Ernesto Laclau, drawing on a variety of thinkers and concepts including Antonio Gramsci, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault and post-Saussurean semiotics. The specifically innovative character of Laclau’s postfoundational theory is the postulate of a social ontology, which elegantly explains the necessity of semiotic antagonisms as well as their ultimate contingency and allows a retroactive understanding of the metaphorical genesis of empty signifiers as well as their metonymical dissolution. Ideological notions such as ‘democracy’ vs. the ‘axis of evil’ can be deciphered as stabilizing yet empty nodal points within the political sphere without an intelligible reference, albeit with a catachrestical, hence radical, gravitational force. The palpable boundary dividing such antagonistic chains of equivalence as ‘democracy’=USA=human rights=just war vs. axis of evil=terrorism=9/11=Islam’ is, according to Laclau, the crucial mechanism behind all social and therefore semiotic processes – a fundamental lack that is inherent to each and every articulation and prevents the fullness of any kind of semiosis. Laclau uses the Lacanian notion of desire to explain how this semiotic (and somatic!) lack is constantly filled through the use of excluding articulations in order to maintain the illusion of a positive identity. The naming of the excluded and the simultaneous self reference (i.e. they vs. us) takes place as a radical investment – people, things, institutions, relations, etc. are endowed with the function to incarnate absolute existence or its absence. This very process allows to re-inscribe predictability within contingency, since the arbitrary character of signification relies on a sedimented field of possibilities, i.e. the historically and topologically dependent options for signification. This paper will introduce the Laclauean ontology of the social and explain its semiotic implications for general questions of (un)predictability drawing on various examples from political, cultural, and religious history. 54


D Dinda L. Gorlée On habit: Peirce’s story and history Peirce’s speculative story of the terminological history of habit avoided Aristotle’s classical vocabulary of right and wrong. Peirce’s habit is inferior to the intellectual Thirdness, generating the dyad of personal chance (Firstness) with social rules (Secondness). The nervous, but conscious, sensation of habit is enabled by inductive reasoning (1868). From habit-taking to habit-breaking, the reactionary conduct gives emotional (belief ) for the energetic (irritation) habits to search for logical interpretants (truth). At a later time, Peirce’s habits no longer symbolized the morality of good habits, but became connected with bad habits (from c.1900). Faced with the troublesome situation, inductive reasoning becomes abductive reasoning. The broad approach of Peirce’s arguments of habits wanders between emotion, experience, and understanding. In Peirce’s terminology: from desire (First) and (dis)pleasure (Second), habits can grow into satisfaction (Third).

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Donna E. West The semiosis of Peirce’s dicisign in early habit-formation This inquiry advances the claim that the integration of index and icon in the dicisign (1905: MS 284: 43) illustrates the most primary expression of habit in Peirce’s continua. Dicisigns are initially characterized as directional with shape features; later they impart more symbolic, conventional interpretants. First, regularities are expressed as coordinations within and across sensory modalities (tracking movement and distance); and interpretants of dicisigns capture mechanical purposes. Accordingly, source-pathgoal patterns form directional templates early in development, grounding the triad in spatial indexes. With the advent of joint participation in events, interpretants of dicisigns are elevated to informational indexes, albeit largely through apprehension of deictic revolutions. The semiosis of the dicisign governs a critical transition within Peirce’s continua, integrating self with the natural world, later promoting a coalescence among sentient beings toward cultural and logical harmony. While habit in the form of predispositions initially preempt notice of indexical templates (gaze trajectories, motion and force toward objects), developing social and logical regularities (informational indexes requiring modal logic) elevate dicisigns to propositional status. In CP 2.297 (1894), Peirce makes plain that habits can either be acquired or exist as predispositions. In either case, Peirce’s concept of habit underscores his overarching purpose, to maximize continuity. The earliest indexical habit includes tacit recognition of the effect of motion and force on particular objects, followed by an appreciation for agents’ independent means to change course during event trajectories. Reliance upon informational indexes (codifying event internal slots and determining logical affinities between events) unifies individual event relations into cohesive event templates. Perspective-taking competencies supersede strict conformity to establish normativity; it entails appreciation for diverse effects among neighboring, differently inhabited events, not merely those that constitute simultaneous or sequential actions/ states. Finally, the means to assume distinct participants and origins within events illustrates how dicisigns continue to hasten apprehension of regularities within and 56


D

across event roles, such that participant roles determine orientations and distances. This habit materializes as mastery of a rather complex system of deictic competencies, handling discourse feature alterations, together with the many-faceted real-world changes in vantage points and orientations. Should some degree of nonconformity fail to materialize, all that would exist (as Peirce insists) is an absolute without any access to semiosis. Essentially, alteration and truth-seeking via the final interpretant of deictic parameters would be truncated (c. 1890: CP 1.390) absent the means to recursively fill event slots with different participants and absent the means to expand event templates consequent to lexical modifications which particularly reside in verbs. Ultimately, Peirce’s use of habit transcends conformity to compulsory participation in events. Occasional nonconformity to a pattern is essential to what Peirce means by “the twigging of ideas,” (c. 1913: MS 930), unquestionably pivotal to fit novel participants into event slots, and to modify event relations, arriving at plausible hypotheses (abductions). In short, Peirce’s dicisign resides in patterns of localization, individuation, and shape tracking (resemblance); and despite conformity to regular, systemic templates, it leaves open the identity of participants and their locations, permitting event slots to be filled and refilled in constructed realities.

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Eduardo Chávez Herrera Popular discontent as a catalyst device for unpredictability. Ayotzinapa: “The Mexican moment” In September 26, 2014, a probable massacre was committed in the city of Iguala, in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The local police opened fire on dozens of peaceful, unarmed youth activists, all students at the Ayotzinapa teacher training school. Six people were killed, over a dozen injured and 43 have disappeared. The students were taken away by local police in cahoots with local drug cartels, while the federal police and military remained passive, according to media and witness accounts. The disappearance of dozens of students, a completely unpredictable situation, led to an unprecedented wave of protests in many Mexican cities and towns, as well as in more than 100 cities abroad during the months of October, November and December 2014. This paper suggests that popular discontent is a powerful example of how unpredictability works insofar as it forms an intersection among periods of chaos, dynamism and possible changes for different societies (Lotman 2014). By using this example of the Mexican political culture, I will illustrate: a) how the central demand of the Mexican protesters (the immediate return of the 43 student activists who were forcefully abducted on September 26) has generated new information in the Mexican semiosphere of protest (Velasco Gutiérrez 2006) and, b) how the symbolic use of the number 43 conveys and generates new meanings throughout its use in a variety of means of protest (the use of social networks, graffiti, pictures, etcetera) both in Mexico and abroad.

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E Ekaterina Velmezova From “formal” to “semiotic” reconstructions in the light of the (un)predictability of their results In our paper we analyze the works of researchers belonging to the so-called Moscow semiotic circle (the Moscow branch of the Moscow-Tartu / the Tartu-Moscow semiotic school), who aim at the semantic reconstruction of the “primary myth” of IndoEuropean mythology. Inspired by researches of the first European comparatists (Franz Bopp, Rasmus Rask, Jacob Grimm) who realized the reconstruction of linguistic forms, by the research of August Schleicher who was the first to compose a text in a reconstructed language (a fable in Indo-European), and of several contemporary models of communication and information transfer, Moscow semioticians (Vyacheslav Ivanov, Vladimir Toporov, Tat’jana Civ’jan, etc.) focus their attention on semantic reconstructions, often completely overlooking any “formal” aspects. This way, they switched from the reconstruction of linguistic forms (languages) and texts (in the ordinary sense of the word) to the reconstruction of texts in one of the senses of Moscow-Tartu / Tartu-Moscow semiotic school (in other words, they switched from “formal” to “semiotic” reconstructions). Despite this surprising result and despite its seemingly hardly verifiable nature, many Moscow semioticians still consider their researches in the field of “semiotic reconstructions” as one of the most important achievements of the Moscow semiotic circle in general. This thesis gives an implicit key to the understanding of their interpretations of sign (it seems particularly important because, at first glance, the notion of sign is not constant for them, but changes from one work to another). On the other hand, the (un)predictability of the results which they have obtained will allow us to review the very notion of reconstruction in the large context of the history of humanities, revealing the forerunners of Soviet semioticians who are usually not considered as such and calling into question, on the one hand, the method of reconstruction as a semiotic tool and on the other hand, the operational character of the notion of reconstruction in general. 59


Elin S端tiste Strategies in recreating the semiotic coherence of fictional worlds in translation The presentation addresses the relationship between the theoretical perspective of translation semiotics and strategies employed or suggested by translators and critics for recreating fictional worlds in translation. Fictional worlds (including settings, characters, etc.) can be characterized by a certain inherent semiotic coherence, i.e. an inner logic and inherent multimodality (e.g. the ekphrastic aspect of the text). The observance or non-observance of the semiotic coherence of a fictional world in translation is related to the questions of (un)translatability as well as (un)predictability, variation and invariance. To address this issue, the writings by Estonian translators and/or critics of translation mostly from the 20th century (e.g. Samma 1954; Kurtna 1974) will be examined in juxtaposition with more recent theoretical constructs/tools meant for analysing intersemiotic and also transmedial translation (e.g. Cl端ver 1989; Klastrup, Tosca 2004; Torop 2000).

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E ElĹźbieta Magdalena WÄ…sik (Un)predictability in the significative and communicative activities of the linguistic self The following paper departs from the belief that the behavior of communication participants, contrary to many processes in nature, especially if they are sufficiently cognized and understood by researchers or ordinary people, is only to a certain extent predictable. In order to substantiate this statement, it alludes to selected models of man which depict the human self as a subject and an object to itself and others. Pondering upon the human capability of reflexive thinking, this paper is particularly interested in the psychological bases of significative-communicative activities of the linguistic self, seen as the psychosomatic oneness of language-related properties, which spontaneously or deliberately establish relationships with its social and cultural environments. Accordingly, the following points of reasoning about the role of the self in verbal communication are taken into account. Firstly, the formation of linguistic signs, as a result of communicative activities, depends on the way of how knowledge, emotions, and will of human individuals take part together in the creation of communicatively relevant meanings which are determined by their past memories and imaginations of future events. Secondly, communicative activities of human individuals, described as semantic reactions of the self to others, encompass not only such symbolic activities as thinking and speaking, but also feeling activities as well as organismal motor activities and electro-chemical processes within the organism. Thirdly, the personal-subjective self that constitutes a miscellany of different cultural elements, thus forming fragments of linguistically encoded narratives which are internalized, usually switches from one mental state to another in sign-processing activities, while manifesting the aspectual parts of the multiple self, for example, the true self, deceptive self, real self, ideal self, open self, hidden self, known and unknown self, present and absent self, that is, the self being or not being under control, the integrated and split self, etc. And finally, the self may be metaphorically compared, on the basis of how it communicates with others, with non-equilibrium systems studied in thermodynamics as dissipative structures, which are characterized by disorder, instability, diversity, disequilibrium, 61


nonlinear relationships in the sense that small inputs cause enormous consequences, as well as temporality connected with an increased sensitivity to the flow of time. In this approach, the communicative behavior of the self has to be investigated in terms of dissipativity, the lack of equability, or relevant stability, especially as it is not subordinate to the underlying principles formulated by classical science assuming that order, stability, uniformity, determinism, and accordingly also predictiveness and equilibrium constitute the basis for the majority of processes occurring in the physical world. All in all, this paper exposes the belief that verbal behavior shapes manifestations of identity and individuality of human selves determined by their origin, social, ethnic and national group membership, gender and social status, their beliefs, attitudes and values, goals and desires, feelings and emotions, and the like. It pays attention to both a large variation in verbal means of self-expression between particular individuals and the differentiation of the verbal repertoire of each individual which becomes visible depending on time and situation. To end with, on the basis of respective publications of psychologists, sociologists and practitioners of communication sciences, the paper concludes that one can be entitled to speak about a certain degree of the (un)predictability in the verbal behavior of the linguistic self, whose interactions with others sometimes provide cues to their possible reactions in future events. However, it has to be stressed that only habitual behaviors of communication participants are to a large degree predictable. Behavior in new and atypical situations and contexts are less or not predictable; also behavior motivated by negative emotions and intentions are definitely unpredictable.

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E Eric Klaus Gateways of meaning making: Unpredictable translations in the texts of Yoko Tawada Yoko Tawada, born in Tokyo, Japan in 1960, is one of the most celebrated writers of German today. The recipient of numerous prizes, her poetry and prose explores how language functions as a meaning-making mechanism. Because of their sensitivity to semiotic explosions and thematizations of cultural and linguistic border crossings, Tawada’s texts are rich in examples of unpredictability and the creation of meaning; they chronicle explosions, in the Lotmanian sense, and lay bare the resulting unpredictability endemic to the production of new information. This paper will focus on two texts in Talisman, Tawada’s collection of essays from 2008: Das Tor des Übersetzers oder Celan liest Japanisch and Erzähler ohne Seelen. In each text, either overtly or metaphorically, the symbol of the gate is used to signal the point at which translation unleashes an explosion that brings forth unexpected possibilities of meaning generation. In Das Tor des Übersetzers oder Celan liest Japanish, Tawada claims the poetry of Paul Celan possesses the power to reach a foreign world beyond the German language, namely that they ins Japanische heineinblicken. In the Japanese translations of Celan’s poems, she identifies a recurring radical (the main component of an ideogram) that means “gate.” Each Japanese character containing the radical expresses, in some way, crossing a boundary: “a threshold,” “to hear,” “to illuminate”, to cite a few examples. Therefore, this one Japanese radical contains the potential of creating various nuanced meanings. In her anaylsis, Tawada demonstrates that poems themselves function as gateways of meaning making by bundling semantic potential within a single linguistic element and unleashing that potential through translation. Erzähler ohne Seelen records Tawada’s train of thought as she explores a variety of loosely related topics, one of which is how we can hear the stories of the dead. She discusses different “gates” that bridge the living and the dead, for example theatres, museums, and dolls. The dolls in question are Japanese kokeshi, which, according to Tawada, were made in times of severe hardship to memorialize children who had to be 63


sacrificed in order for the larger community to survive; the dolls served as reminders that the community lived at the cost of unbearable loss. Tawada underscores the connection between the doll and its history by translating kokeshi as “child-erased.” This, however, is not the only translation of kokeshi, but one of many possibilities due to inherent ambiguity of the Japanese writing systems. There are three writing systems in Japanese, one of which is Kanji, in which phonetically identical sounds are represented by different characters, and these characters convey different meanings. When written in Kanji thus 子消し = 子(ko=child); 消し(keshi=erase) kokeshi carries with it the meaning explained in Tawada’s tale, a child is “erased.” However, kokeshi can also be written as 木形子 = 木 (ko=wood/tree); 形 (ke=shape); 子 (shi=child) which indicates that the piece of wood is shaped as a child. What is interesting here is that, with the exception of 子 (ko=child), the Kanji characters for these two words are different and bear different meanings despite being phonetically identical. There are numerous other ways to write kokeshi, but these two examples show just how unpredictable translations can be, even within the same language.

For Erick Machado, see Leyza Lucas

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E Ernesto de los Santos Domínguez and Lariza Elvira Aguilera Ramírez The president of Mexico in the presence of unpredictability The current Mexican government has inherited a socio-political crisis derived from the open war, which was declared against the organized crime, started by the last public government, whose effects were the emergence of diverse rebellious movements. From a predictable logic of the dynamics of the processes social-political-cultural, the president Enrique Peña Nieto uses a rhetoric intended to change the negative perception the society has against the political system that rules. Nevertheless, multiple violent facts such as those of Michoacán, Ayotzinapa and Tlatlaya have generated unpredictable and explosive effects, as well as the participation and local/ global mobilization without precedents in Mexico. These unpredictable movements of resistance have destroyed the supposed stability of the social Mexican reality, in which the justice, the progress and the peace seem to be absent. The mentioned unpredictable events produce significant changes in the political semiosphere, which affect the order, the social development and the memory of the political culture. The Mexican state tries to recover the lost legitimacy, but it faces the unpredictable facts, the explosive facts that do not overcome, since they are: severe critiques exercised from other semiospheres such as those of the art, of the Mass media, those of the social networks and those of the not governmental national and international organizations. The impact of the social mobilizations and of the depth of the critiques not only they have prevented the oblivion of these criminal facts, but they have managed to exceed the national borders, with which severe critiques took place in other governments and international organizations, as the UNO, to the politics of the President Peña Nieto. The complexity and the unpredictability of these socio-political phenomena does necessary to board them from a transdisciplinary approach, in which we integrate the contributions of the semiotics of the culture and of the analysis of the speech. 65


Evangelos Kourdis and Georgios Damaskinidis (Un)predictability in verbal-visual interactions of English and French caricatures translated in the Greek press According to Yuri Lotman, translation serves as the connective ‘pulley’ between a pair of mutually untranslatable languages (Lotman, 1990). This pulley, based on the fact that translatability and untranslatability coexist in translation, enables meaning preservation as well as meaning generation, both of which are equally important in terms of understanding verbal and visual interactions in the semiosphere. In terms of the translatable parts between these two semiotic structures, translatability enhances mutual understanding and thus the transmission as well as the preservation of the message involved in the communication situation. As it concerns the untranslatable elements, they bring about transformation of messages and innovative choices of ‘language use’ which lead to ‘an accretion of meaning in the process of such transformation’ (ibid.). There is a question of what happens when translation does work as a connective mechanism between cultures, but at the same time raises further obstacles in cultural communication. Bearing this in mind, this paper examines issues of (un)predictability in cultural translation of English and French caricatures in Greek newspapers. Although on the interlingual level the translation could be considered as rendering the source language meaning literally, the choice of certain utterances poses risks for the translation process. In addition, these choices affect the intersemiotic translation in both the source text and the target text, in various ways. In particular, we focus on the various ways (un)predictability affects the transfer of informational content in the target language. Taking into account the fact that these seemingly unproblematic verbal choices, on the one hand, and on the other the nonverbal risks, we will examine how their interaction affects the total translation meaning. This examination will be made in the context of Sütiste and Torop’s (2007) argument that the visual and the verbal have blurred the boundaries of translation processes and semiotics. Although semiotranslation (Peirce, 1965) is not a central issue in this article, the synthesis 66


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between translation studies and semiotics will be considered in our verbal-visual explorations. Like Sütiste and Torop (2007), who argue that ‘one and the same verbal text may exist within culture simultaneously as a verbal, multimedial, audiovisual, or audial text’, we start from the premise that it would be impossible to ignore the relationship between them. In his exploration of the way translation could be positioned within the space of multisemiotic and multimodal texts, Desjardins (2008) argues that, within translation studies, intersemiotic transfer (Jakobson, 1959[1996]) is an area that should be further extended and investigated. Such a development, according to Sütiste and Torop (2007), is a sign of methodological innovation in translation, suggesting a step toward semiotics.

