International Association for Semiotics of space (IASSp/AISE)

Moscow, Russia
September 2018

“Heterotopia and the semiotics of cultural landscape”

The cultural landscape is a part of the semiosphere, the result and catalyst of processes of the cultural genesis and semiosis leaving their traces in space in the form of material objects and the system of images, metaphors, and signs. The cultural landscape is organized according to the semiotic modeling codes of culture, and thus it becomes the preserver and producer of cognitive codes of culture. In the cultural landscape, the discourse of space in culture (in the broadest sense, from a locus to cosmos) is expressed.
The cultural landscape can be structured by senses distributed in space, and its reading is the movement from one point to another, from meaning to meaning. In many interpretations it tends to a ‘laying’ structure, i.e. the natural landscape is distinguished as a nutrient substrate, and the economic, social, cultural, and eidetic spaces are constructed over it. The full set of senses and symbols with the time saturation ‘packed’ in it (transience and dynamism), timelessness and eternity, the sacred and transcendent meanings, gives, to the cultural landscape, the properties of semantic flow, transformation of symbols and signs, their movements in space due to the changing in time values and realities of culture. The cultural landscapes offer scales for emergent values deployed in space where geographical objects and zones act as analogues of the actual social and/or cultural status, as memorial marks in cultural heritage, or as steps in spiritual stages. In this process, all the emergent places are heterotopias, they are distinguished by otherness of meanings, in the architectural design they are conceived as unique.
The virtual space of electronic media is a new heterotopic affordance of our technological environment which is ruled by its own spatial logic while being seamlessly interfacing with the material locality and social existence. This interfacing is an hybrid space all the more challenging as most of the basic references that structure physical and cultural space do not apply to virtual space.
In this conference we proposed to consider issues of cultural landscape as a symbolic system, heterotopias as emergent marks in the context of this system, and the problem of visual representation of these signs and systems in art and architecture.

Topics for discussion:

– the processes of semiosis in the landscape
– heterotopia as a place of concentration of otherness of culture
– visualization (demarcation) of otherness in the landscape
– places of memory and timelessness
– architecture as a factor of formation of sense of place
visual and virtual images of landscapes
the new hybrid spaces.

Please, send your Abstracts befor 15th March 2018 Dr. Olga Lavrenova, General Secretary of the IASSp/AISE

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