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    The Architecture of the Image

    Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA 2011)

    London, UK, 6 - 8 July 11


    Karen Cham


    It is ‘post structuralism’ that offers us a working notion of images as systems of signs whose ‘semantic spaces’ are defined by networks of changing conceptual relationships. As a dialectical method it has provided useful paradigms for addressing our conceptual interaction with, and interpretation of, diverse art, design & media visualisations. However, it is limited in effectively accounting for the significant interaction between the abstractions that are media images and actual behaviours as practices ‘outstrips theoretical understanding of the relationship between the sign and the signified, the simulation and the social, the model and the real’.

    In the sciences, it is ‘systems thinking’ that emphasizes a concern with relationships, systems and networks. Here, ‘emergent behaviour’ is accounted for as a recognizable characteristic of ‘complexity’; a new type of science concerning systems that are sufficiently complex as to display a capacity for ‘autopoiesis’ or ‘self making’.

    The author has previously proposed that a convergence of post structuralism and complexity may allow some greater understanding of the generative feedback loop between the conceptual, computational and very real ‘semantic behaviours’ of digital culture.

    Here she elaborates that as the abstractions of synergetic brand architectures and designed identity systems are used more and more to underpin user experiences, this type of distributed, networked, ‘cloud semantics’ can be recognised as the soft engineering of participatory semantic systems where the emergent actual behaviours are the intentional result of generating metaphoric ‘virtual’ avatars for us all to involuntarily inhabit as part of the natural ‘autopoetics’ of the digital age.


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    EVA 2011: Electronic Visualisation and the Arts cover

    Print copies of EVA 2011
    ISBN 978-1-906124-88-5
    RRP £85

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