For Eva Väljaots, see Riin Magnus

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Federico Bellentani The multiple meanings of monuments: The case of Vabaduse v채ljak, Tallinn There is a widespread idea among architects that built forms convey meanings. This idea is based upon the assumption that architecture exhibits language-like qualities and can be interpretable using linguistic methods. As a consequence, architects and urban designers use architecture as a form of language to communicate specific meanings to users. This comparison between architecture and language has influenced subsequent sociological and geographical literature on space and place. However, these researches have partially explored the way in which the architectural language communicates to users. Within this debate, there is no agreement on how built forms convey meanings. A semiotic approach could be very useful to answer this question. This presentation makes a proposal on how to address the issue on how built form can convey meanings, exploring the case of monuments. The reason for this choice is that monuments are erected on the purpose to convey specific meanings more evidently than other built forms. As cultural productions of elite culture, monuments can convey selective historical narratives, focussing on specific events while marginalising and obliterating what is discomforting for those in power. As such, monuments can become tools to establish dominant conceptions of the present, to create future expectations and thus to set dominant socio-spatial relations in space. As a consequence, elites spend a lot of resources in erecting monuments that represent their dominant meanings. Likewise, in transitional societies, newly independent institutions usually spend a lot of resources in reinventing the remains of previous monumental spaces according to their meanings. According to their authors, monuments are supposed to convey everlasting meanings. However, the meanings of monumental space can never be entirely enclosed. The authored meanings of monuments are often challenged by the multifaceted interpretations of users. Despite the effort elites make to convey exclusive meanings, monuments can always change into alternative or even contradictory interpretations, unexpected uses or mocking ridicule. 68


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Previous sociological and geographical literature has identified two lines of inquiry in the study of monuments. The first approach considers monuments as political tools used by governmental institutions to promote dominant meanings. The second paradigm takes a psychological approach, focussing more on the opinions and the emotions monuments elicit in users. However, this sociological and geographical research has mainly focused on the political approach, highlighting the authored meanings of monuments. In an attempt to advance a systematic approach to include the unpredictable and the alternative meanings of monuments, this research considers the interpretations of authors and users as equally relevant in the creation and development of the meanings of monuments. To prove these theoretical propositions, this research shows a real-life case study: Freedom Square in Tallinn, Estonia. After an introduction of the spatial history of this square, the analysis focuses on the Victory Column, a controversial memorial here erected in 2009.

For Georgios Damaskinidis, see Evangelos Kourdis

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Gisela Bruche-Schulz On the awareness of engaging the world In this paper, four responses to a narrative text are in focus. The responses have been selected from the data obtained in five elicitation events, each lasting ten minutes. Five different groups of student-participants read a one-page long narrative text, underlined for which words something ‘came to mind’, and jotted down in the margin what came to mind, either in writing or in the format of pictorials or both. The four items selected as samples belong to the latter. Two of them depict the heat of the Sahara, the other two different kinds of the body’s suffering, each of them responding to a respective segment of the narrative text. The four pictorials have three things in common: an image-schematic structuring, an awareness of the different ways in which a body may endure hardship, and a “semantic urge” (Sereno 2014: 3) that navigates a community of ever-present “watchers” (Scollon 1998: 89). The respondents, when jotting down what comes to mind, simultaneously give shape to their perceptions, and engage in the display of their selves in the “ethological” sense” (Goffman 1981 [1976]: 89). When doing so, their jottings play out across different routes of perception, going forward and backward in time, with the particular kinds and types of the resulting responses not being predictable. The gist of the four pictorials chosen as examples may be summarized as follows. The first, Pictorial One, sketches out the heat of the Sahara by horizontal and vertical lines, complementing this image of the forces of heat with words that suggest a scenario of thirst. Pictorial Two consists of a sketch of the fire dragon, a cultural symbol (in Hong Kong) of devastating heat which the dragon chases away (by a counter-force) during the time of harvest. Pictorial Three shows images of a forcefully accelerated speed by the swishing lines of a fast train, and stick figures in a frenzied hurry. Pictorial Four shows a stick figure placed inside a wound rope, being choked by the force of it, and gasping for breath. The narrative text, which is read, i.e. the “external written vehicle” (Menary 2007: 626), is the source of both the incoming perception and its abductive transformation. A prism of different levels of the “feeling of presence” (Matthen 2010: 114), and the having of “thoughts about thoughts, awareness about awareness” (Panksepp 2005: 70


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32) plays on the experience of “the body’s capacity to engage [i.e. to suffer] the world” (Cuelenaere 2011: 128, 136). The reader-respondents, when authoring scenes and scenarios, find “novel and customized forms of adaptive response” (Damasio 1999: 285), and seem to enjoy doing so. The urge to control the suffering of the body may thus even be sidestepped by celebrating the aesthetic experience of the imagistic depictions of suffering, also known from works of art.

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Griselda Zárate and Homero Zambrano Financial discourse of the 2007-2008 crisis: From unpredictability and explosion to Predictability Through the analysis of metaphors and argumentation, this paper aims to identify the inflection point in financial discourse, the moment of explosion and unpredictability in the 2007-2008 economic crisis. Of particular interest is the transformation of unpredictability to predictability, as incorporated in this type of discourse to indicate a predetermined chain of events, chosen from a wide spectrum of possibilities. The theoretical framework draws from Yuri Lotman’s views on the concepts of explosion, unpredictability, inflection point and predictability. According to Lotman, a high degree of information is produced at the moment of explosion, which could be applied to the whole system, in this case, financial discourse of 2007-2008 crisis –, which is followed by an unpredictable and complex path. Special attention is given in this work, to what this theorist expresses in regards to the inflection point, which he places as the instant of exhaustion in the explosion process, thus, it is to say “el lugar del autoconocimiento en el que se empalman los mecanismos de la historia” [“the place of selfknowledge where history mecanisms are intersected”] (Cultura, 1999: 29-30). Based on the latter, this research paper approaches the following analytic issues: tension between unpredictability and predictability evident in financial discourse; manifestation of this dialectics through metaphors and argumentation by means of attenuation or intensification of discursive markers; expression of the casual semiotic element integrated during the moment of explosion in the crisis of 20072008; evidence of the inflection point in this explosive process in relation to financial discourse and volatility of the index market of 2007-2008. The corpus is formed by articles of specific dates of 2007-2008 published in The Wall Street Journal, related to the movements of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (SP500) of the United States. 72


G Göran Sonesson Beyond Hobbes and Rousseau: The cognitive semiotics of cultural evolution The famous Darwinist formula of the “survival of the fittest” may, at least superficially, suggest that competition is that which drives evolution, but, in recent years, it has increasingly been suggested that cooperation is at least as important. The act of communication, rightly understood, is a prime example of such cooperation. Nevertheless, we cannot take serious account of cooperation without also considering the obstacles to its occurrence. In my earlier work, I adapted the model of the Tartu school of Cultural Semiotics, according to which there is an elementary distinction in all cultures between (our own) Culture and Non-culture, forming a border over which artefacts can only pass with difficulty and/or changing their meaning. It turns out that Edmund Husserl, in his late work, proposed a parallel distinction within the Lifeworld, the world taken for granted, between Homeworld and Alienworld. This can then be taken as an invariant structure, which will be realised in one or other form in any possible Lifeworld. Availing myself of the theory of empathy, as applied to cultures, I extended this Canonical model, made up of the Homeworld and a first kind of Alienworld, called Ego-culture and Alius-culture, respectively, to include a second kind of Alienworld, the Alter-culture, which is what I called the Extended model. From point of view of the Ego, normally situated within culture, Alter is the kind of other that is another Ego, whereas Alius can never be an Ego, but retains an essential Thingness. You are “on speaking terms”, in fact within a collaborative process in general, with Alter, but Alius is somebody out there about whom you can at the most be talking. The distinction between Ego and Alius is readily understood in terms of evolutionary theory, not, of course, in the popular variant that features “selfish genes”, but in the more scholarly version that recognizes the possibility of group selection. It has been shown by Sober & Wilson that, in the evolutionary game, egoists will always prevail over altruists, the latter being at the end eliminated, but when selection operates on groups, the altruist group will gain the upper hand over the egoist one. 73


But this process presupposes the opposition between groups, that is, a world in which Ego-culture is opposed to Alius-culture. Homeworld and Alienworld are thus at the beginning of deep history. It is less clear how Alter-culture can be explained in terms of evolution, in the sense of genetic evolution. According to other representatives of contemporary evolutionary theory, such as Richerson & Boyd, cultural evolution may well be selected for, and even have consequences for genetic evolution, once its comes of its own. The existence of Alterculture, nevertheless, seems to require the emergence of collaboration out of strife.

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G Göran Sonesson Thirdness as the observer observed: From habit to law by way of habitus If Thirdness, in the Peircean sense, can be interpreted, as I have suggested elsewhere (Sonesson 2013), as ”the observer being observed”, or, more generally, as “the reaction being observed”, then it is located at the level of meta-cognition, or at least it involves the coming into awareness of an action or event, and, if so, it seems rather natural to treat rules and laws as being instances of Thirdness. However, it is more difficult to see how habits, which are also Thirdness according to Peirce, let alone instincts, innate releasing mechanism, or the like, which Biosemioticans assimilate to this Peircean notion, can be considered as meta-cognition. On the social level, habitus, as the term has been used since Bourdieu, often does not arrive to the level of awareness that would be required of meta-cognition. These considerations obviously presuppose, contrary to what Peirce is wont to say, that the mind plays a more important part in phenomenology than simply as a “sop to Cerberus”. This follows from treating Peircean phenomenology as a special case of Husserlean phenomenology, making Thirdness at least a case of double intentionality, in the Husserlean sense of directedness. On the other hand, in other traditions of semiotics, such as the Prague school, it has been argued that there is a continuous scale going from habit to norms (see Mukařovský 1978), and, within the Greimas School, at least Manar Hammad (2002) has suggested that regularities can be transformed into rules. Still, between normalcy and normativity, there clearly is a qualitative difference. From the opposite side, the sign could certainly be treated as Thirdness in the sense given above, but this does not necessarily mean that all rules are signs: indeed, some rules may pre-exist to, and be exploited by, signs. Whatever the value of the Peircean meta-language, including Thirdness of Thirdness, and so on, it seems to be insufficiently precise for accomplishing the task of phenomenology.

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Heidi Piña Gasca Human thresholds: Meanings of re-routing towards 2050 In this paper I put forward a learning-based framework based on the notion of human thresholds as an integrative strategy with heuristic value in the context of humaninduced climate change. Safeguarding diversity in the regenerative and carrying capacities of our biosphere, taking into account a population increase to nine billion by 2050, has become a matter of high international priority. Situated in this historical juncture, international policies emphasize the need to re-route human collaboration towards a scale of change of unprecedented quality. Within this milieu, collaboration through tool co-development calls for cross-sectoral communication of meaning between multiple stakeholders; consequently, two interlinked phenomena are brought to the fore: a) diversity of knowledge perspectives and asymmetric expectations and, b) the need to make sense of unifying and diversifying changes during the process of tool co-development. Embedded in relational contexts of meaning, the phenomena can reconfigure its characteristics and present changes of scale in order to enhance its potential. The phenomena can be addressed by contributions of a perspectival approach to knowing (Alrøe and Noe 2011) within a learning-based framework. From a perspectivist philosophy of science, grounded in Peircean semiotics and autopoietic systems theory, Alrøe and Noe argue for the existence of perspectival knowledge asymmetries which can be handled through second-order observations. The notion of human thresholds places the concept of change at the core of human-nature relations in multiple contexts of meaning. Change, understood as a unit of meaning and motion, is impacted by causality in functional and structural terms. Furthermore, the correlation between causality and the safeguarding of diversity is dependent upon second-order observations with learning potential. The design of a learning-based framework with heuristic value can contribute to diversity embracement in reference to changes of meaning in human-nature relations. For Homero Zambrano, see Griselda Zárate 76


I Ignacio Ramos Beltran Predictability and unpredictability in the understanding of pre-hispanic art: Growth within tradition For Lotman there are three stages of consciousness, the third, “a new roll in the structure of memory” (Lotman 1999: 202), is conceived as the basis of the mechanism of art, which always includes a feeling of something strange. ‘The artistic text does not have a single resolution but ‘it extends the space of the unpredictable’ (Lotman 1999: 168), transporting and observing the responses of culture from the field of paradox. In this paper, we take the key concepts that Lotman develops around the unpredictability of cultures to understand some of the faces that this phenomenon manifest in Mexico in the XX and XXI century: the conception of ‘pre-hispanic art’. Art, specially literature and sculpture, shows the manner in which the discourses of memory have been nurtured and recreated from different intersections of times, myths, structures of life, expectations. Fiction, ghosts, forms of death, legends, heroes are elements that will be taken up in different tables to display the impressions that are observed in a culture that is constantly recreating itself. As mentioned Lotman, “we have been given time to evaluate the past, pick a direction, jump and act. In such conditions all our experiences must be taken into account, all suggestions must be listened and all possibilities must be carefully considered” (Lotman 2013: 5). Two works and moments are the basis from which the ideas of this paper are developed: a) a book entitled, “The Invention of America” which is nothing but a ‘Research on the historical structure of the new world and the sense of its future’, and b) understanding of prehispanic sculpture as art. Here we will discuss two approaches that have had a strong impact on the culture in Mexico: one perspective comes from Justino Fernandez, and the other from Ruben Bonifaz Nuño. They reflect in Mexican culture, as says Lotman, “periods of choice and freedom – and simultaneously – of doubt and uncertainty” (Lotman 2013: 4). We know that people who do not take into account the principles of the tradition on which they are based have no future. That is the main feature that we will see constantly repeated in various works of art but with different nuances in Mexican culture. 77


Indrek Ibrus Audiovisual heritage metadata systems as ambivalent curators of cultural innovation New initiatives are emerging throughout Europe to digitise national film and TV heritage collections. This will be a costly endeavour – estimated at €5bn to digitise all of Europe’s audiovisual (AV) heritage (Niggemann et al. 2011). The high costs are deemed worthwhile not only in terms of preserving the heritage, but with regard to turning heritage into a resource that could be repurposed to arrive at new value propositions (Hauttekeete et al. 2011), i.e. media innovations either in terms of new kinds of services or new kinds of audiovisual productions utilizing heritage content. What may challenge such re-utilisation of content for innovation is that metadata standards for AV heritage are in the typical early era of standards fragmentation (Oomen et al. 2013). Yet, interoperable and good quality metadata is essential for the emergence of innovative services of which those associated with education are deemed to be the most valuable (EU Parliament and Council (2005); EU Commission (2011); EU Council (2012)). The proposed paper responds to this challenge by analysing the related challenges in Estonia – a country that last year finalized its 6-year plan to digitize most of its audiovisual cultural heritage and to grant public access to it. This is paralleled by the development of a new and elaborate meta-description system by Estonian Film Database (www.efis.ee) for turning everything about the heritage films, including what these films depict, findable. The paradox of findability, however, is that although it is in an ambiguous relationship with predictability it is at the same time expected to facilitate heritage based innovation (effectively unpredictable processes) – i.e. heritage turns into a resource that can be re-cycled for a variety of as yet unpredictable purposes. Different kinds of institutions that design and operate such archives may have rather different understandings with regard to what should be found, who should be searching and how metadata should guide the usage processes. For instance, while librarians have been concerned about standardised access to descriptors, content producers are interested in efficient asset management (IPR, access controls), online service providers (YouTube, Netflix, etc.) are developing proprietary recommendation systems motivating further consumption, and newly created dedicated public databases (e.g. Europeana, EUScreen) are seeking public value in service interoperability. The ‘multileveled’ dialogues among these institutions are influencing the standardisation of metadata creation for AV heritage. What is more, people who search for films or other 78


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related information may have rather different motivations, needs, contextual awareness or ideological understandings and some of these may be in conflict with the existing meta-description systems. This aspect – the inherent conflicts between the associated interests of various kinds of institutions and users and the related unpredictability of the evolutionary trajectory of the role of heritage in culture’s evolutionary dynamic is the central topic of this paper. In terms of the cultural theory of Juri Lotman the various methods of heritage meta-description could be understood as forms of cultural auto-communication that have the ability to fix the heritage in a culture in specific ways. The detailed description systems such as the one by Estonian Film Database are useful for facilitating heritage recycling for innovative purposes, but they unavoidably also attach concrete meanings to content that may have an effect of fixing that heritage in a culture, i.e. would make the cultural evolution more predictable. In the global context the varying metadata systems (due to different institutional interests) presents a related question on the dominance and influence of some of these and therefore their ideological effects to the structuration of the global culture and potential for innovation therein. Relatedly, the question arises, how open and dialogic should such databases and meta-description systems be? What are the appropriate balances between facilitating the predictability and unpredictability of these systems? And what are the strategies to turn these systems and description processes more dialogic (that would then facilitate unpredictability)? Should the global standardization of audiovisual metadata standards be somehow governed or mediated with regard to enabling dialogues between different stakeholders? And what are the opportunities, both on global and local level, to open up the metadata systems for crowdsourced contributions (‘folksonomies’)? Although studies indicate that folksonomies may not create perfect metadata, it is argued that even bad metadata is useful (Geisler et al. 2010). In the context of the discussion above on how metadata may fix cultural evolution there is evidence that folksonomies may be more responsive to cultural change (Ongena et al. 2012). Yet, most folksonomies are culturally specific, generally unsystematic, unpredictable and therefore not easy to include in internationally oriented services. While all schemes for metadata creation are likely to be complementary, what is not known is how specific constellations are associated with cultural memory curation and what the combined effects are to the innovative uses of AV-heritage both locally and globally? The proposed paper aims at opening the avenue of semiotic studies of digital culture’s metadata systems. 79


Inesa Sahakyan Unpredictability of political discourse: When words come to mean what they didn’t when uttered. “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” These words were pronounced by the presidential candidate Mitt Romney on CNN, February 1, 2012 and subsequently reported by Obama’s camp to claim that the candidate Romney did not care about the very poor. The 2012 US presidential election was marked by a number of outof-context quotes in which the words of politicians were used against them by their opponents. But how is it possible to make words mean what they did not when uttered? As Deacon (1997: 83) notes, “words need to be in context with other words, in phrases and sentences, in order to have any determinate reference. Their indexical power is distributed, so to speak, in the relationships between words”. Indeed, language cannot be conceived of in terms of isolated elements; rather, it is a complex system where linguistic units are related to each other by clearly determined rules. Moreover, indexicality is central to the functioning of language as the speech act is not an isolated event but an instance of social interaction where the meaning is communicated, interpreted and created in reference to its context. In the same stance, Juri Lotman considered communication as an act of language creation. Through a semiotic and pragmatic analysis of the most emblematic out-of-context quotes in the 2012 US presidential election, this paper demonstrates how context shapes cognition and accounts for many aspects of linguistic interaction involved in the communication and (mis)interpretation of political discourse. This task is addressed in the light of Charles Sanders Peirce’s theory of cognition (1867-1903). The results of the study can be used in the domain of Critical Discourse Analysis to develop models for discourse analysis and processing.

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J Jaakko Turunen Contingency, translation and parliamentary talk This presentation focuses on the micro-dynamics of parliamentary talk and how their relation to macro-dynamics of culture could be accounted for in the analysis of parliamentary talk. Parliamentary talk is characterized by official regulations establishing its order, its official genres and often mandating even a certain content (i.e. the bill). However, the reality of parliamentary talk often exhibits different dynamics from that officially posited. The examples from Polish and Slovakian parliaments discussed in this presentation show a high level of interaction between different speakers. Drawing on Hans-Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutics and Yuri Lotman’s notions of translation and explosion, this presentation discusses the feasibility and advantages of thinking of parliamentary talk as an ongoing process of translation and/or explosion. Such an approach provides a new perspective to the study of contingencies of parliamentary talk (or any political talk, or politics as a meaning-producing activity) that points out the intertwined dynamics between the micro-level of interaction and macro-level of culture as they jointly come to constitute the course of as well as the possibilities of political argumentation. In other words, it is in the possibility of Lotmanian translation that we find what constitutes politics.

