Art in finland 2010 semiotics
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Art in Finland, 2010 Semiotics. Vesa Matteo Piludu. University of Helsinki, semiotic. Semiotics.

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Art in finland 2010 semiotics

Art in Finland, 2010Semiotics

Vesa Matteo Piludu

University of Helsinki, semiotic



  • The term, which was spelled semeiotics (Greek: σημειωτικός, semeiotikos, an interpreter of signs) was first used in English by Henry Stubbes (1670, p. 75) in a very precise sense to denote the branch of medical science relating to the interpretation of signs

  • Plato and Aristotle both explored the relationship between signs and the world, and Augustine considered the nature of the sign within a conventional system. More recently, Umberto Eco, in his Semiotics and philosophy of language, has argued that semiotic theories are implicit in the work of most, perhaps all, major thinkers.

  • Semiotics, semiotic studies, or semiology is the study of sign processes (semiosis), or signification and communication, signs and symbols, both individually and grouped into sign systems.

  • It includes the study of how meaning is constructed and understood.

The tree souls of semiotics

The tree ”souls” of Semiotics

  • Semantics: Relation between signs and the things they refer to, their denotata. (icon and meaning)

  • Syntactics: Relation of signs to each other in formal structures

    (systems of symbols, web of signification)

Meaning process pierce triadic system and saussure dyadic system

Meaning processPierce Triadic system and Saussure Dyadic system

Signs shop

Signs Shop

Anthroposemiotics sociosemiotics and biosemiotics

Anthroposemiotics, Sociosemiotics and Biosemiotics

  • This discipline is frequently seen as having important anthropological dimensions (humanistic)

  • But … it is relevant also for social studies (communication, sociology, political studies) …

  • And the communication of information in living organisms is covered in biosemiotics or zoosemiosis

Semiotic communication

Semiotic communication

  • Social and cultural Contexts

  • Adresser (sender of message)

  • Message (communicative act based on a system of signs and on a code)

  • Code (language, visual, musical code…)

  • Sign or signs

  • Meaning of the sign

  • Adressee (receiver of the message)

  • Communication I – he/she, I-I (self reflection), we-they (ethnic), mass communication (media)

  • The communication defines not only the signs and their role, but also the identities of the adresser and the adressee (Lotman, Bachtin)

Roman jakobson and art semiotics

Roman Jakobson and art semiotics

  • Semiotics, conceived of by Roman Jakobson, has 6 components:

    1. Addressor (artist)2. Addressee (viewer)3. Message4. Code 5. Medium of communication6. Context

Semiosphere artistic production in a communicative frameworkd

Semiosphere - artistic production in a communicative frameworkd

Cultural contest (Christianity)

Artistic contest (Renaissance)

Sender (artist)Message (painting) Receivers

(general pubblic,

Web of symbolscommissioners,

scholars, interpreters)

Code (language)Reaction





Juri lotman and the resistance of symbols

Juri Lotman and the resistance of symbols

  • Difference between the symbol (signifier) and the meaning of the symbol (significans)

  • Certain symbols have an enormous capacity of resistance (conservative power of symbols)

  • The same symbol can have different meanings in different cultural contests (cultural relativism)

  • If the cultural contest changes, the interpretation of the symbol could changes (symbolic dynamic)

Semiotics in europe

Semiotics in Europe

  • In Italy … semiotics is strongly connected to language, communication, cultural and religious studies (Umberto Eco, Omar Calabrese, Augusto Ponzio, Massimo Leone … and many others)

  • In Bulgaria semiotics is linked with advertizing studies (New Bulgarian University os Sofia, Kristian Bankov)

  • In Lithuania there is the relevant Greimas Institute

  • Estonia (Tartu) is an important center for Cultural Semiotic (Juri Lotman) and Biosemiotics (Kalevi Kull)

Semiotics in helsinki

Semiotics in Helsinki

  • In Helsinki semiotics is strongly connected with art research and cultural studies and with logic and philosophy

  • Musical Semiotic (Eero Tarasti)

  • Existential Semiotics (Eero Tarasti)

  • Semiotic of Arts and Literature (Harri Veivo, Massimo Berruti)

  • Methodology and communication (Merja Bauters)

  • Philosophical Semiotic

  • (Pierce studies, Mats Bergman, Ahti-Veikko Pietarinen)

  • Cultural Semiotics (Tomi Huttunen, Vesa Matteo Piludu)

  • Dario Martinelli (zoosemiotics)

English courses in spring introduction to semiotics of cultures tse140aa

English courses in Spring:Introduction to Semiotics of Cultures (TSE140Aa)

