From aesthetics to vitality semiotics - From l´art pour l´art to responsibility. Historical change of perspective exemplified on Josef Albers

In Grabbe, Lars Christian ; Rupert-Kruse, Patrick ; Schmitz, Norbert M. (Hrsgg.): Bildgestalten : Topographien medialer Visualität. Marburg: Büchner. Büchner Verlag. pp. 194-213 (2020)
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The paper follows the thesis, that the perception of real or virtual media shares the anthropological state of "Ausdruckswahrnehmung" or perception of expression (Ernst Cassirer). This kind of perception does not represent a distant, neutral point of view, but one that is guided by feelings or "vitality affects" (Daniel N. Stern). The prerequisites, however, for triggering these feelings/"vitality affects" are not recognizable objects or motifs, but rather their sensually evaluable “abstract representations” or their formal logical structures. In contrast to aesthetic feelings, however, they affect not only our feelings of lust or unlust or our knowledge (formal aesthetics) but also our actions (semiotics). So, when I extend aesthetic experiences to semiotic effects, I will talk about vitality semiotics. This new concept is of consequence, because the thesis of the responsibility of the producer is based on these effects. This is to be carried out by analyzing and presenting the approach of the Bauhaus master Josef Albers.

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Martina Sauer
Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Semiotik


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