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Jeoffrey Gaspard Discourse regularities and predictability: Making sense of discursive habits in communication situations In this communication, we propose to concentrate on discursive regularities that can generally be observed in corpuses of texts having been produced in similar communication situations (medical interviews, political debates, teaching classes, etc.). One type of such regularities is related to so-called discourse genres, considered as a set of tacit instructions broadly constraining the forms of utterances in a given discursive practice. Speakers in a given situation always expect a particular speech genre to be enacted and recognized following which they will both adequately produce and interpret the utterances: according to Bakhtin indeed, one of the first scholars to have broadened their analysis beyond the literary sphere, “if speech genres did not exist and we had not mastered them, if we had to originate them during the speech process and construct each utterance at will for the first time, speech communication would be almost impossible�. Another type of regularities is related to the interdiscourses a given set of utterances always dialogically refers to. A particular process of semiosis never begins ex nihilo; a sign is always interpreted as a response to an antecedent sign. This unlimited, intertwining semiotic chain is what enables mutual understanding to happen between two sets of utterances. The context of a particular situation, and the discourse genre and interdiscourse it is necessarily associated with, is then considered as a determiner of generic regularities (when it comes to repeated segments and expressions, frequent syntactic structures, etc.) and interdiscursive regularities that control both the production and interpretation of a given discursive act. Those regularities, which can be detected in a corpus of carefully chosen texts, highlight the relatively regulated, non-random nature of most of our discursive practices and epitomize the necessary constrained creativity of meaning-making as far as discourse is concerned. In this perspective, we suggest that the concept of habit, as theorized by Charles S. Peirce, can be fruitful to explain the role and importance of such regularities in our sociodiscursive life. Regarding interpretation for instance, it is by way of contextualized interpretative habits that adequate interpretants are determined 82


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by particular signs. This determinacy, without which mutual understanding could not take place, can for instance be locally measured in statistical analyses of observable interpretants – that is, in Peircean terms, mediating (physical, behavioral, linguistic) signs determined by a particular antecedent (complex of ) sign(s) – usually mobilized in a given community and for a given situation. Consequently, discourse regularities are ideal case studies if one wishes to investigate instances of predictability in semiotic processes (as also implied by Peirce’s category of Thirdness), which is the theme of this Summer School. Overall, we suggest that their study can be one of the many research orientations through which a prediction-based scientific conception of semiotics could be applied.

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Jonathan Griffin Choice and the irreducible role of inclination Unpredictability can be understood partly in terms of choice. That is, when an individual has multiple paths or actions before him/her, as well as the capacity to decide between these paths, the possibility of choice is present. At any such given intersection, an observer will not be able to faultlessly predict which choices such an individual will make. This seems basic. Every choice involves some incompatibility or exclusivity. When a sufficient degree or value of mutual exclusivity is present, however, a deeper semiotic dimension enters the exclusivity, and the choice. The way an individual navigates certain semiotic choices is influenced not only by goal-oriented behaviour in a weak sense, but also in a stronger sense, relating to more fundamental motivations and inclinations. If someone encounters a choice between two options of great semiotic import, and if the reasons for choosing one or the other are equal, what is at the core of why the individual chooses one rather than the other? That is, all things being equal, what makes someone side in favor one way rather than another? Considering that individuals often find interpretive room to make the choice they want (or to escape the choice they do not want) far more often than they seem to encounter so-called choices with no interpretive room, this question may be deeply important when considering questions of truth, of scientific inquiry, and of different qualities of experience. What does this unavoidable element of semiotic choice and the irreducible role of inclination mean for the universe as a whole and our place in it? From early recorded stories in human history like the Garden of Eden to later discoveries of deductive logic, we find that choice breaks upon human reality, as well as guarantees that the semiotic choices we make will follow their own trajectories and shape the landscape of our developing experience. Even the attempt to avoid a choice is a choice, one which gives rise to its own logical consequences. The weighty capacity of humans is the ability to envision to some degree the end of a choice from the beginning, to assess its consequences in a deductive and semiotic light, and to possibly revisit inclinations that tend toward certain paths or results. Inclinations can be examined, habits can be revisited, and trajectories can be altered. Perhaps a semiotically informed ethics should maximize our awareness of this fact.

For José María Infante Bonfiglio, see María Eugenia Flores Treviño 84


J Julieta Haidar Cultural dynamics among gradual and explosive processes In his last years of life, Juri Lotman treated with special interest the dialectic of the predictable/unpredictable in the semiotics of culture. In this paper, from the relationship that is established between culture, counterculture, anti-culture, it is possible to extend the initial proposal, and put forward an organic relationship among the semiosphere’s culture, the counterculture semiosphere and the anticulture semiosphere. In this way, the relationship between the predictable and the unpredictable occurs in various dimensions: in the inner semiosphere (within each) and the outer semiosphere (among the 3 semiospheres). In this dialectic, the author analyzes the gradual processes versus the unpredictable, explosive processes. Continuity is an implied predictability; unpredictability, on the other hand, is the change in modes of explosion. From these proposals, Lotman proposes that the unpredictability of explosive processes is not the only path to innovation, since entire areas of culture can be transformed by gradual changes. From this perspective, it is possible to understand that gradual processes and explosives are antithetical, i.e. they exist insofar as they keep a reciprocal relationship, in such a way that the cancel of one of the poles would lead to the disappearance of another. Gradual processes are very strong. For example, the great scientific ideas are related to art because its origin is similar to an explosion, bringing us to the recursive relationship of complexity and transdisciplinarity. In addition, it is important to highlight that the explosion category does not refer only to destruction, but to new discoveries. In synthesis, two dialectically necessary, reciprocal trends exist: dynamic, explosive process and gradual processes. The former ensure innovation and the latter, continuity in the dynamics of culture. From the exposed premises below, we will analyze some contemporary events from the point of view of its dialectic, though emphasizing the dark side of unpredictability, which this turbulent world, without horizons of hope, offers to us. For Kadri Tßßr, see Riin Magnus 85


Kaie Kotov Change of habits: A case of upcycled by Reet Aus All change is essentially change of habits. Is it fair to make such an assumption? Can this assumption be instrumental in understanding how and why change happens in social and cultural systems – and how and why it fails to happen? How can semiotic notion of habit inform the study of innovation and organizational change? In my paper I will first provide an overview of the semiotic notion of habit that I have developed to study and understand the mechanisms of social and cultural change, and inertia. My thinking has three main sources: I have adopted the pragmaticist concept of habit from John Dewey and C.S. Peirce, especially the former, the (cybernetic) concepts of habit and learning from Gregory Bateson and cultural semiotic framework for the understanding of cultural change from Juri Lotman and his “Culture and Explosion”. Upcycling is a term coined by design theorists Michael Braungart and William McDonough, it is a form of recycling that provides residue materials or products with additional value through design. It draws on the more theoretical concept of cradleto-cradle design, also put forward by Braungart and McDonough. Estonian fashion designer Reet Aus has devised a design and production model for the fashion industry that enables to upcycle the fabric residues in the production process thus to reduce the environmental impact of fashion industry. Leftover fabric may sometimes amount to half of the entire materials used. This has severe environmental consequences: trash must be processed, new materials produced, with all the consequent environmental impact that puts the fashion industry among the most wasteful in all industry sectors. Upcycling implies thus a reconsideration and reformation of the entire design and production process. Reet Aus has devised a new upcycle method for fashion production that is also ready to be used in mass production. She has made a pilot with the greatest garment producer in Bangladesh, Beximco, implementing the upcycle process to produce her own line, Upcyled by Reet Aus. I will look into her experience in remodelling the design and production process, focusing on the objections and obstacles she encountered and adopt my theoretical framework to make sense of these experiences. Our further goal is to come up with (semiotic) change management tools that designers, brands and producers can use to adopt and implement the upcycle method into their own production lines. 86


K Kalevi Kull Semiosis and time: Logical conflict and habits Semiosis includes the atemporal indeterminate aspect (decision-making between options in a logical conflict at the phenomenal present) and the temporal determinate aspect (behaviour channeled by habits and scaffolding). Via this model of semiosis it is possible to explain the creation of the phenomenal world (umwelt), which stems from the logical conflict between habits at the specious present. We argue that (a) habits are degenerative sign relations that are products of semiosis; (b) habits can be modelled as perception-action (or if..then) operations; (c) a system with several habits can face a situation in which some independently acquired habits are incompatible if to be executed simultaneously; i.e., habits can be in a logical conflict; (d) meaning-making assumes a logical conflict (Kull 2012); (e) logical conflict between possibilities assumes the phenomenal present; sequential operations cannot build a logical conflict (f ) phenomenal present (intrinsic now, specious present – Fernåndez 2010; Varela 1999) occurs in living systems as widely as meaning-making; (g) it is possible to provide a physiological description of a system in which specious present appears and choices are made; (h) logical conflict or incompatibility itself is the mechanism of intentionality; (i) meaning-making is assured by scaffolding, which is a product of earlier semiosis (choices, decision-making, and interpretation). Thus semiotic freedom stems from the synchrony of incongruent habits. This model of semiosis helps to demonstrate the link between physiology and phenomenology (or physics and semiotics) and the twofold relation of semiosis to time.

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Katherine T. Peil Kauffman The evolution of emotion Human life is rich with emotion. Our feelings reside at the center of our deepest, most meaningful, personal experiences. They drive our behavior; they are central to our memory and learning systems, our spiritual impulses, and our moral values – often defining our very identities. Our philosophical and religious traditions have linked their pleasurable and painful (“hedonic”) categories with virtuous and sinful behavior, if not universal forces of goodness and evil. But what is the deeper, physiological meaning of these “positive” and “negative” categories of feeling? What is their biological function? And how deeply are they rooted in our evolutionary heritage, and in life itself? A broader and deeper scientific examination of the emotional system reveals some astounding surprises: that the rudiments of emotional sentience are evident in even the simplest living systems. That emotion serves the ancient function of “self-regulation”, affording the earliest organisms the ability to sense their world, to evaluate the “good” or “bad” environmental conditions, and to actively respond in adaptive ways. That the universal values encoded within our hedonic behavior reflect neither good nor evil, but the criteria for natural selection, and that the first crude emotional sentience ushered active creative participation in the evolutionary process. That in more complex organisms’ emotion remains a major player in cell signaling, epigenetic regulation, and developmental processes, and an intimate affiliate of the human immune system. Indeed, given the emergent complexity of the “triune” brain, our modern human emotions now contain three levels of self-regulatory information, a moral/spiritual behavioral guidance system there for the taking, once we understand and align with its ancient self-regulatory code. But the fact of emotional sentience in all living systems also begs a further examination, one of the nature of consciousness and free will. It forces us beyond dead chemistry, machine metaphors, and an epiphenomenal mind, to the possible quantum mechanical underpinnings of life, and perhaps to panpsychist process theology to honor and embrace the degree of ongoing creativity inherent in our universe and in ourselves. Indeed, the binary categories of emotion may well be rooted in nature’s lawful forces of attraction and repulsion, and therefore woven within the very fabric of a pansentient, self-organizing, self-actualizing universe. 88


K Katre Pärn On Creative Modelling in Human Sciences One central dimension of semiotic (un)predictability is the (in)stability/(im) mutability of signs that would allow/deny us a chance to anticipate (inevitably) future interpretations of our messages. So naturally, a lot of theorizing has been done on the tensions between the mechanisms that stabilise and fix meanings on one hand and open them up for new interpretations on the other. The plural, shifting, reconfiguring nature of semiotic reality that results from this tension not only poses difficulties for the human sciences as sciences in revealing the “true” meaning, constructing valid models of reality, (in other words difficulties in meeting the expectations for scientificity) but perhaps also poses altogether different demands on and potentials for research in the humanities. If a code-bound phenomena are the closest to the fixed reality that could be modelled predictively and at the same time they are in the long run not only unstable and unreliable, but ultimately semiotically less valuable due to established habitual and automatic relations with the world, then instead of closing down and fixing the interpretations and understandings of the phenomena we are modelling, the task of the human sciences is to open them up to new perspectives. This brings about the question: what is new knowledge about our research in semiotics/ humanities and how do we create it? Juri Lotman assigned much importance to art as a mechanism that opens the world up for alternative perspectives, and as source of new information, and ultimately unpredictability. In his article “The place of art among other modelling systems”, he distinguished between scientific and artistic, practical and playful modelling. In my presentation I analyse the place of the human sciences among modelling systems using the matrix proposed by Lotman, in an attempt to show curious parallels between artistic modelling, as Lotman discusses it, and modelling in human sciences.

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Kevin Raaphorst The politics of landscape design communication: Power/knowledge and signifying practices in landscape architecture In landscape architecture, visual representations of landscape designs are the primary means of communication. As objects of semiosis, these images convey different meanings during different phases of a participatory design process. Among many things, abstract ideas, local knowledge, design principles, and final implementation drawings are communicated between different participants, i.e. landscape architects, planners, engineers, laymen/women. The (in)ability of participants to communicate their knowledge and expertise determines the credibility of that knowledge. This ability is not distributed evenly: applying visualization techniques requires expertise that not every participant possesses. Therefore, those that possess this expertise are able to exercise power. According to Foucault’s power/knowledge concept, power and knowledge are inextricably linked. Power is everywhere and can consist of many things: political influence, skill, expertise, experience, charisma, literacy, and ultimately: knowledge. Power is used to make a claim to the truth through knowledge construction. In doing so, power shapes particular knowledge about the world and the way people act upon that knowledge. In landscape architecture, the division of power thus shapes the understanding of the landscape, and the legitimacy of possible spatial interventions within that landscape. In this paper, we therefore consider visual representations of landscape designs not only as objects of semiosis, but also as a discourse: specialized forms of knowledge that are constructed by specific actors and influence the way people act upon that knowledge. A lack of critical research into the power of landscape design representations has resulted in a non-reflective design practice where the signifying practice of design remains a black box. This paper aims to explore how Peircean semiotics and Foucault’s power/knowledge concept can be combined into a critical visual discourse analysis in the context of landscape architecture. Such a detailed semiotic analysis from a Foucauldian perspective makes explicit the implicit power structures of participatory landscape design processes. This approach emphasises socio-political contextualization 90


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by studying an image producer’s apparatuses and technologies. These Foucauldian terms describe, for instance, apparatuses like municipal halls, designer studios, and community centres, and technologies such as transparent paper, drawing markers, digital map tables, or even virtual reality glasses. These aspects, that constitute the socio-political context within which landscape designs engage in semiosis, are shaped and controlled by dominant parties. By uncovering the inequalities between participants, we could describe how power shapes the process of semiosis not only at the production site of a landscape design image, but also at the site of presentation.

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Kristin Vaik Unpredictabilties in the process of constructing new literary history in Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic Literary history books can be viewed as metatexts that have very different functions starting with the mnemonic function of remembering the writers and literary works and ending with the ability to guide and arrange the contemporary literary practice. Arranging and organising of the literary practice can also been seen as a self-constructing and a self-describing processes where the dynamic literary process is fixed into continuous static narratives. Yuri Lotman has noted that during every self-organising process, some parts of the material will be pushed outside the system and these outside parts then seem to lose their existence. Thus, with every organising event the system is being narrowed and in extreme cases this can lead to the situation where the metasystem is so rigid that it loses all contacts with the real system (Lotman 2006: 219). The same aspects can be seen in the process of writing literary histories. In every history the events are narrated and therefore organised in some special way. There is something missing from every history; some books, events, and writers are not mentioned and are thus pushed out of the system. The written literary histories are only models or metasystems of the real literary practice and development. Therefore, when there is too much left out from them or if the stories are for example too fragmented they lose all contacts with the real literary practice. Simultaneously there is a generally accepted point of view that every historian is a part of her/his study; the historian is the one who makes the research and the selection, interprets the selected facts, ascribes value and tone to the findings, and is at the same time a part of a specific cultural situation and its ideology. In my paper I will look through the prism of (un)predictability and Juri Lotman´s notion of explosion at how and what kind of literary histories were written in Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. I am going to follow the process of the construction of new literary history that would support the new Soviet ideology and sketch out some of the unpredictabilities the process stumbled upon. 92


K Kyra Landzelius Habits and their discontents: Autism and the re-worlding of empathy “Children like yours lack empathy” – the parent of an autistic child is told; thereby to be delivered of the first of a predictive, if at-odds, list of diagnostic habits the zig-zagging total of which seals not only the psycho-medical wrap/rap of autism, but the fate nearly of many a diagnosed subject/object. With the help of the British comedian Mr. Bean, a glass of water and a case study of one+, this presentation tentatively but observantly feels along the semiosis of empathy as performed by the neuro-autistic, where (yes, discoverable!) affect, analysis and action may well be arrested by their rawly-democratic competition for simultaneity and their egalitarian inhabitation/co-creation of ground. Our venture along the sense-making path of autistically-instantiated signage vis-à-vis another’s pain compels us to circle ‘round the “black-boxing” of empathy (arguably less switch than process, its coding by experts’ notwithstanding). The journey into the sense/nonsense of empathy stumbles upon many a question: about overwhelming Firstness; about emotional distress vs. inhibition-rich Thirdness; about fantasy and the little-understood(?) mastery of real vs. fiction; about mimesis and iconicity and analogue; about cognitive dissonance and symbolic convention; about the curious intercourse of pain and humor. Add to this confusion an all-too-common void in Secondness in the normative worlding of empathy. It is a challenge to care for/about another: a challenge to our agential capacities, to our comfort zones, to the integrity of our borders as well as our morals, to powers of reasoning and the incomprehensibility of suffering in the first place. The naive dismissal of autism’s unpredictable empathy not only risks disenfranchising people on the autistic spectrum from a quintessentially human property, one that (alongside the less-exalted “man’s inhumanity to man”) putatively distinguishes us from dumber species, but may also miss us out on much unpredictable meta-learning re: the evolution and constitution of intersubjectivity and communicative competence. The habitual strip-searching of empathy from the neuro-autistic is, like all exercises in the governance of exclusion, a blame of deviance and a claim for purchase on some 93


“legit” (it also, we might add, peels away one layer/skin of humanness, as the first step in a sacrificial act, and doxa always demands sacrifice). But we might well ask: just what is/ought normal empathetic response to look like? Given that the norm by definition is privileged by numbers as it travels the high Habit of a Gaussian curve, then why the loss from distress to action, where the leakage from realization to intervention? Or in other words, just why do we have so bloody much to be lamentable about in glancing empathically at the neuro-normal world?