  • During the course will be analyzed classic texts and articles of the most relevant  scholars on the field of semiotics of culture. Every lecture will be focalized on a  specific book, article or problem. The course will focus on applications of cultural theories to more specific fields: visual arts, literature, music, cinema and comics, mass media, propaganda, ethnology. Concepts as symbol, myth, and icon will be analyzed taking in account different interpretations given by several scholars. The program will include: Umberto Eco’s texts and articles on popular culture, arts, Middle Ages’ aesthetics; the reflections of Ronald Barthes on popular cultures’ myths (Mythologies), Oriental cultures (The Empire of Signs), fashion (The Fashion System); the structural anthropology of Lévi-Strauss (The Savage Mind, Structural Anthropology, Totemism) and his works on Native American Cultures; Juri Lotman’s theories and studies on texts, semiosphere, communication, cinema, painting (Universe of Mind). The course includes the analysis of the differences and similitude between the most relevant cultural approaches: evolutionism, functionalism, relativism, formalism, structuralism, post-structuralism, hermeneutics, interpretative theories. 

  • Lectures on Tue 12:00 -14:00 Twelve lectures in the Third and Fourth Spring Periods, 01.02.2011 - 03.05.2011 

  • Vesa Matteo Piludu

English courses in spring introduction to existential semiotics tse230a tse210a

English courses in Spring:Introduction to Existential Semiotics (TSE230A, TSE210A)

  • Introduction to Existential Semiotics (TSE230A, TSE210A), 5 op

  • On Tue  16.00-18.00 

  • Location: Vironkatu 1, room 3B. 

  • The work in this seminar course is based upon lectures, reading, discussing and short student reports on selected literature. The course continues in the period 2, 3 and 4. The students can follow one or more period. The work done in one period give right to 2,5 op credits, the workd done in two periods to 5 op credits.

  • Eero Tarasti: 

  • Existential Semiotics (2000); 

  • Degres, numero special de la sémiotique existentielle 2003, ed.;

  • Fondamenti di semiotica esistenziale (Laterza 2009); 

  • Fondements de la sémiotique existentielle (L’Harmattan 2009)

Courses in spring musical semiotics tse240ah 20 op

Courses in Spring:Musical Semiotics (TSE240Ah), 20 op

  • Work is based upon lectures and students’ short and longer reports on the topics and their analyses of chosen  music applying the introduced concepts and approaches. The course continues in the period 2, 3 and 4. The students can follow one or more period. The work done in one period give right to 2,5 op credits. 

  •   Location: Vironkatu 1, room 3B 

  • mon 14.00-16.00 

  • Eero Tarasti: Myth and Music 1979; A Theory of Musical Semiotics 1994; Signs of Music 2003; Signes de la musique 2006; Segni della musica 2009; How Mozart, Brahms and Wagner Talk to Us (early 2010, forthcoming); ed. anthologies Musical Signification 1987; Semiotics of Music (Semiotica, special issue 1987); Musical Semiotics in Growth (Acta semiotica fennica), Musical Semiotics Revisited (ibid); Music and the Arts I-II (ibid). 

Myths in modern and contemporary dance tte337d

Myths in Modern and Contemporary Dance (TTE337D)

  • Time and Place: Thu 12-14, 17.3.-5.5.2011 (not on Thu 21.4.), F26, hall/juhlasali, Theatre and dance studies in co-operation with Musicology

  • Vesa Matteo Piludu

  • Dance is present in mythology and religion globally. It has always been and is still today an important part of ceremony, rituals, and celebrations in different religious cultures. Dance is able to concretize the invisible: steps, gestures and choreographies can visualize, to set in space and on stage rhythms, melodies, harmonies, feelings. In Ancient Greece as in Africa, in Oceania as in modern Brazilian metropolises, ritual dance could even reveal the presence of supernatural beings: divinities, spirits, and sacred animals.

  • During the national romantic era, ballet has been one of the most powerful ways to represent, popularize and modernize local folklore, legend, myths.

  • This relevant mythological background is clearly still present in modern and contemporary dance: many schools has shown how dance could be an art able to renovate archaic legends and give them new relevant meanings. In the course will be analyzed a set of different case studies.

Semiotic in finland

Semiotic in Finland

  • Rovaniemi (Media)

  • Tampere (Theatre)

  • Turku

  • Imatra

  • Network University of SemioticsVirastokatu 1 (Cultural Centre)55100 IMATRAtel. +358 20 617 6700, +358 20 617 6639


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