For Lariza Elvira Aguilera Ramírez, see Ernesto de los Santos Domínguez

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L Leyza Lucas, Erick Machado, Rosângela Silva, and Waldmir Araujo-Neto Explosion and (un)predictability in classroom practices: Gestures, tools and their cultural integration How predictable can tool and gestural activities be in a classroom? What if we look to them inside pre-service teacher education in undergraduate courses? In this paper we report a study in which we explore the dialectic tension between predictable and unpredictable uses of tools and gestural practices in a set of thirty-six classes, conducted by three different chemistry teachers, considering the same topic. All classes were videotaped and transcribed following a specific methodology for the demarcation of episodes, as units of analysis, containing the gestural production, and the segments in which these teachers use material tools to refer to the chemical structure. Our goal in this project is to evaluate the (un)predictable events, focused on gesture practice and interaction with tools, in which class moments they occur, and if they are motivated by some expressive act. In chemistry education literature, the use of material tools for representing molecules and their structures has been practiced since the late nineteenth century, but even before, similar practices of this nature can be observed. Although it is widely suggested in the specific literature, and just as it would be abominable to create some kind of rule book providing prescriptive ways of practicing, these aspects remain considered as “innate skills” for those who choose to be teachers. Having the historical-cultural reference as a starting point, we would like to propose the possibility of facing this kind of practice as a “cluster of unpredictable possibilities” (Lotman 2009: 135). Our first approach was to try to find the synonymous particles that could be identified between gestural activities and tool uses. According to Lotman (ibid.) this possibility can be taken as an initial interpretation of unpredictability, in the view of outsiders. In this sense, we believe to pointed out unpredictable moments with respect to gestural activity during intentional acts of explanation. It is always possible to find gestural activity and use of tools in the classroom; however, during intentional acts of explaining their own examples we find shifts, which are described as moments of unpredictability. Finally, with the presentation of this paper we aim to discuss these aspects as unpredictable moments, and would like to propose them as inventive cultural practices that should be integrated into educational practice. 95


Lia Yoka Infertility from folktale to film: Jan Svankmajer translating the menace of the unpredictable Unpredictability in relation to wishes for fertility and expected babies is on the one hand a constant generator of stories in European folklore and on the other, a new area of medical and biotechnological innovation in the last half-century. In this paper I will examine a moment of a historical and mediatic translation of the fear of infertility in the work of the great Czech filmmaker and animator Jan Svankmajer. Otesanek (2000), a partly animated film, retells the traditional tale (collected by the folklorist Karel Jaromir Erben in the mid-19th century) of a piece of wood carved in the form of a child. The narrative is based on a Lotmanian “explosion” produced by the tension between the predictability (of the presence of the childlike effigy) and the unpredictability (of its effects on the pretend parents). The particular folktale (echoing stories from the Bible, from Abraham to St. Anne’s to Joseph’s, as well as a wealth of other Northern and Southern European, Russian traditional narratives) offers many of its basic motifs to a modern translation (notably the late 19th century Pinocchio and several 20th century adaptations). However, cinematic techniques of visual representation, as well as contemporary medical and biotechnological possibilities to increasingly control biological reproduction and challenge its fundamentally unpredictable nature and radically alter the terms of its translatability. The terms predictability and translatability are relevant here on two levels: Firstly, on the level of the pragmatics of discourses on reproduction as they have developed over time in the last centuries. Hopes and fears (born of unpredictability) concerning reproduction are being dealt with (and are being culturally translated) with different discursive and practical techniques today (pregnancy tests, embryo scans, in vitro fertilization attempts and their subsequent advertizing industries). Secondly, predictability and translatability are tested on the level of artistic mediatic representation: the purely oral / linguistic character of the folktale is being ironically transferred to a heavily manipulable code, that of the cinema, mixing jump-cut animation with filming of live actors on the scene. 96


L Lise Schrøder Cultural heritage as a meaning-making mechanism and a resource for collaboration in spatial planning processes Within municipal planning as in other fields of public government new approaches based on interdisciplinary collaboration and citizen involvement have been in focus as a means of facilitating creative processes, shared understandings and innovative solutions. This research focuses on the specific potential of cultural heritage in the built environment as a vehicle for communication in collaboration-oriented spatial planning processes. Based on a conceptual understanding referring to the semiotics of Charles Sanders Peirce three perspectives will be analysed: 1) cultural heritage as a physical arena, where collaboration takes place, 2) Cultural heritage projects as a symbolic platform for collaboration, and 3) cultural heritage as part of organisational capacity building efforts. The empirical part of the analysis is based on experiences from cultural heritage projects carried out in the Danish municipality of Aalborg. Dealing with the first perspective, the role of the industrial heritage phenomena itself is in focus as the material scenery for the transformation of the urban matter. In this optic, cultural heritage objects and sites can function as a physical arena, where citizens can be engaged and planning matters can be made tangible. The second perspective focuses on the collaboration process among stakeholders, where various aspects of the cultural heritage object(s) at stake are represented and organised as a project. Referring to this optic the cultural heritage project can be understood in terms of a platform for collaboration facilitating the interaction among stakeholders during the working processes of the project. The third perspective of the analysis takes into account the role of cultural heritage as part of organisational capacity building efforts. In this context engagement in the project tasks can be conceptualised as a learning apparatus mediating collective meaning-making processes at the organisational level. The experiences from Aalborg municipality illustrate the complexity of the 97


communicational aspects relating to the cultural heritage phenomena as such as well as to the planning processes in general. Based on semiotic conceptualisations this paper will elaborate on how cultural heritage as part of the urban matter can be characterised by specific qualities, which can be experienced, represented and mediated in various ways in order to facilitate communication, collaboration and learning in the field of spatial planning.

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L Luis Emilio Bruni On the heterarchical processuality of semiotic freedom A heterarchical and semiotic approach to biology and cognition intends to transcend, on the one hand, the assumption that physiological, perceptual and cognitive processes build up deterministically in a hierarchical manner from bottom to top, and on the other the customary top-down disembodied and purely symbolic approaches to cognition. Such a view proposes the heterarchical embeddedness of many different layers of physiological, behavioral, affective, cognitive, technological and sociocultural levels implicit in networks of interacting minds, considering the dynamic complementarity of bottom-up and top-down causal links, with the aim of accounting for integration, interpretation and response to complex aggregates of information at different levels of organization in a developmental context. The article introduces a set of notions and concepts in order to illustrate the dialectical nature of embedded heterarchical processes by addressing the simultaneity and circularity of cognition and volition, and how such dialectics can be present in primitive instances of protocognition and proto-volition, giving rise to our claim that subjectivity and semiotic freedom are scalar properties.

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Lyudmyla Zaporozhtseva Darth Vader in Ukraine: Exploring unpredictability between archaic and contemporary mythology Where are the boundaries between politics and performance? What is the difference between talented provocation, humoristic exploration of reality, and pure masquerade? Here are several questions regarding the Internet-party of Ukraine headed by Darth Vader during the 2014 election campaign in Ukraine. In fact, Darth Vader in this case is none other than Viktor Shevchenko, having changed his passport name to the title of the Star Wars’ character. Also donning the corresponding costume, he successfully makes use of the trickster’s image. It gives a fruitful precedent for semiotic analysis from different angles. However, this presentation is focused only on mythological allusions of this case. Official spots of Darth Vader as a leader of political force that were released for parliament campaign appear to be very symptomatic and saturated with mythological connotations. Using archaic mythologemes as a background to the narration and exploiting the image of contemporary mythological plot, the politician staggers the circle of meanings within political reality and the sustainability of tangible problems of a state that remains in deep crisis. We attempt to answer the question of what new unpredictable senses can emerge between oppositions used by narration in the official publicity of Darth Vader, including music and visual images. Three spots, constituting a sort of triptych, have been chosen in order to analyze this matter from a semiotic perspective. Death and Love, Insider vs. Outsider position, Seduction and Domination, and Horror and Laughter appear as several angles for answering this question. The research shows how the mythologemes of Garden as Eutopia, and Mother Earth as the beginning and the end, compete and at the same time supply the public image of Darth Vader with archaic mythologemes such as the Serpent (Trickster), Death, and the contemporary mythologeme of Technology, to inform his reception as a political figure. 100


M Maarja Ojamaa Unpredictable heritage: An autocommunicative aspect of transmediating archival materials Archives of cultural heritage are an output of culture’s striving for self-description and self-understanding. The era of digital archives and databases available for public use makes their auto-communicative function especially evident. However, having the heritage stored and formally accessible to all is not a valuable thing in itself. Putting the material into new uses is what facilitates its meaningful and functional growth in culture. This presumes rendering archival material communicative in a new sociocultural timespace, adapting heritage to texts in new media and new discourses in accordance with the current hierarchy of cultural languages. These processes in turn imply a situation of nontranslatability, i.e. significant alterations of meaning. In practice, we can describe balancing between an invariant core that makes the new text recognisable and a range of unpredictable medium- and discourse-specific variations. These problems are especially topical in pedagogic contexts, where archival materials have so far mostly been used in illustrative function, making their interpretation by students relatively predictable. This presentation argues, however, that for really harnessing the meaningful potential in heritage, contents of digital archives should be rendered as a sort of raw material for unpredictable remixing and repurposing. This in turn necessitates sufficient preparation and providing students with relevant skills and a capability to distinguish meaning from the means of its mediation. Such skills are habitual in the social media context, where self-expression across a range of platforms and modes in accordance with their specifics is already habitual among students. However, making use of such skills in contexts involving more critical reflection and exploiting them for strengthening the coherence of cultural identities, is still laying ahead. This work is definitely worthwhile to undertake as cultivating languages of remembrance through creative and unpredictable communication with one’s cultural heritage could simultaneously foster broader cultural innovation.

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Maja Gwóźdź A Theoretical model of the meta-semiosphere The paper presents a formalist approach to semiotics; more precisely, it attempts to describe the semiosphere (as understood by Lotman in Culture and Explosion and “On the Semiosphere”) by means of basic first-order predicate calculus (following Mou’s philosophical essay on truth conditions, Pelc’s anthology of logical semiotics, and Wybraniec-Skardowska). This theoretical model suggests a logicosemiotic representation of Lotman’s concept of semiosphere and aims to refer to the general idea of a semiotic model in the Eastern-European tradition (as reviewed by Grzybek). The paper draws on the tenets of metalanguages and metasemiotics proposed by Louis Hjelmslev, viz. “every kind of worded observation of – and science concerning – language on the other” or “treating of language or languages in a language”. An indispensable terminological addition is made, namely ‘language’ is hereby understood extra-linguistically, i.e., as a set of infinite abstract relations in a given semiosphere. In my nomenclature, I follow Rudolf Carnap’s distinction between the ‘object language’ (L1; in the model it stands for the language of a semiosphere) and the ‘metalanguage’ (L2; analogically, it represents the meta-semiosphere). As regards the strictly semiotic justification for investigating the infinite relations between addressers and addressees in semiospheres, the notion of a universal semiotic model was mentioned by Lotman himself in his seminal paper “On the Semiosphere”. Furthermore, he also elaborated on the so-called dominant “nuclear structures” in peripheral semiotic space capable of creating a superstructure, thus triggering dynamic processes in the semiosphere by interacting with central levels. This observation is crucial in making an assumption that cultural unpredictability stemming from innumerable explosions may become slightly more comprehensible when studied within a logicosemiotic model. The need for introducing a universal model, which might be applied in studying various semiospheres, is supported by numerous scholarly views. For instance, Peeter Torop in his foreword to Culture and Explosion postulates that semiotics may be “given the status of metadiscipline”. Moreover, he considers semiosphere both as “an object and a meta-concept” and claims that “a phrase semiosphere is studied by means of semiosphere is not a paradox”. In order 102


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to test this hypothesis, which is closely related to the logical model proposed in my paper, a few notable cultural and literary examples from Lotman’s works are provided and discussed in detail. Additionally, the problematic notion of infinite meta-levels is scrutinised and perhaps solved, or at least explained, by assuming that any meta-metasemiosphere is redundant by virtue of its nonrecursiveness. In order to illustrate the issue more clearly, certain theories on metameta-languages are cited and described. While I am far from stating that my suggested model of the meta-semiosphere is flawless and applicable to all semiospheres without exceptions, it is intended to be a humble contribution to a fascinating quest for identifying an infallible solution of semiotic unpredictability.

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Małgorzata Zadka Picture ranslated into a message in Greek myths Greek myths were commonly portrayed on painted pottery from the VII to III century BC, so one can tell that the mythical stories were translated into the language of pictures. The aim of my paper is to answer the question whether pictures could also bring a message or be translated into a story. The subject of my interest is not, however, the pictorial representations on the vases, but pictures that are present in the myths. Many artifacts mentioned in the myths had a special importance or place in the story (e.g. apples of Hesperides, golden fleece, etc.). However, they served usually to develop the action, they were gained or stolen, but they themselves did not carry any information. There are only a few mythical stories where pictorial representation is used to convey a message, which is intentionally placed in them. In my paper I want to compare four myths – concerning Aegeus, Arachne, Penelope, Philomela and Procne. In each of them there is some object, which has a special meaning, which is a sign and replaces a verbal utterance. The characters must decode or translate their pictorial form to understand a message. What is interesting, in every case is that the communicative role of a pictorial representation is connected with a material or weaving: sails of a ship, a woven fabric, a burial shroud or embroidered cloth. In Greek literary tradition weaving was often connected with singing or making a verse (Pindar, Bacchylides, Sappho). Homer often instead of saying that some character ‘speaks’ says that he or she ‘weaves’ words or counsels (especially Odysseus, but also Menelaus, Athena or Nestor). If weaving was seen as so close to singing or making stories, it is not surprising that the pictorial representations of weaving or the effect of it (like sails) could be used to create or send a message. In my paper I want to show these unusual forms of communication, these meaningful pictures, which could be understood as messages only on the basis of established analogy between weaving and speaking.

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M Marco Sonzogni Predictability, unpredictability and pluralism of interpretation: Book cover design as intersemiotic translation and crosscultural communication When a reader picks up a book, some aspect of the text has been translated into the visual space of the cover. “Book covers”, argues Alexis Weedon, “can be seen as a doorway through which we glimpse the text… the threshold between the public commercial arena where the book is for sale and the more intimate world of the text where the author speaks to us alone.” In the bookshop or in the library, the cover is a place of negotiation and decision. The cover tempts us. Should we open the book? Should we buy it? Will it give us the enjoyment we seek? In this paper I will discuss some aspects of my research on book cover design, focusing in particular on the use of predictable and above all unpredictable imagery to generate meaning and interest. My first hypothesis is that comparing the designer’s response to a text, i.e. the process of selecting images to visualise words, with the reader’s response to the resulting cover will shed light on 1) how verbal and visual meaning are linked; and 2) how cultural frameworks and assumptions, on an individual as well as collective level, are brought together as shared visual knowledge. As Juliane House observes, a detailed analysis of a translation “in comparison with the original from which it is derived, is the descriptive foundation for any valid and argued assessment of whether, how, and to what degree a given translation can be taken to be (more or less) adequate.” My second hypothesis is that a book cover is a form of multimodal translation based on the purposeful selection of visual signs to represent verbal signs. As an act of translation, the cover of a book ought to represent the text in terms of 1) its narrative content and 2) the cultural context in which the intended readership lives. In the absence of any established interpretive criteria, however, how can equivalence between the visual and the verbal be determined and interpreted? Does the (potentially limitless) choice available to the designer to visually translate the text actually heighten or hinder the probability of a relationship of integrity between words and images? 105


As a process of intersemiotic translation (what Jakobson defines “an interpretation of verbal signs by means of signs of non-verbal sign-systems”) that can purposefully and persuasively employ predictable and unpredictable imagery, book cover design is an exercise in cross-cultural communication, in negotiating between visual and verbal cultures. My research thus follows two methodological streams. In the first, empirical stream I examine ‘virtual’ (commissioned) covers for Tadeusz Borowski’s This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, and Particia Grace’s Parade to gain an insight into 1) the designers’ response to the text and 2) the readers’ response to the covers. In the second, theoretical stream I appraise references to book covers in literary, cultural, visual and marketing studies and propose a set of interpretative criteria based on the social semiotics concept of “grammar of visual communication” for an interdisciplinary analysis and evaluation of book cover design as intersemiotic translation and crosscultural communication.

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M María Eugenia Flores Treviño and Olga Nelly Estrada (Un)predictability, disorder and intersemiotic relations: The mayor of the city delivers the keys to Christ. In Mexico, the 1857 Constitution proclaimed the separation of church and state, the 1917 constitution also issues the rules and regulations of churches and other religious groups, and emphasizes the establishment of a Mexican secular state (Article 130). Therefore, the fact that a political leader establishes publicly commitments with the divinity is explosive (Lotman 1999) and transgressive, (un)predictably crossing the border between the domestic and the agora (Bauman 2000). In this paper, we review a telephone interview between the mayor of Monterrey, Margarita Arellanes acting for the period 2012-2015 and the host of local television news. The mentioned interview was due to an (un)predictable speech by the mayor in a massive religious event called “Monterrey Ora” (June 8th 2013), held in the Mexican city of Monterrey: to deliver the keys of the city to Jesus Christ. The eruption of this unusual behaviour as a source of heterogeneity in the political system and as a disruption in the continuum, generated the interview which is studied as a direct semiotic structure in the opposite direction (Lotman 1999). In this sense, we propose that this (un)predictable phenomenon takes place as a result of the dynamism of the social system and non-closure of political semiosphere (Lotman 1996, 1999). This dialogue (Bakhtin 1999) was chosen, because when performing on local television, implies an opportunity to approach from the inter-semiotic (Torop 2002) relations that are established between semiotic systems involved: political system, mediational system, socio-cultural system and sexual and gender system. Also offers the possibility to display the struggle between the sociocultural semiotic modeling operating in discursive interaction, namely the gender (Lamas 2000, Buttler 1999) the power (Foucault 1970; Pêcheux 1970; Moscovici 1979) and the ideology (Reboul 1986). The sample examined is the conversational interaction (Grice 1967) in the telephone interview and the transcript of the speech. 107


María Eugenia Flores Treviño and José María Infante Bonfiglio (Un)predictability, explosion and disorder in Mexican politics: An inter-semiotic study of the film “La ley de Herodes” The Mexican government and its ministers produce and reproduce the social image of honesty, ethics and morality ruled in the Mexican Constitution, where sanctions exist for the politicians that transgress the established norms. This imaginary and the actions that support it, favor the continuum between the legislative, executive and judicial order in political management. On the other hand, the value of the cinema has been emphasized as an instrument for the comprehension of the socio-cultural reality (Pereira 2005) because it constitutes, in many cases, a reproduction of the same reality. This paper deals with the study of the relationship of a semiotic system, a Mexican film, with an extra system which is the political reality of Mexico, from the unusual, immorality and (un)predictable corruption of the leaders who in this cinematic semiotic are constructed. Thus, explosions (Lotman 1999) caused by the incursions of heterogeneous sources revise the system; offense, impunity, abuse of power, crime, and the disorder generated in the field of Mexican politics thanks to the porosity of the border that exists between fiction and reality which is implied in the hybrid texts (Marckiewicz 2010; Orellana forthcoming). Explorations of intersemiotics (Torop 2002) and translation between the systems within the film have been made (Ibargüengoitia 1949). The (un)predictability that causes the explosion of the text (delinquency) inside the text (government) is treated from diverse angles: through irony and parody; from the intersection of aesthetic codes with social ones; from the dialectics between order and the disorder; and from the unexpected relationships that are established between different semiospheres (Lotman 1996): literary, cinematographic and sociocultural ones.

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M Mario Panico Artistic and ideological practices about a Soviet Army Monument in Sofia On 17th June 2011, the Soviet Army Monument in Sofia underwent an important change. From the monument in memory of the former Soviet regime it becomes the subject of cultural revolution. The soldiers at the base of low relief were painted with the features of the protagonists of American pop culture and consumerism: Superman, Wonder Woman, Joker, Ronald McDonald, etc., all accompanied by a caption that reads in Bulgarian: “Moving with the times�. After being cleaned, others have been the actions of street art on the monument: the soldiers of the sculpture have worn the cap of Pussy Riot (August 2012), the Russian singers imprisoned for opposing the policies of Putin; they were painted in pink, in citing the tank symbolizing the Prague Spring (August 2013); one of them has been colored blue and yellow after the events involving Ukraine and Russia (February 2014). These practices, as well as for their originality, are interesting because they have reignited the debate about the future of the monument and questioned its way of representing the Bulgarian culture. My research deals with the Soviet Army Monument as a place of artistic and ideological practices (Eco 1975), in which cultural values are continuously redistributed. These performances have an articulated semiotic value. Inserting in the semiosphere a lot of symbols from another culture, using them as a device for self-representation, means making more flexible its borders to escape old logic. It means, in Lotman terms, creating an explosion. The border of the Soviet tradition is crossed by spheres of extrasemiotics reality which transform the space invading it. (Lotman 1993). The space becomes a semiotic object because it shows parameters of the artistic and everyday unpredictability. Soviet Army Monument is born in 1954 for an explicit historical reason and today is redefined as a place of privacy and the political opposition, losing its original features. The space of the monument is subject to erratic movements that are based on the unpredictability and are realized with the explosion (Lotman 1993). Inside the same cultural sphere there are positive drives (street-art or events) and 109


movements of containment (it is also a place of memory for the nostalgic Socialists people). The contradiction between trend and stability is living on the Soviet Army Monument, justified by tradition, by morality, by history other then a new orientation towards the evolution and extravagance. We will focus on the dynamics that allow a change of habitus, artistically shaping the meaning of space for it is a place where order and disorder live, in which every day ideological battles that undermine the habit are experienced. Several semiotic existences are granted for the monument, depending on whether its recipients are the street artists, young people belonging to different sub-cultures, the citizens’ committees engaged in struggles for its demolition or its preservation. Different kinds of rituals are celebrated on the body of the monument, ideological battles are fought: they create and dissolve the bonds with memory; they weave sophisticated strategies of reappropriation or remediation and turn it into place to act. The explosive processes on the monument ensure innovation; gradual ones ensure continuity. Although these dynamics seem in contrast, they actually belong to the same mechanism that transformed the monument in a “living� space.

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M Martin Charvát Gilles Deleuze and the Stoic theory of signs In the proposed paper I would like to show how the specific (and so called “poststructuralist”) philosophy of Gilles Deleuze treats the traditional Stoic conception of the sign. In Deleuze’s writing (mainly in the Logic of Sense from 1969 and A Thousand Plateaus from 1980) we can trace a specific reflexion of stoic philosophy focused on the duality between the corporeal things and uncorporeal events. The collisions of bodies are in the constant movement (for example a wound on the skin caused by the knife) and what results from this movement is the event itself (the wound is “on the body”, it marks the body, but the wound itself as a notion or – in Stoic terms lekton – is purely virtual). The event is a sign of the mixture of bodies and we can say that it is an idea. By the term idea we do not refer to Plato and his conception of philosophy, because Gilles Deleuze (and this is his very unorthodox interpretation of Stoic philosophy) rejects the structuralist notion of sign as a correlation between signifier and signified. We are faced with a conception of the sign which considers the possibility of knowledge to be equal to the possibility of interpreting signs. We have an object (substance) which emits a sign and the sign has a certain effect upon the possible act of interpretation and only in this effect is the sign recognized as being of the object, and also it embodies the transcendent idea which is purely virtual, i.e. non-material and subsisting not only in the emission of the sign but also in the act of interpreting the sign. It is an expression of an object being revealed through the sign. The idea (essence) is pure difference, which enables us to consider a sign as a sign and it is what constitutes being, what makes us conceive being. This is the reason why Deleuze says that every sign has two halves: it designates an object, and it signifies something different. The something different is the idea; the sign is something in itself and in its difference with its object, but this difference is in fact the sign’s essence. We are far away from the Saussurean conception of the sign. We can say that the Stoic mixture of bodies is the effect, which presupposes the idea itself as a sign and thus leads Deleuze to a very specific semiotics. The paper thus is not only an interpretation of a specific conception of signs, but tries to point out how the classical conception of sign influences one contemporary theory of signs. 111


Martin Švantner Possibilities and paradoxes of interpretations in the history of semiotics. The case of sophistry and Greek rhetoric Just as nominalism inevitably leads to idealism, so also inevitably realism leads to semiotics.

- Deely (2008: 83)

Assuming that semiotics is a science at all it naturally has a history to be investigated like any other science. As has already been amply proven, however, the history of science cannot be reconstructed with any degree of objectivity in the isolation of an ivory tower. Its study can only produce meaningful results when it is recognized as the history of science in the context of the philosophy of science, the sociology of science and the science of science.

- A. Eschbach (1983: 26)

The aim of this paper is to consider basic and possible problems of (meta) historiography of semiotics from a systematic point of view. Firstly, there is a fundamental paradox connected with the metahistorical perspective on semiotics: semiotics itself is often used as an analytical tool for description of (meta) history, especially from a structuralistic point of view: e. g. in M. Foucault´s The Order of Things, where the theory of sign is essentially connected with the Saussurean style of thinking. In this way of thinking epistemé is rationalistic and universalistic model – metastructure – which is the base for all sign systems and all kinds of sign production in a given epoch. But the way Foucault discovered this is essentially connected with traditional semiological way of reasoning (dyadic structure of sign, idea of structure and essential differences, etc.) and with an illusion of the objectivity of this view (which is later abandoned, after The Archeology of Knowledge). The point is that we are facing the same hermeneutic/semiotic (perhaps vicious) circle that we find in another perspective on history (and also on metahistory). This perspective is “more traditional” and is connected with philological and comparative 112


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studies of historical sign theories, like in the works of U. Eco, G. Manetti, C. Marmo E. J. Ashworth, A. Eschbach, J. Trabant, S. Meier-Oeser, etc. We are talking about history only from a given viewpoint on history. If we want to “step out” of this interconnection between history and semiotics, we simply cannot, because then we are just talking about the history of sign theories described through semiotics and. Simply we cannot believe that the semiotic perspective can give us some kind of neutral and objective tool for description. A third perspective is kind of “neo-Hegelian” and is connected especially with the name of John Deely and the idea (which he widely introduced in his opus Four Ages of Understanding and refined in Poinsot Trilogy), that we can understand history as a development of semiotic consciousness (which considers the sign as an ontologically indifferent relation with triadic structure, just like Poinsot and Peirce did) and we can track down this development throughout history. In the paper I would like to show strengths and weaknesses of these historiographical perspectives when applied to the case of Greek sophistry and rhetoric, but especially sophistry and its inquiry into the connection between signs, persuasion and (proto) pragmatism.

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Mary J. Eberhardinger Singaporean slogans: The demand to be taken seriously Juri Lotman (2009) emphasized that a minimum of two languages is necessary in order for semiotic space to realize its meaning-generating potential. As a country that has four officially recognized national languages, a unique case of hybridity and semiotic polyglotism (Lotman 1988:52-53) is presented. Since its inception in 1965, Singapore has seen rapid economic growth and set the national stage as a successful model. The phenomena under focus in this study are Singaporean slogans. Almost every country in the world has its own unique way of using identity and culture-specific slogans as sign vehicles that represent modernity, globalization, and first-world status. Through this study, we will discover how famous slogans and quotations in and outside the walls of Singaporean institutions are as Levi-Strauss puts it, floating signifiers. Such ornamental and strategically used slogans are semiotic reminders of Singapore’s strong desire for yet lack of a historically and culturally rooted authenticity. Every culture has its own set of axiological paradoxes (Gannon & Pillai 2009: 152) and cultural processes that are even antithetical and inevitable (Lotman 2009). While paradoxes are inevitable, (Lotman 2009) these tensions are essential for the either gradual or rapid development of a culture. Globalization has been described as an anonymous associated with non-governmental institutions (Randviir 2004). However, the case of Singapore presents the Ministry of Education as a governmental branch that heavily campaigns slogans. One of the biggest indicators of globalization in the country is discovered through the overcompensation of ornamental, publicly displayed slogans and quotations. Indeed, a taken for granted paradox is found in everyday ephemera, which brings awareness to an attitude of governmentality and to the nation’s selfadmitted identity crisis. This study will unveil how a first world, macro-level society, Singapore, blends predictable internal and unpredictable external global tensions to assert its own competitive and unique identity. Since the country is still in its identity-forming stages, there is a level of unpredictability and uncertainty with how success will play out for the Singaporean economy and students in the future. Predictability, however, is balanced due to the country’s success to date. This study will address the questions of who creates the slogans and who is the intended audience? I will also look further into 114


M the purpose of the slogans. Through a semiotic textual analysis of several photographs taken in Singapore, we discover a paradoxical reality between the contemporary use of slogans and the historic actions of the country. I will also argue how this creative appropriation of other cultures and thinkers creates a sense of commodification, validation for unpredictability, and propaganda for the non-Singaporean gaze. How does a first world, macro-level society communicate its own unique value orientation through strategically positioned, institutional slogan campaigns? Slogans, in their paradoxical nature, become shortcuts. They are ways to fast-forward a culture through textual spaces into a new, globalized, yet passive-aggressive identity.

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Massimo Leone Earthquakes talk: Semiotic reactions to unpredictability Who are the haruspices of today? What professional figures operate with the mode of thinking that was characteristic of ancient divination? Despite the phenomenal progress of science in explaining the laws that rule nature and, to a minor extent, culture, humans still live under the impression that their life is partially controlled by unknown forces. The contemporary human being is not as dominated by fear of these forces as the prehistoric, or the medieval human were, and has developed cognitive, emotional, and pragmatic strategies to cope with uncertainty. Whenever possible, scientific research is invoked in order to explain, and sometimes even divert, the evil forces that loom large in the life of an individual or a community. Yet, for a vast part of humanity, resort to science and technology so as to foresee and prevent undesired twists of destiny is still extremely difficult, if not impossible. Moreover, even in the most scientifically and technologically advanced societies, several central issues still escape being framed by a causal, indexical mode of thinking (Bunzl 2015). Some of the most devastating catastrophes that periodically strike humanity, killing thousands of people, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, or epidemics, are generated by invisible forces that scientific research has not been able yet to univocally link with visible phenomena anticipating them (Fra Paleo 2015). Geologists continuously monitor the earth, searching for clues about when the next earthquake might happen. Contemporary seismology has developed incredibly sophisticated strategies, and tools, in order to both expand the range of such clues and improve the capacity of inferring from them the probability of future events (Coen 2013). The territories of the two economically and technologically most advanced societies in the present-day world, USA and Japan, include severely seismic areas; as a consequence, impressive scientific efforts are sustained and carried on in these two countries in order to develop the ability to foresee and prevent earthquakes (Stein 2010; Smits 2013; Smits 2014). And yet, as the tragic events that struck Japan in March 2011 demonstrate, such efforts are still largely insufficient (Samuels 2013). People in these countries still live in fear that a catastrophe might soon take place, unforeseeable, uncontrollable. The example of earthquakes brings back to the fore the issue of the relation between visible and invisible, perceptible and imperceptible, manifest and secret. 116


M Modern seismology has come up with strategies and tools that widen the domain of perceptibility (Ferrari 2014). Micro-geological events likely to announce a future catastrophe can be detected as they would never in the past. Nevertheless, a secret lies in the depth of the earth that is still invisible to science. Something happens there that causes the catastrophe, and yet it is only a posteriori, when the devastating earthquake has already happened, that the catastrophe can be indexically connected with what caused it. A priori, on the contrary, no events can be detected, even through sophisticate technology, that anticipate the calamity to happen. Perhaps in the future science will be able to enlarge the domain of perceptibility, diving into the kernel of the earth, to the extent that earthquakes will be predicted with timely and infallible efficaciousness (Massa and Camassi 2013). In the meantime, though, the kind of discourse that circulates before and after one of such calamities is telling of the mode of thinking that emerges in human communities when science fails to explain and control the threatening forces of nature (Quarantelli 1998). The paper will take the clue from the complex epistemological status of prediction in seismology in order to question a more general and abstract question: how do human communities deal with unpredictability? What kinds of cognitive, emotional, and pragmatic frames do they adopt to dispel the anguish generated by unforeseeable agencies?

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Mattia Thibault Games and unpredictability: From playing cards to procedural generation Play is, by definition, unpredictable: Caillois (1967) considers uncertainty as one of its defining features. Lotman himself underlined the strong connections between playfulness and unpredictability. On the one hand, he wrote that players must always have choice: if their moves become unerringly predictable then the game loses all its meaning (Lotman 2011: 159). On the other hand, Lotman stated that play models randomness (ibid.), and hence it can also be a model for unpredictability and fate, as the Tartu-Moscow scholar underlines commenting the works of Egorov (1977) and Lekomceva and Uspenskij (1977) on cartomancy (Lotman 1980). Nowadays, digital gaming, however, complicates the question. If choosing a card from a shuffled deck is enough to provoke an explosion, the creation of a large range of equally probable possibilities whose unpredictable outcome will result in only one of them excluding all the others, digital technologies’ computing power can combine thousands of related explosions in a closed system, in order to build up entire virtual worlds which are totally unpredictable, even for their own authors and programmers. This is the case with procedural generation. “Procedurality” is defined as the ability of a medium to execute series of rules and conditions, composed by interlocking algorithms defining how an interactive system will react to the users’ inputs (Ferri 2009). Procedural generation, then, indicates the systematic production of content (generally virtual environments, but also characters or narrations) through a series of algorithms, and, it is quite often used by video game designers in order to create unlimited play possibilities and enhance the replayability of a game. The world-famous game Minecraft (Mojang 2011), for example, is able to create a virtually infinite game map in which each location is procedurally generated when reached by the player: the more the player advances in a direction, the more random locations will be endlessly generated by the game. Similarly No Man’s sky (Hello Games, forthcoming in 2015) will offer to the players a galaxy that, according to the developers, allows for more than 18 quintillion different possible planets, all made with procedural generation. However, even if the use of procedural generation triggers unpredictable 118


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meaning-making, there is no intentionality behind the creation of new content and, furthermore, the machine creating the new meaning is unable to interpret it, but only to make use of it. Interpretation is still a prerogative of humans, as well as the authorship of the procedures that the machine will follow to generate new content. What we are facing, then, is not the first step toward the rise of artificial creativity, but more likely a kind of text – in fact already hypothesized by Lotman (Semenenko 2012: 130) – which goes beyond the mere storing of information and becomes capable of creating new meaning. This presentation, then, has a twofold aim: on the one hand it wish to demonstrate how Lotman’s theories are all but outdated, and can be extremely productive in the analysis even of the most recent technological developments; on the other hand it aims at proposing an humanistic approach to procedurality that, until now (with a few exceptions), has only be investigated with computer science’s tools.

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Michael Grinfeld and Anne Pittock The cognitive task of a cryptic crossword clue We analyse the ways by which cryptic crosswords (CC) provide a window into the human language-handling ability. We claim that they allow us to ask a number of questions that bear directly on the procedures and algorithms (mostly unconscious) we use in processing verbal information. We claim that when a well-constructed CC clue stubbornly refuses resolution, there is a linguistic rule of thumb that is being misapplied. Furthermore, it seems to us that a fruitful way of analysing both the linguistic rules of thumb referred to above and their inappropriateness in the CC context, is in terms of lexical prediction and coercion principles introduced by the second author in her Ph.D. thesis. To be of maximum use in the study of implications of cryptic crosswords for human language processing, these principles have to be developed in two ways: (a) by enriching the ontological hierarchy they are based on; and (b) by including syntactic prediction and coercion principles in addition to the more subtle and hence more rarely applicable in the CC context lexical ones originally proposed by the second author. Analysis of the difficulties presented by the clue in terms of such principles also allows a description of the abductive moment, when the clue unveils its referent and becomes (sometimes shatteringly) transparent.

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M Michal KarĞa Imposition and Semiosis in Roger Bacon`s DE SIGNIS Roger Bacon and his work De signis appear in the history of semiotics as one of the most original (and also controversial) contributions to the medieval theory of signs, as witnessed by the wide range of commentaries and interpretations (Maloney 1983, 2002; Eco 1983, 1987; Marmo 1997; Deely 2001). Among the subjects of semiotic interest which can be found in his work are: the nature of the sign relation, the classification of signs blending together inferential and material grounds, the question of animal language, but also the pragmatic theory of meaning and the stress on the processual nature of sign interpretation. In my paper I will concentrate on Roger Bacon`s notion of imposition (impositio), an act by which a vocal sound acquires meaning, in connection with his description of the sign relation on the one hand, and his conception of what we today would call semiosis, or the action of signs, on the other. First, impositon, according to Bacon and unlike the usual scholastic view, is not a single unrepeatable act of attributing meaning to a voice, but is subject to perpetual change, and so is therefore meaning. Second, in Bacon`s understanding, a sign relation is not ontologically indifferent. It is impossible to signify the same thing as both existent and non-existent, because the primary relation of sign to its object is referential. A new imposition is required in order to refer to the object for which the sign was not originally imposed. I will argue how upon these grounds Bacon makes the process of meaning`s attributions to rest upon the previous fixations of meaning, which are in their nature inferential. The flexibility of imposition compensates for the impossibility of mutual reference to the existent, non-existent, or otherwise ontologically determined object. Paradoxically then, Bacon`s insistence upon the ontological description of the sign leads him to free the bounds of imposition`s unchangeability and present a view of semiosis which works upon the ontological bounds of sign, which might seem surprising for those holding the sign’s ontological indifference to be the only possible ground of semiosis.

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Mihhail Lotman Semiotics and ontology An important problem in the theory of semiotics is the ambivalence of the notion of sign. On the one hand, sign is a concrete thing, which we can perceive with our sensations, for instance, a vase on a window-ledge. On the other hand, sign is an abstract object, part of a sign system, for example, a word ’vase’. These are completely different types of sign and it would be misleading to address these in one and the same classification, although there have been constant attempts to do so, starting from St. Augustine, who makes a distinction between signa naturalia and signa data, and ending with Peirce and his followers. If we are dealing with a sign as representamen, then a natural approach to it would be triadic, just like, for example, in Peirce’s works: sign itself, its meaning and mind that establishes this meaning and perceives it (a vase on a window-ledge could mean that nobody is at home, but only if it has been agreed upon before and the seer remembers this agreement). However, when it is a language sign, differently from what Plato claims in “Cratylus”, the problem of establishing a sign is not relevant at all: the meaning of a word is given, it usually does not depend on the discretion of speakers and listeners. Language is older than any of its speakers. The kernel problem here is the structure of sign and its relationship with the other signs of the same language and here most fruitful is Saussure’s approach. In my opinion it would be useful to return to the distinction between semiotics and semiology, where semiotics would deal with sign in general (including signa naturalia) and semiology only with signa data, that is, sign systems sensu stricto. Problems related to the ontology of the sign are topical, first of all, in the case of signa naturalia: how a thing becomes a sign, what should be the qualities of this thing to become a sign and how the thingness of this thing influences its so-to-say signness. In this section of my presentation I would like to dwell on the phenomenological theories of sign (Husserl, Heidegger and especially Pyatigorsky). However, for the general theory of sign more important are these signs, which in accordance with my proposal would be the object of semiology. While signa naturalia are, in semiotic sense, elementary, signa data consist of semiotically relevant particles (an utterance consists of sentences, a sentence of words, words of morphemes, and even phonemes, which have no meaning themselves, have a significative role in 122


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language). These two types of sign have completely different semantic mechanisms. Signa naturalia indicate a certain meaning and this meaning cannot be a constituent of this sign (vase does not contain nobody being at home). Another thing is with language signs. They contain their meaning and, differently from signa naturalia, are not elementary, but are a construction of signifier and signified, while according to Saussure, the connection between these is inseparable (here we could discuss in the vein of Derrida, if the correspondence between signifier and signified is fixed or is the signifier always deferred). Both signifier and signified consist of semiologically relevant parts. For instance, the word ‘boy’ contains such meanings as ‘human being’’, ‘male’, ‘nonadult’, and so on. This is specific to signa data, the situation with signa naturalia is fundamentally different. That the ontological issues are not relevant to semiology, does not mean that the contrary is also true: ontology can do without semiology. „Omnis doctrina vel rerum est vel signorum, sed res per signa discuntur“ (DC 1.2.2). The entire knowledge of things (and not only things, but also thoughts, signa naturalia and so on) is possible not just through signs, but through the very signa data.

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Morten Tønnessen Agency in biosemiotics and enactivism While several fields have a pragmatic interest in the notion of agency qua causal, biosemiotics has an ontological interest in the occurrence of agency in the living realm at large. Although there is currently no consensus in the biosemiotic community on what constitutes a semiotic agent, i.e. an agent in the context of semiosis (the action of signs), most respondents to a recent survey agree that core attributes of an agent include goal-directedness, self-governed activity, processing of semiosis and choice of action, with these features being vital for the functioning of the living system in question. In this paper I seek to compare the biosemiotic understanding(s) of agency with enactive understanding(s) of agency. Despite considerable overlapping in views and outlook, there are sharp differences in how agency is understood in biosemiotics and enactivism. For example, while biosemioticians typically acknowledge agency in all living systems, whether large or small, enactivists tend, for the most part, to refer to individual agency, and often with stricter qualifications than that of which biosemiotics makes use. Gallagher’s emphasis on some organisms’ “sense of agency” exemplifies enactivism’s tendency to focus on conscious animals, and to prioritise theorizing about self-awareness rather than awareness or experience in a broader sense.

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M Morten Tønnessen The future umwelten of wolves, sheep and people in Scandinavia In Scandinavia, wolf management has been surrounded by conflict ever since the return of the grey wolf about a generation ago. While the presence of wolves is perceived to be in conflict with hunting practices, such as the use of free-roaming hunting dogs, in both Sweden and Norway, in Norway the “wolf wars” are by the general public especially associated with sheep´s grazing in outer pastures. In the Norwegian context, the wolf has become a symbol of large predators in general (which in Norway include brown bears, lynx and wolverines), and a scapegoat for certain societal developments that threaten traditional, small-scale husbandry practices (Tønnessen 2011). In this paper, I will sketch selected future scenarios for the umwelten of wolves, sheep and people by making use of the umwelt theory of Jakob von Uexküll (e.g. Uexküll 1956 [1934/1940]; cf. also the concise, thorough and critical scientific monograph Brentari 2015) in combination with various future projections and scenarios from other fields. These will include demographical projections, scenarios for climate change, trends related to the industrialization of agriculture in Scandinavia, and assumptions about future land use and husbandry practices. This paper will focus on developments in a generational perspective, until year 2100 or so. In the scope of the presentation, I aim to outline a mainstream, “business as usual” scenario as well as an alternative, more preferable scenario. One of the basic assumptions of this paper is that in order to ascertain that conservation efforts are successful in the long run, we must understand the cultural semiotics, whether local or global, underpinning the symbolicity of the wolf. Aspects of the wolf´s symbolicity are ancient and go thousands of years back. These in effect constitute a quite stable and resistant cultural imagery. Whenever the wolf´s symbolicity is characteristically modern, on the other hand, societal developments in the 21st century will likely change the way we think about wolves in the future.

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Muzayin Nazaruddin Natural hazard and semiotic changes on the slope of Mt. Merapi, Indonesia This paper focuses the relationship between volcanic eruptions and semiotic changes in the communities on Mount Merapi, Indonesia, paying special attention to the post2010 eruption phenomena. The study is based on in-depth interviews and participatory observations in some specific sites on the slope of Mt. Merapi. Combining ecosemiotic and cultural semiotic approaches, this study considers that ecosystems consist of sign systems, of which human sign systems are a part and perform vital roles in the changes of the ecosystem. Further, we may regard the totality of human sign systems as a semiosphere, which differs from one ecosystem to the other, binding it thus with the locale. Thus, human sign systems within the ecosystem of Mt. Merapi shape the local semiosphere of wong Merapi, a specific name of local people who live on the slopes of Merapi. This study specified the human sign systems that are vital in the ecosystem of Merapi and that have been shaped since the emergence of the settlements on the slopes of Merapi, namely sensory, magical, economic, political, and aesthetic signs. This study also concluded that eruptions form an integral part of this semiosphere. The five vital sign systems play significant roles in this integration. The other conclusion is about the recent changes of this semiosphere. From the 1980s to the 1990s, there was a significant change in the economic sign systems, namely the inclusion of a market-oriented economy to the internal space of the local semiosphere of wong Merapi, while in the 2000s and 2010s, there was a fundamental change, namely the acceptance of scientific signs in the semiosphere of wong Merapi. The inclusion of scientific signs has excluded the eruption from the internal space of local peoples’ semiosphere, whereby the eruption is considered as an incomprehensible and unpredictable natural phenomenon. This change is an important marker of the shift of nature–culture relations. A significant element of nature, namely the eruption, has been excluded from the internal space of local semiosphere of wong Merapi, whereas various elements of the external spaces of semiosphere have been included, such as government, scientific knowledge, money, mass media, modern technologies, and others. On the one hand such inclusions reduce the vulnerability of local people to the natural hazard from their environment, but on the other hand it opens the communities to possible new vulnerabilities like economic crises, political conflicts, governmental failures, and other vulnerabilities that come from the external spaces of semiosphere. 126


M Myrdene Anderson and Sara Cannizzaro Conversations between agency and patiency: Instinct, habituescence, addiction While habit will most prominently be referenced to the regularities, generalities, and laws of thirdness, Peirce allowed that habit manifests also in firstness, with instinct and sensation, and in secondness, with volition. Peirce suggested that semiosis itself consists in habit-taking; furthermore, linguĂŻculture quintessentially rests on the subtlest of habits alongside those surrounding prescription, preference, and proscription. Taking an inclusive and metadisciplinary view of habit, I draw first on the formulations of Peirce and Peircean scholars who view habit-taking as endemic in both material and mental systems: energetic and informational, concrete and abstract, inert and living. This baseline is then correlated with contemporary empirical neurocognitive research, living aside any tendency therein to reduce behaviour to structural substrates in the brain. Finally, some consequences of habit (e.g., obsessivecompulsive disorders, rituals, addiction) are distinguished, and some arguments to habit (e.g., abduction, curiosity, creativity) are positioned in a linguĂŻculturosemiotic perspective. Three perspectives on habit, the transparent, the consequential, the opaque, may be distinguished, and then sorted by the agency or patiency of the habit-taker. The former set pertains to categories of habit, largely pursued by Peirce (cf. Peirce 1907, CP 5.476-5.491, MS 930), and excavated by Peircean scholars (cf. GorlĂŠe 1990; Rosenthal 1983; Ziemkowski 2009), while the latter perspective integrates contemporary empirical research in the cognitive neurosciences on instinct, repetition, routinization, ritual, and addiction. Transparent habits comport with givens in a system; they are difficult to dredge from their un(re)markedness; they manifest in patterns that would ordinarily remain mundane, submerged in firstness, or pre-firstness-unto-vaguity, inferrable as emotional interpretants with their links to feeling and resemblance. 127


Consequential habits, sometimes becoming opaque or lawful ones, whether incidental or deliberate and whether congenial or disowned, are sufficiently marked to notice, name, and perhaps pretentiously control, in the realms of secondness and thirdness, energetic interpretants in the realm of effort and contiguity, and logical interpretants in the realm of cognition. Disorders may come to mind: addictions, the seven lively sins, and warfare, yet much of culture consists in unmarked habit. Yet, at any scale, habit can misbehave, leading to simplification, intensification, amplification, and/or collapse of both habit and its host, each embedded in ecological, intersecting, often heterarchic webs of relations.

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N Neža Zaić Jurij Mihailovich Lotman and the question of the personal poetics The theme of the author’s poetics already from the beginnings of the formation of the individual voice in the literal expression reveals the problematic issue of the authorship that was in the old medieval literature often rather neglected than fully and explicitly realized. The topic obviously relates to the painful field of the deeply personal manner of an individual expression. Thus, the latter, indeed, is opening the problem of the unpredictability of the author’s inspiration, which is most frequently stated as the contradiction between the direction of the previous (planned) totally conscious thought, and the most unpredictable level of very different and several impressions that lead to the final achievement of managing to produce literal expressions in words. But the paradox between the mental and the emotional in the process of the final fulfillment of the author’s idea is not a basic, but an additional problem. However, the most truthful method of discovering the described issue seems to be research into the original author’s manuscript that enables the entrance into the significant and highly authoritative author’s archive. The mentioned topics are faced with problems of the formation of the individual voice as well as the unpredictability of the author’s expression. Dedicated to the research of the oldest Christian manuscript, reasonably, focusing presumably on the Old Church Slavonic texts (especially of the Old Russian literature), I have already for fifteen years researched the entrance of the Slavic Church language into the limited circle of the official Sacred languages in 9th century, and later on. Referring to the studies of J. M. Lotman about “The Poetry and the Poets” (but also to R. Jakobson, M. M. Girshman, B. L. Uspenskij, A. V. Isatchenko, G. A. Iljinski, F. Grivec), ascribed to the problem of the author’s expression in the Old literature (System), which most often suffered conscious self-diminishing. Within my personal experience (scientific as well as poetic) I enlarged my studies to research on the poets of the 19th and 20th centuries. By the method of juxtaposition (gr. Paraphesis; the connection, the relation, as in Latin rhyme) I discovered that the 129


problem of the conflict, to realize demand of the Highest, Who existed from the very beginning of the sacred creation, and the voice of the single personality (but not author’s), is not changing through historical time. This theme opens also the aspect of the role of personal memory, which acts in the most individual poets. On the contrary, in the case of the most talented poets, the latter was again in the focus of the solitude soul of the individual who wants to serve to humanity. During the analyses of the poetics of Anna A. Akhmatova, particularly focused on her Poem Without a Hero, I show a special literal coexistence of the Old Russian species of Saint Maxim the Greek and the principles of poetics of Anna Akhmatova that by the so-called juxtaposition were preserved in the Russian liturgical consciousness. My research is completely based on the manuscript fragments that invite a deep study of the author’s primary and secondary ideas. The latter is the more important, because after that indication it could be concretized what was the author’s final thought, and perhaps also enable to notify the author’s last word.

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N Nicolae-Sorin Drăgan Politicians in the mirror: A semio-functional approach of televised debates for the presidential elections in Romania, from November 2014 The live event occasioned by presidential political debates amplifies the reality effect (Fiske & Hartley) of television. In this way, the debates are the perfect opportunity for candidates to establish an interpretation of reality (Wolton), to impose the control and symbolic representations of the situation in the political field. The paper analyzes the televised debates for presidential elections in Romania, from November 2014 (including TV spots candidates running in the presidential election campaign period) from perspective of the functional theory of political campaign discourse (Benoit). Candidates seek to “maximize symbolic profit” (Bourdieu) which they can get by performing during televised debate. Axioms that support functional theory provide certain skill guidance, related to the prefarability of a candidate (can make decisions based on comparison). The three discursive functions in that candidate’s assertions are grouped (acclaim, attacks, defenses), structured into two main themes (policies and character), and suggested a category scheme for content analysis. The study shows similarities with results obtained in other countries, but highlights significant differences, which changes the structure of functional theory predictions. The differences can be explained if we consider different cultural codes of the indigenous communication culture (Romanian). Therefore, to speak with heart (to convey a cultural content) and to understand the semiotics place (to construct meanings) are requirements which must be assumed in the political discourse. Functional analysis defines symbolic topology, the relative position of the candidates in the political field, and semiotics provides appropriate tools for refining the profile of candidates, de-structured codes, systems of meanings, values and symbols that give consistency to political messages. The particular way in which the candidates combine the discursive talent, communicational intelligence (Borțun), authenticity of the performance, empathic ability, personality traits, etc (marks of political idiolect which will structure the subject’s personal style), can trigger an effect on attendance and identification with expectations encoded system (Eco) concerns of the public which looks at the televised debate and can outline the profile of the winner of the debate. 131


Olga Bogdanova Lotman and his study on creativity Creativity is a popular concept to study that has gained an exhaustive list of the definitions and theories from the vast literature available on the topic. It often brings dozens of approaches to the nature of creativity through understanding of the creative process and determining factors that influence the flux at different stages and general outcomes. This paper explores the definition of creativity supported by main theories in the faculty of creativity, in order to understand the mainstream approaches, and then establish links with semiotics. The study of creativity often defines the concept as a set of circumstances where through imagination, variations and combinations an individual generates a completely new story; thus mainly studying the process as such that undergoes four stages and finds its result in a creative idea, product or piece of art. In addition, the creative process is seen as a process available not only to a few God-gifted geniuses, but as a potential ability of any mind. Although major exploration of creativity traditionally lay on the crossroad of psychology and philosophy followed by literary and educational studies, creativity is likely to be highlighted as a semiotic faculty especially due to the interdisciplinary nature. However, the existing paradigm of disciplines have rarely included semiotics. Attempts to link semiotic studies to creativity theories are not unique or outstanding. However, decades of semiotic inquiry, while attentively focusing on the process of signification and meaning-generation, one way or another alienated the conceptualization of creativity. My study seeks a unifying framework to approach creativity in the works of the Tartu-Moscow semiotic school and its founder Juri Lotman. By doing so, the study aims to explore the context of creativity research perspectives to which Lotman’s narratives are likely to contribute.ativity research perspectives to which Lotman’s narratives is likely to contribute. For Olga Nelly Estrada, see María Eugenia Flores Trevino 132


O Ott Puumeister Production of unpredictability in biopower Social behaviour, as we know, is not based on any universal principles and it does not follow any natural and universal norms. An element of unpredictability is thus inherent to it. Statistics has long been the set of means by which to render social behaviour knowable and, to a certain extent, predictable; it is rendered governable by counting and detecting regularities. Government of behaviour could thus be conceptualized as the management of unpredictability. This kind of government is most common to the management of populations and large groups. When we turn to the management of individual behaviour, however, we can see that the production of unpredictability turns out to be an extremely effective tool for “conducting the conduct” of individuals. The creation of situations with uncertain outcomes puts the individual in a position in which s/he has to take responsibility. It is argued in the paper that the production of unpredictability and the “responsible individual” are closely related. This relation is viewed especially in a biopolitical context in which the individual must take responsibility for his or her biological body. More specifically, the paper concentrates on the concept of susceptibility in medical discourse; when considered as susceptible, the individual is put at risk of certain diseases that, however, could be prevented by modifying (health) behaviour or by preventive medical procedures. Consequently, it is the unpredictable situation which allows biopower to take hold of the individual’s life – to normalize his or her behaviour.

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Peeter Selg Political semiotics and/as relational political science “Relational” has become a buzzword. Over the past couple of decades the talk of “relational” approaches in the social sciences has been growing rapidly. Almost all social scientific disciplines have had their call for “relational turn” ranging from sociology and social psychology to economics and political science. Many of the established as well as emerging topics of social research have had their relational treatment, from identities, democratization, and social movements to post-colonialism, workplace inequalities and terrorism. In the paper I outline two major understandings of “relational approaches” to power, which I refer to as “Continental” and “AngloAmerican”. I argue that the major difference between these understandings is not in their emphasis on the centrality of social relations in making sense of power – it is hard to imagine a social-scientific approach without such an emphasis – but in their implicit understanding regarding the form of those relations. The Anglo-American perspective originating in the Hobbesian tradition sees power relations in terms of causal relations (more specifically efficient causal relations in Aristotle’s sense) and conceptualizes the “relational” approach to power also in these terms, presuming the pre-given-ness of elements in the relations. The more Machiavellian Continental perspective sees power relations as constitutive. Accordingly, they are relational “all the way down” (to use Mustafa Emirbayer and Anne Mische’s expression) and see the elements of relations as constituted in the very power relations themselves. I locate political semiotics as a radical form of Continental understanding of relational approach to power and compare this approach to several network perspectives on power found in the social sciences.

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P Peeter Torop Unpredictable literature: Reading and intersemiotic translation Unpredictability of literature do not consists in creativity only. Literature is a part of culture, one secondary modelling system among other cultural systems. This dynamic was conceptualized by J.Tynyanov: “A literary system is first of all a system of the functions of the literary order which are in continual interrelationship with other orders”. Jakobson and Tynyanov together accentuated the importance of research contacts between cultural systems: “The question of a specific choice of path, or at least of the dominant, can be solved only through an analysis of the correlation between the literary series and other historical series. This correlation (a system of systems) has its own structural laws, which must be submitted to investigation”. These thoughts are again actual in a new media environment. Traditional predictability still exists on a textual level: “We can read and reread, and what is more, we can be ahead of an event. Anticipation, which is subjective in the listener, becomes objective in the reader, who can read the end of a letter or novel before reading the earlier parts” (Jakobson). But together with predictability exists a new unpredictability of literature, or it is possible to interpret the unpredictability of literature as unpredictability of reading. Text in the book, on the screen, or as an audio book can be understood as one text in different forms. Printed text is not just printed media and belongs to different media. Instead of mediality, a more productive notion for understanding literature is intermediality. Important feature of intermediality is simultaneity and the coexistense of all forms of literature in culture. The intermedial aspect of culture is analysable on two main levels: on the level of complementarity and metacommunication and on the level of intersemiotic translation. The research method for the first level is typological description of proto- and metatexts and mechanisms of interdiscursivity. On the second level qualitative analysis of media specificity is important, as well as crossmedia strategies and the nature of cultural transmediality.

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Intermediality as cultural system and intersemiotic translation as process form a new research object and make possible deeper understanding of the nature of intersemiotic translation. Tools for this activity exist not only in new media studies but also in semiotics. Jakobson first actualized complexity in the understanding of signs by Peirce: “Peirce does not at all shut signs up in one of these three classes. These divisions are merely three poles, all of which can coexist within the same sign”. Or: “There is no question of three categorically separate types of signs but only of a different hierarchy assigned to the interacting types of relation between the signans and signatum of the given signs, and in fact, we observe such transitional varieties as symbolic icons, iconic symbols, etc.” Jakobson found in this interpretation of signs new problem for linguistics: “The iconic and indexical constituents of verbal symbols have too often remained underestimated or even disregarded”. Nowadays this problem is actual for all cultural sciences, for understanding specificity of cultural communication in new media conditions.

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P Peter Grzybek What’s next? (Un)predictability, probability and their relatives in semiotic analyses In the very last interview he gave during his lifetime, Jurij M. Lotman emphasized ‘unpredictability’ as a crucial term and concept, which he declared to be of major interest for contemporary science in general, and for future work on literature and culture. In particular: “We strive to introduce unpredictability in the field of science.” Such a postulate implies of course that this concept has not been relevant, or was less relevant, before. Lotman’s postulate may therefore appear to be astonishing, if one takes into consideration the fact that ‘unpredictability’ had extensively been used by Lotman almost two decades before, and took a prominent place in his Структура художественного текста (1970), as well as in his Анализ поэтического текста (1972). At this point, a discussion of relevant terms and concepts is necessary or else the discussion of ‘(un)predictability’ would be built on sand und eventually turn out to be too narrow or short-minded. Among the notions to be discussed and distinguished are, on the one hand, concepts such as ‘expectation’, ‘guessing’, ‘prophecy’, ‘prognosis’, ‘scientific prediction’, etc.; on the other hand, a clarification of concepts such as ‘probability’, ‘possibility’, ‘chance’, ‘randomness’ and, last not least, ‘(un)predictability)’ is needed. Subsequent to an initial discussion of these concepts, this contribution will attempt, by way of a variety of concrete examples from various semiotic systems, to raise the question of their relevance for semiotic analyses of texts (in a broad semiotic understanding of this term). Basic questions, referring to studies from the fields of linguistics, film analysis and music, will refer to issues like, what can or do we know about the probability with which a given element may occur in an given text, and to what degree may the knowledge of this probability help in predicting an element’s occurrence in position n+1, given position n. 137


Pietro Restaneo Debate policy and language unpredictability in A. Gramsci: A case study Semiotics as a discipline is characterised, from its very beginning, by the fact of being immersed in everyday practices of communication and interaction among humans (and not only): a recurring theme in J. Lotman’s writing is, not coincidentally, the study of быть, the daily life. This link between semiotics and daily life, though, is far from being secure. An important concept in the late Lotman’s writings is the notion of unpredictability. Unpredictability not only means that any analysis of a semiotic process is always, to a certain degree, a creation (as the original can never be exactly reconstructed from his translations). It also poses a great threat to the applicational value of semiotics; the main case would be that of political semiotics, insofar as politics implies pragmatics and activity: what could be the value of a theory that proposes itself to be the ground for political analysis and action, if by its own principles the consequence of any (semiotic) activity could not be predicted? And if, according to Lotman, theory is translated into practice, and translation is always an unpredictable process, what is the relationship between semiotic theory and political practice? To explore this problematic, the present paper will analyse one case study, that of Gramsci’s contribution to the debate over linguistic policies in Italy. When the Italian Kingdom was founded, in 1861, Italy reached, for the first time in its history, political and administrative unification. Before that time “Italy” was little more than an ideal in the mind of a few intellectuals and politicians. While politically unified, culturally and, most of all, linguistically, the country was fragmented. What we nowadays call “dialects”, at the time were totally different languages, with little to no mutual intelligibility. Full Italian speakers were among 2.5% and 10% of the total population, and some areas reached levels of illiteracy close to 90% (100% for women). Consequently, countless debates sparked on how to pursue linguistic unification. In the present paper we will reconstruct the contribution to the debate by Antonio Gramsci, a prominent Italian politician with a strong background in linguistics. Gramsci’s political philosophy is well-known for being deeply grounded in linguistic theory, and in The Prision Notebooks the author elaborates an innovative 138


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theory where language, politics and culture are deeply interwoven in a dynamic system, which shares striking analogies with Lotman’s cultural semiotics. One of the main points in Gramsci’s discussion over language politics was the fact that the development of a language “cannot be predicted” (“non si può prevedere” Q29 §3), and answers, at least partially, to unpredictable inner mechanics. Rational planning of linguistic development, which was an urgent matter for Italy since its unification, up until the 1960s, seems therefore impossible, since the effect of any action taken towards language cannot be predicted. Some argued, at the time, that the only solution would be for the State to impose “standard” Italian to the whole population, while erasing local dialects. Is it though possible at all, Gramsci asks, to implement policies over linguistic matters, with them being neither totalitarian (and therefore, as the author argues, empty), nor laxist, i.e. not rationally organized and relying on spontaneity? We will analyse what is, for Gramsci, the meaning of unpredictability, and what its role is in the development of a democratic linguistic policy. Since his linguistic theories are often, at the same time, the background and the test-ground for his political theory, we will also see how the notion of unpredictability has a key position within his theory of hegemony: given the unpredictable character of culture, how is it possible to strive “democratically” for hegemony, while not relying on “spontaneism”?

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Riin Magnus, Kadri Tüür, and Eva Väljaots Unpredictability in the Estonian narratives of marine itineraries In our presentation, we will explore the phenomenon of unpredictability in the case of marine itineraries, while relying mainly on the conceptual grounds provided by Juri Lotman and Tim Ingold. We focus on human itineraries on and across water bodies, but bring examples, when appropriate, involving other species and other environmental conditions. We derive our sample material mainly from Estonian oral hisotry – folkloristic archive texts about getting lost, involving the belief in supernatural beings; excerpts from fieldwork interviews with coastal people; and folk tales as represented in literary texts. Our aim is to explore the narratives in regard to how unpredictability is brought about in the itineraries and by which means is it coped with. As Lotman (2009: 16-17) points out, unpredictability is something that does not fit into the existing semiotic system, and that cannot therefore be foreseen or understood by means of the conceptual tools available within the system itself. At the same time, an unpredictability brings new information into the system; it is a medium between a semiosphere and a foreign (strange) semiotic realm. In retrospective interpretation, unpredicted events are fitted into cultural narrative. By this process, a random event becomes one in the selection of the possible scenarios that just happened to be realised. The moment of unpredictability is smoothed out by narration. This phenomenon can be well seen in the narratives about wayfaring, getting lost, or deviating from a track when crossing sea or sea ice. In parallel with investigating unexpected situations in the itineraries, we also observe how the predictable setting of the journeys is formed. Tim Ingold describes paths as formed through wayfaring (Ingold 2007); yet each journey is set on a background of a conglomeration of social rules, rituals, environmental cues and technological devices. They all place a traveller on a beaten track and serve as watchdogs that keep one from sidestepping. The rules, regulations and expectations 140


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that should give guardance and guidance are at the same time the ultimate context of unexpectancies in the itineraries. The dynamics of predictable knowledge, individual experience and the moments of unpredictability in wayfaring form a semiotically interesting complex of meanings. Unraveling its components on a small scale will contribute to making wider generalisations about unpredictability as such.

For Rosangela Silva, see Leyza Lucas

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Rovena Troqe Translation is a delicate dance: Unpredictable trajectories in normative environments. Anticipative and configurative translational practice for National Geographic Background: in translation studies, few authors have dealt specifically with predictable or unpredictable features of translation. Analyzing genre structures in the language of films, Taylor (2006) identifies genrelets (love scenes, phone calls, presentations, service encounters) where patterns of expressions are used over and over again (repetition and obligatoriness), thus becoming more transparent and predictable; Taylor’s concept of predictability is based on a linguistic perspective (derived from the idea of genre consisting of a number of obligatory features by Halliday and Hasan, as well as from the ‘priming’ mechanism by Hoey, occurring with collocations, colligations and pragmatic patterns). Research on simultaneous interpreting has led Chernov (1979, 2002) to propose a model for the interpreter to predict the meaning of a message: this predictability is based on inferential reasoning and redundancy. In this context, probability prediction is studied within a cognitive framework, on the strength of experimental research. In translation studies, however, predictability is implicitly related to the notion of norm, as in Toury (2002). Norms are seen as instructions to select (in a way that it is clear what is prescribed and forbidden) from among a series of alternatives when the situation allows for different behaviour options. Norms are intersubjective scalar constraints (from general-objective to idiosyncratic rules) and work as control mechanisms, generating strategies of action and grounding assessments and sanctions. Toury considers translation to be a norm-governed activity, responding to the language/culture norms of the receiving system (acceptability) while representing the original texts that respond to the language/culture norms of the source system (adequacy). In this view, normativity-in-act generates more or less predictable translation strategies and products. In this paper I shall adopt Toury’s perspective in order to investigate how norms are set to create predictable solutions by stemming the inferential flow while translating. I shall focus on National Geographic’s (NG) translational practice, which considers 142


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translation “a delicate dance – a true art that remains faithful to the author’s original text and yet sounds original in translation”. I shall discuss the extra-textual elements that constitute a highly normative environment for the French translator and editor: the NG’S translation charter stating the philosophy of translation; the background information accompanying the original texts delivered to the French editor; and the review and editing process. Against the normative apparatus by NG aimed at predicting and reducing erroneous interpretations, reconfiguration and reselection on the level of content and expression still occur in translation. Any such instance of apparently unpredictable trajectories is to be regarded, with Lotman (1993), as a ‘moment of explosion’, i.e. a set of possibilities to be adopted and applied to the analysis of textual as well as visual features.

For Sara Cannizzaro, see Myrdene Anderson

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Sara Lenninger When the other’s responses are unpredictable: Why does the baby still pay attention to the interaction? In a study on young infants’ susceptibility to synchronic behaviours in dyadic interactions with others the children’s responses indicated tolerance in their interpretation of the situation. When six month old infants encountered a communicative other who did not match to the infants’ communicative behaviours, the young infants nevertheless remained focused on the interaction. Moreover, the infants made efforts to intervene and take action in the communicative event. An increasing number of studies support the assumption that dyadic, dynamic and mutual interactions can be traced in communicative and affective relations between caregivers and infants from early infancy (Beebe et al. 1985; Bråthen 2009; Stern 1985; Rochat 2009; Trevarthen & Murray 1985). According to Murray and Trevarthen (1985) already six -twelve week old infants detect and respond to structural features in the caretaker’s behaviour in such a way that the caretaker, in its turn, is evoked to respond with a matching behaviour. When the infants are between two and four months old, stable sequences characterize parent-infant face-to-face dyads (Levelli & Fogel 2002). Together, the studies indicate that at the age of six months children can be expected to have presumptions about the behaviour of the other in communication games. Further, these expectations influence the child’s participation and understanding of the event. When studying semiotic development in young children not only developmental aspects of growing children should be examined, but also the means by which children encounter meaning and communication. In my presentation, the dyadic interaction in our study will be analysed with respect to the dynamic potentialities that are framed in communication games with young infants.

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S Silja Nikula Pictures in crossword puzzles: A game of cultural language Crossword puzzles with pictorial hints inside are a speciality for Finnish newspapers and magazines. The puzzles work for entertainment and problem solving. They are like games, based on guessing and answering – from a semiotic perspective, meaning making and interpreting. Here I am concerned with the process of abstraction, at the mental and graphic level. People in the same culture share the same mental representation of concepts and we classify and separate items in our minds. The graphic images as hints are linked in mental concepts. Due to the context, they are simplified: the most characteristic features are selected to represent the category. I classify my data by using the semiotic signs of Charles S. Peirce, to define the relations between mental and material images. Also figurative tropes, metonymy and metaphor, are used to sharpen the definition. At the graphic abstraction level, I pay attention to perspective, drawing style and colour. Perceiving lines and shapes on a paper surface makes the viewers connect the figure with their own experiments and reach out for possible meanings. Clear conventions in presenting styles can be found. In most cases, colours do not make the understanding easier, but they are used for entertainment and interest. I see these small drawings as windows on cultural scenery. The most interesting sign classes are iconic and indexical signs: iconicity is based on resemblance, so what kinds of characteristic features are selected to represent the idea? Indexicality as pointing out can be used to make the solving easier, for example arrows are often used. As a trace, indexical reference is carried out to show body movements or gestures. Symbols are based on habit or agreement. As they work as a matter of knowing or not knowing, they don´t offer an interesting task for problem solving. As concerned with verbal language it is interesting to see how words raising strong connotations are represented and separated from the words in their basic or official form. Pictures are ambiguous, carrying multiple meanings, and in these puzzles they have many possible words to be connected with. In many cases written words are needed to complete the meaning, and presenting very complicated ideas by only visual means is impossible. 145


Štěpán Pudlák Mental disorders as semiotic constructions A concept of a ‘mental disorder’ is always a semiotic construction. A ‘mental disorder’ is a complex sign consisting of symptoms, epidemiology, treatment, variations, etc. In the course of a clinical diagnostic process, a certain level of unpredictability is to be taken into account. I shall argue that this unpredictability derives from the fact that a definition of a mental disorder is inherently semiotic and thus it requires specific interpretation. The history of psychiatry and psychology provides us with many examples of how certain mental disorders changed their ‘nature’ within different theoretical frameworks. A prominent example would be schizophrenia, which was conceptualized as a disease by Kraepelin and Bleuler as late as in the first half of the 20th century, and is still a subject of theoretical debate (Weinberger & Harrison 2011). In the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases (World Health Organization 2004), the variety of schizophrenic subtypes includes different psychotic conditions as paranoia on the one hand and catatonia on the other. Sander L. Gilman even states that it might not be possible to propose any unified concept of schizophrenia (Wallace & Gach 2008: 478). Where is the border between an ‘objective basis’ of the disease and its construction in the scientific and clinical discourse? In the second part of the presentation, I shall outline a semiotic construction of schizophrenia by analyzing DSM-V, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, vol. V (American Psychiatric Association 1994). DSM-V is one of the most used handbooks in clinical psychiatry. However, a tension between objective nosology of the disease and subjective semantics of the discourse is apparent. Especially definitions of hallucinations and delusions rely on heuristic understanding of what is ‘normal’ and what is ‘abnormal’. I will argue that such a discourse intrinsically presupposes a concept of the ‘normal’, or, more strictly speaking, constructs it. The psychiatrist interprets symptoms as ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ in the process of diagnosis, for example whether a suspicion is a ‘normal suspicion’ or a ‘pathological delusion’. 146


T Taras Boyko How Juri Lotman “met” Ilya Prigogine It is always fascinating and, at the same time, rather challenging to trace the ways of how and why certain scholars adopt, and eventually develop, one or the other idea or thought. And although such history of ideas investigations does not always promise us any definitive answers at the end, in case of many well-known and celebrated scholars (for example Juri Lotman) it’s indeed possible to pinpoint certain crucial influences that either in short or long run resulted in production of certain important scholarly works, and perhaps even helped to change entire scholarly fields. The current paper will look at one such story and address the question of how, when and in what context professor Lotman encountered the works and ideas of Belgian physical chemist Ilya Prigogine. For anyone interested in work of Juri Mihhailovich it’s more or less common knowledge that the Tartu professor was really impressed and inspired by the ideas of Prigogine (i.e. on complex self-organizing systems, predictability and unpredictability of system behaviour, dissipative structures, etc). Starting from the mid 1980s it’s possible to register numerous references to Prigogine’s (and also his colleague – Isabelle Stengers) writings in Lotman’s books and articles, so the paper will try to investigate the context of how this in absentia “meeting” between the two scholars happened.

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Tatjana Pilipoveca Predictability of text interpretation: Who is The Dragon? The playwright Evgeny Shvarts (1896-1958) is often considered as a “storyteller” of Russian culture. He is well known not only for children fairytales, but also for philosophical fairytales that are addressed to adults. The Dragon, written in 1944, is one of the most problematic plays of Shvarts. It is a multi-layered philosophical text that some researchers consider as a political lampoon on a totalitarian regime. The unanswered question is, on which totalitarian regime exactly: Soviet or Nazi, or both? This question caused the prohibition of the play. For the first time, The Dragon was shown to a public only in 1962, after the author’s death. The play became extremely famous: it was staged innumerable times on the borders of the Soviet Union and beyond it. One of the most important interpretations of the play belongs to the famous director and screenwriter Mark Zakharov, who made a screen adaptation of the play in 1988. In the offered presentation, we concentrate on the aspect of the discursive transformation of the text in the process of cultural auto-communication. In different times/contexts, Shvarts’ play acquired different meanings. At the time of the play’s creation, Evgeny Shvarts was affected by the political situation of the 30’s and early 40’s of the 20th century, that is, by bloody totalitarian regimes and WWII. However, in the original text The Dragon is a collective image of a dictator with vague allusions to Hitler. There are no clear signs of a direct prototype in the text of the play. The first stage performances of The Dragon appeared in the early 60’s. At that time Stalin’s cult of personality lost its power. It was revealed and criticized. Thus, directors and audience mostly interpreted the image of The Dragon as Stalin’s reflection. Zakharov made the screen adaptation of the play in a very different political atmosphere, in 1988, at the latest period of the Soviet Union’s existence. He united in the image of The Dragon three states that were leading the world at the time: Soviet Russia (blurred with Nazi Germany), United States of America and China. Thereby, he interpreted the play in an original and new way. The contemporary political situation in Russia affects current perceptions of both the play and its famous screen adaptation: some play’s interpretations show Vladimir 148


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Putin as The Dragon. Through the deep analysis of the research material, we demonstrate that the play by Evgeny Shvarts belongs to a specific type of allegoric text that is transformed in the process of cultural auto-communication in a special and predictable way. The original play by Shvarts is a “retelling” already. It is based on the eternal story about the knight Lancelot in particular, and all stories about knights and dragons in general. Shvarts characters are collective archetypal images. During the intersemiotic translation, these images become not merely eternal symbols, but containers that are applicable to concrete repeatable cultural situation. In the process of cultural auto-communication, the text generates and stores information in a peculiar way: it collects examples. Every next cultural experience that suits the scenario offered by Shvarts could be considered simultaneously as a concrete example and as one more example. We claim that Shvarts’ text is in the point of tension between the tendency to generalization (as with every new case the semantic density of the text will increase) and tendency to specification (as importance of every new case will depend on concrete cultural experience). Ideas of the author will rarely be challenged, as due to the nature of the text they should be confirmed repeatedly.

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Tiina Pþllu Translation and censorship of the French NOUVELLE VAGUE movies from 1950s until late 80s in the Soviet Union and subsequently in Estonia : Censorship and translation strategies in the context of a totalitarian regime Audiovisual translation of foreign movies underwent a strict selection, censoring and translation process in the Soviet Union totalitarian regime. The current presentation concerns namely the censorship of the French Nouvelle Vague movies (created between 1951 and 1973), that had been granted permission to be shown in the Soviet Union cinemas and were therefore visually censored (cutting out nudity scenes, etc.) and dubbed into Russian, and based on that subtitled into the languages of the Soviet Republics, including into Estonian. The time frame covers the release of the movies until the dissolution of the Union, drawing parallels with the current socio-cultural context in Russia. In Estonia, those movies were shown on three screens: official cinemas, festivals and cinema clubs, the activities of the latter being the least well documented, giving ground to be more explored in the contexts of audiovisual translation history. In order to get a better grasp of the translation scene at that time, it is important to know a little bit about what the cultural policy of the Soviet Union was and how it manifested on the historical, cultural and sociological level, as well as what the dominant ideology was in the selection of foreign films and in the censorship that was applied to the movies, how the movies to be shown on the wide screen were chosen, which institutions participated in the process, and what the rules were that were to be complied with. The research looks into how the dubbing was executed from French into Russian and subsequently how the Estonian subtitles were done on the basis of Russian dubbing. The focus lies in the historical perspective and how the translation and censorship process evolved during the years, and in what was the source text and translation and therefore the overall concept of truth being put on the stake when it comes to translations (traduire, c’est trahir!). These and other limiting dynamics between the real censorship and creativity of the translations, time-space restrictions, 150


T intersemiotic translation peculiarities (translation from audiovisual and linguistic code into purely linguistic one), cultural untranslatability problems regarding wordplays and culture-specific objects, i.e. realia, the question of the degree of equivalence between aspects that might interfere with, bear influence upon and may be confused with what we consider cultural censorship in a broad sense and censorship in the audiovisual translation under totalitarian regimes. Therefore, the central notion is censorship and the presentation tries to point out the history of this concept, by giving examples of the overall use and literature, how this concept has been used from the semiotical point of view, and what the applications of the audiovisual translation censorship are in the present socio-cultural context. In that respect, one should also bear in mind the particularities of the established totalitarian language in general and in the Soviet Union. The totalitarian discourse and language aimed at eliminating ambiguities in the language, limiting the use of synonyms, including other simplifying strategies and aspects like elimination of the inner conflicts and errors that end up forming a totally new language. Similarly to all other translations, the audiovisual translations of foreign films had to be in line with the Communist Party’s approved ideology and restrictions coming from Goskino and other censorship authorities at that time. I have interviewed the translators involved in the foreign film dubbing and subtitling process, including other cinema professionals active at that time respectively in Russia and in Estonia, and they have shared their memories and knowledge on the foreign cinema and translation process in the Soviet Union in general and how the translations were executed and controlled by the censorship authorities. All that contributed to the predictability of the translation output and predictability of the language use in Russian and Estonian. Another interesting aspect is how the dubbing into Russian and subtitling into Estonian of the French language and censorship, reduction and adaptation of the audiovisual code, impact the visual consistency and storytelling in general? How the translated text was redacted as compared with the rest of the film and its visual language and what are the cinema halls and clubs visitors memories and experiences regarding watching the censored films (before and after)? These questions also get some answers from the subjects interviewed. The research methods and theories applied belong to the semiotics and translation studies discipline, making use of the semiotic translation theories of Roman Jakobson, Dirk Delabastita, Lawrence Venuti, Gideon Toury, Fomin, Peeter Torop, among others, but also cinema and censorship theories from a historical point of view (Anthony Aldgate, Epp Annus, Anne Lange, Daniele Monticelli). 151


Tiit Remm (Un)predictability in semiotic space: From action to abstract spatial models Social and cultural theories involve organising the knowledge and its representation as a basic task in explaining the sociocultural world. In this domain, spatial models and metalanguage have a substantial role. Social space, cultural space, field, social distance and mobility, boundary – these and other spatial expressions are tools for organising social and cultural theoretical knowledge. Such a spatial metalanguage could provide a unified, neutral and objective basis for modelling the complexity of the sociocultural world. The variety of spatial conceptions however raises a doubt in this. In contrast, the variety of spatial conceptions correlates to the semiotic uncertainty of the sociocultural world. The usefulness of spatial modelling can be clarified by considering spatial notions as tools in cognitive modelling, and spatiality as first of all a cognitive organisation. Spatiality is not directly derived from physical, material or geographical space but from the ability to recognise the co-existence of objects of cognition or their potentialities as spatial relations. From these kinds of simple recognised relations various spatial complexes or spaces are formed as abstract ideas or tangible articulations. Rather different spatial descriptive means are thus related to the same basis, semiotic spatiality, and are interlinked on a multi-layered field of spatial cognition. The presentation provides an analytical overview of the field of semiotic spatial modelling of the sociocultural world and pinpoints the particular moment of openness related to the semiotic nature of spatiality.

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T Timo Maran Towards a critical umwelt analysis: Preliminary considerations In recent decades umwelt theory and analysis have been elaborated in various fields. Major sources of problems for applying umwelt theory in the study of subjective worlds of other species appear to be based on our limited knowledge and anthropocentric position. In cognitive ethology, Gordon Burghardt (1991) has proposed critical anthropomorphism as a research method that uses the sentience of the observer together with the scientific knowledge of the species to generate hypotheses about the perceptual world, the ecological and evolutionary history of the animal. In a similar vein, this presentation proposes Critical Umwelt Analysis to study umwelts of other species through careful and critical observation of human cultural predispositions and discrepancies between umwelts. Following Uexküll’s (1982) umwelt theory, a major source of problematic human interpretation of animals appears to be the lack of knowledge or misrepresentation of: 1) the structure of animal umwelt: 2) the animal’s living environment, and: 3) the animal’s perceptual and behavioural relations with its environment. Critical Umwelt Analysis further proposes the structured nature of the animal umwelt, its integrity, and the correspondence between the animal and its environment as the grounding principles of the analysis. Based on these principles, it is possible to raise the following research questions: 1) Can an animal develop the structure of its umwelt well enough to fulfill its living functions?: 2) Do animal perceptions and actions correspond adequately to all their necessary life functions? and: 3) Are animal’s perceptions and actions in accordance with the relevant environmental resources? Explicating the biased human understandings and possible discrepancies with animal umwelten would make it possible to predict the problematic aspects of animal life better.

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Tommi Vehkavaara Common grounds for a Peircean oriented biosemiotics and phenomenologically based cognitive semiotics Copenhagian biosemiotics (e.g. Hoffmeyer, Emmeche, Stjernfelt, Brier) and Lundian cognitive semiotics (e.g. Sonesson and Zlatev) seem to share certain basic notions and attitudes. Both recognize hierarchial levels of meaning production processes and systems. Both understand meanings and signs as not reducible to strictly linguistic ones. Both consider at least higher animals and possibly other organisms too as capable of making distinctions meaningful for themselves. Both seem to have a critical attitude against behaviourism and nominalistic empiricism, instead, basic semiotic concepts are assumed to need a logical or phenomenological grounding. The most striking difference is perhaps the attitude towards the concept of sign and its applicability. Copenhagians wish to generalize the concept of sign and semiosis so that it could establish a connction between all kind of life processes and the common sense understanding of human sign use. Following Sebeok’s (and Deely’s) ideology of general semiotic, Copenhagians have assumed that Peirce’s highly abstract and complex logical semiotics together with his evolutionary metaphysics would be applicable in this task. The strategy of Lundians, in turn, has been to reserve the concept of sign to refer to the features and structures specific to human sign use and thus distinguishing it from the less complex meaning making that both humans and non-human life forms share. Zlatev (2009: 171) suggests that semiotics should rather be defined as the study of meaning making than the study of signs. This is underlined in Sonesson’s HusserlianPiagetian analysis of “minimal properties” of sign (sign as a subjectively differentiated double asymmetry between the expression and content) together with the description of cognitively less demanding levels with meanings that are not signs (Sonesson 2012: 2256). Both Sonesson (2008) and Zlatev (2009) have understandably criticized such widening of the scope of the concept of sign that has been common in biosemiotics. Such critique has not been absent in biosemiotic circles either. Among some others, I have for about fifteen years demanded more specified use of semiotic terminology in biosemiotics (Vehkavaara 2002, 2003, 2006). The biosemiotic discourse has been too unspecified, vague, or metaphoric when applying the concept of sign and its assumed 154


T triadic structure. Especially the concept of the object of sign and the semiotic agent (mind or self ) have not found satisfactory real correspondents in many cases. For instance, if a gene is a sign what would be its object and for whom would it be a sign? My provisional conclusion has so far been that Peirce’s logical concept of sign or semiosis cannot, after all, be consistently applied to genes or even the processes like bacterial chemotaxis, without more or less dogmatically adopted metaphysical commitments. Genuine sign action presumes the possibility of such a self-control where some kind of consciousness is operative. This is also concluded by Peirce in the same paragraph, where he “heartily granted” that the acceptance of (false) hypothesis that consciousness is a mere epiphenomenon has nevertheless “done good service to science” (CP 5.493). As a solution I have suggested that biosemiotics should, in addition, look for some other, differently defined and derived (non-logical) concepts of sign for the cases where Peirce’s logical concept is not applicable. But such a suggestion does not solve the dispute whether the use of the term “sign” should be limited to contexts that Lundians demand. One way to proceed is to look beyond the mere definitions to the perceptions or intuitions, from which the defined concept of sign is derived, how this derivation is executed, and what kind of ‘essential features’ it is supposed to preserve. Then we can see that biosemiotics and cognitive semiotics have somewhat different needs. Biosemiotics certainly deals with cognitive processes of organisms (etc.) with internal meanings, but such meanings would remain epiphenomenal without an assumption that they are somehow also guiding the development and behaviour of their carriers, i.e. biosemiotics must contain also a theory of action, a goal-directed or (self-)normative action. Thus, we get (at least) two starting point intuitions: 1. Cognitive one, where sign mediated cognition is contrasted to direct perception (here Peircean logical sign may apply), and 2. The constructive or practical one, where a composed sign functions as an anticipation, plan, or normative criterion of future action. The cognitive sign only represents its object and the goodness of the interpretation is dependent on the object that functions as a normative criterion from which it conveys information to its interpreter. The constructive sign, instead, is used to create or realize its content and is thus non-representational in the sense that the reality of its content is dependent on the ‘interpretation’ of the sign (and not vice versa). So far I have found no better term as sign for such an internal element that guides the transformation of a semiotic system from a one state to some other, hopefully more satisfactory one. 155


Tyler James Bennett The debatable necessity of unpredictability in Peirce’s semiotic Habit and predictability as concepts have obvious similarity in that they both entail repetition. Thoughts and behaviours arise in response to the world, their effectiveness is tested, those which pass the test are habituated, but where is the meaning in this process? Is the moment of meaning where the new thought or behaviour arises, or is it only after, when that act is crystalized into a repeated, reliable pattern? The reason this question is important is that at least two of the most prominent semioticians seem to disagree on this fundamental question. With regard to Juri Lotman it is safe to say that meaning resides with unpredictability. Only at the response to the intersection of incompatible codes does sign action arise, which action later having been habituated (becoming predictable) no longer serves as the site of semiosis (Lotman 1977: 35). With regard to Peirce the question is more disputed. On the one hand, we have the early doctrine of unlimited semiosis, which holds that only those signs whose interpretants become the objects of new signs are actually signs (CP 5.284, 5.594), a principle comparable with Lotman’s principle of untranslatability. On the other hand, Peirce’s later writings have been construed to imply the opposite, that in fact only those signs whose interpretants terminate in a concrete habit of action are signs (Short 2007: 57-58). Whether we accept this radical reversal bears heavily on the proper use of Peirce in general semiotics. The reality of icons and other sub symbolic signs, the problem of ground and the definition of the degenerate sign all play a role in this discussion, and its solution gives some insight into broader methodological problems, such as the possible meaning of (verbal and non-verbal) figurative expressions, and the taxonomic applicability of Peirce’s theory to domains for which it may not appear that Peirce himself developed his semiotic.

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V Vincenzo Idone Cassone Culture (at) play: Unpredictability and ruling in games and culture In “The theme of cards and the card game in Russian literature of the nineteenth century” (1975), Lotman showed how card games became a paradigm for connection between order and randomness, strategy and hazard, information and entropy, and even a framework to understand predictability and unpredictability’s mechanisms. Lotman’s statement is connected to a broad background of studies, in which ludicity (both as play and game) becomes a model for understanding languages and more specifically cultures and society. But at the same time, Lotman clearly points out that play and games are a fundamentally static system, in which 1) the unpredictability of the match is always delimited a priori by possibilities defined by rules 2) no game’s move or outcome can produce new information, modifying the game at the end of the play. These statements distinguish games from culturally dynamic phenomena like art, in their explosive potential. This potential, however, is fully part of contemporary games, that could be considered as a special kind of artistic innovation. In these games, unpredictable junctures, circumstances and strategies during matches alter rules and modify the system’s inner balance. For instance, in the collectible card game Magic the Gathering (in which each player composes his own deck from a pool of thousands of cards) every card has its own rules, that overwrite the general game rules when it is played. Impossible to predict in advance, interactions among cards produce contradictions, conflicts and ruptures in the system of rules: modifying them, creating inconsistencies and requiring 1) an official system for ruling and judgement, validating or nullifying players’ interpretations a posteriori, and 2) a continuous process of supplements and revisions to the official rules, no longer intended as a text example but more as a guideline system for rules of interpretation. Considering how the card pool is continuously subject to changes due to extensions/bannings and the resulting changing of rules and variation in play norms 157


(styles, strategies, tactics), we argue that Magic is at the same time subject to explosive and gradual processes, mutually intertwined. The rules system can be regarded as an auto-descriptive (semiospheric) text; its rulings contrast with a multiplicity of explosive (behavioural) events, which generate additional rules for text production (new kinds of decks and strategies) and for behavioural codes (new play styles, tactics, and subversive interpretation of rules). Through continuous changes in Regulation, the system increases its semiotic complexity, becoming more rigid in order to reduce perceived unpredictability; but as a result it incites innovative processes (elaboration of original and irregular decks) not avoiding the constitutive unpredictability due to card combinations, it is always forced to bring back unpredictability to predictability. The inner balance is thus exposed to a continuous dynamics involving both explosive and gradual phenomena, as every new asset of the game rules determines a different periphery able to generate new types of unpredictability. If a match has to be won by someone, the game system’s purpose is now to preserve, organise and create information; that is, to continue to be played. We think that contemporary games could help us to develop Lotman’s theories on the dynamics of cultural systems, predictability/unpredictability mechanisms and artistic innovation; moreover Lotman’s framework could help us to better understand game and play phenomena.

For Waldmir Araujo-Neto, see Leyza Lucas

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Y Yulia Aprosina The categories of predictability and unpredictability in Hitchcock’s cinematic narration There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it. - Alfred Hitchcock

The ultimate success of Alfred Hitchcock’s thrillers can be explained by a wide range of factors, from flawless storytelling and celebrated visual style and to thrilling accompaniment, but one of his major staples has always been creating suspense, the role of which is to serve as the most powerful means of holding onto the viewer’s attention. Suspense has been the object of cognitive sciences for many decades and has been described as a composite emotional state, comprised of fear and hope, generated by the state of uncertainty, implying anxiety and tension over the events that will happen next. Suspense should not be lumped together with surprise, which can be described as an immediate response to something unexpected. Alfred Hitchcock in his conversation with Francois Truffaut in 1962 describes the difference between suspense and surprise by the following example. Firstly, he describes an innocuous conversation of two men sitting at a table when all of a sudden a bomb explodes. The spectator in this case gets several seconds of surprise at the moment of explosion. Secondly, he describes the situation where the spectator is shown the bomb under the table beforehand and he knows that it is going to blow up. As a result, a flat conversation becomes enthralling, as the spectator is hooked and fully participates in the scene. Surprise, in our opinion, implies the category of unpredictability, resulting from the sudden subversion of an expectation. In Psycho (1960) the audience is deceived by being made to believe that Marion Crane is a protagonist, when nearly in the beginning of narration, all of a sudden she is put on the sidelines. Such plot twists bewilder the spectator and therefore imply unpredictability. Suspense, on the contrary, presupposes certain predictability. In Rear Window 159


(1954), in the episode when Lisa Fremont is in the murderer’s apartment, trying to find evidence of crime, the viewer sees Thorwald enter. At this moment, the audience faces a bifurcation point, at which the situation can develop under several scenarios: Thorwald kills Lisa, Lisa escapes, the police arrive and arrest the criminal, etc. So, the outcome can be predicted in hundreds of variants. On the whole, Hitchcock’s narration is built up with both surprise and suspense, which presupposes the co-presence of the predictable and the unpredictable and which probably contributes to celebrated Hitchcockian style of narration, thrilling and keeping the audience on-edge.

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Z Zdzisław Wąsik Abstraction as a source of creativity: On the (un)predictability of imaginative inventiveness from the perspective of semio- and techno-ethics This paper puts forward an epistemological argument that inventive creativity is connected with imagination, having its source in the sensorial and intellectual foundations of human cognition. Cognizing will be considered here as an experiential process of abstracting those aspects and constituents of objects, i.e., things and states of affair in perceptible and/or inferred reality, which appear on the external senses of a person as an observer and are transformed into internal representations of a subject as a knower. Abstraction and imagination along with generalization belong to the three basic processes taking part in the concept formation. When analyzing the meaning of the terms perception, apperception, reception and conception, one may realize that abstractions begin with perceptions, and the roots of all concepts, even those of imaginative sort are to be traced in an experience that includes the creative processes of recombination, refinement, and extrapolation, which themselves in turn are traceable to recognizable forms of perceived changes. On the basis of illustrative examples, the paper will show that there are two kinds of abstractions depending upon whether something can be removed not only mentally but also physically from the cognized objects in the reality. Accordingly, constituents, as abstractions of features that can be both physically and mentally removed as coexistent parts or as separate elements totally isolated from the objects as wholes, will be distinguished from aspects, as abstractions of features that cannot be removed physically from the cognized objects as far as they constitute only their inherent or relational properties. Hence, imaginative altering of abstractions will be distinguished from simple abstractions, taking for granted that “the human mind is also capable of imagining what objects or [their] aspects might be like if they were different from the way they appear” and assuming that “this process of transforming objects and imagining them in different

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ways is also a perfectly natural process … which involves more mental activity than simple abstracting. Enumerating ways and levels of imaginative alterations based on human experience and knowledge, the author of this paper will discuss the theoretical framework, deduced from [1] Hubert Griggs Alexander’s book The Language and Logic of Philosophy, in connection with additional distinctions worked out in [2] Joseph Samuel Bois’ book The Art of Awareness. In the first instance, he will talk about four kinds of alterational changes, such as: (I) negation, (II) creation, (III) substitution, and (IV) variation; in the next, he will ponder eight possibilities of imagining: (1) immediate recollecting, (2) retrieving from remote memory, (3) filling in and completing of the present from the past experience, (4) adding reported historical never witnessed facts to the just experienced facts, (5) reduplication or multiplication of features, (6) recombining the features experienced in different domains of objects, (7) enlarging or diminishing the experienced features, (8) moving beyond the realm of the picturable and experiencable. Thus, unfolding the semiotic patterns of inventive creativity in visual communication and art, placed against the background of various kinds of verbal and nonverbal behaviour in the realm of man, the author will analyze selected manifestation forms of human imagination as trace-leaving functions of indexes, symptoms, signals, appeals, symbols, and icons with special reference to moral-ethical aspects of innovative creativity, the “fundamentalism” of limitless artistic freedom, bearing in mind the use of provocative parody and satire, or the so called “anarchistic creationism” viewed from the perspective of semioethics as well as technoethics.

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Tartu Summer School of Semiotics 2015  

Tartu Summer School of Semiotics 2015 - Semiotic (Un)predictability - Book of Abstracts

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