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  1. Face and Trust: A Semiotic Inquiry Into Influencers, Money, and Amygdala.Kristian Bankov - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):527-542.
    After the cultural explosion of Web 2.0, digital culture reveals an apparently semiotic paradox associated with the incredibly widespread use of images of faces, while at the same time the reason to trust in the authenticity of these faces is constantly declining. This is because graphic technology has made the sophisticated manipulation of images both possible and easy. After a review of the existing semiotic models and considerations of trust, I am proposing a new approach which emphasizes the value-generating properties (...)
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  2. Art, Face and Breathscape: From Air to Cultural Texts.Silvia Barbotto - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):437-462.
    We consider breath as a vast prospect that includes actions and traces of them, that builds images and texts, that involves the human being and the extra-human context; we call this great scenery ‘breathscape’. We then study how breathscape interacts with the human apparatus of the face, both giving rise to signs, but also giving rise to a liminal zone of extremely intriguing interpretative processes on a mereological scale. How and where do the territory of breath and the body interact? (...)
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  3.  1
    Augmented Facets: A Semiotics Analysis of Augmented Reality Facial Effects.Federico Biggio - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):509-526.
    Augmented reality facial effects represent a new trend in social media communication based on ‘short forms’. The article proposes a tripartite analysis: a semiotic analysis of digital facial effects used to empower the natural users’ faces; a deconstructionist analysis of Spark by Meta, one of the major software applications to create such effects and, finally, a critical reflection on the practices prescribed by Spark and the stereotypical aesthetics of augmented selfies. The conclusion states that such forms of augmented reality effects (...)
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  4. Gotta Face ‘Em All: Pokémon, Japanese Animated Characters, and the Emergence of Playful Visual Animism.Vincenzo Idone Cassone - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):543-565.
    As a result of technological innovations and new cultural practices, the contemporary mediasphere is increasingly populated by digital faces. The phenomenon is not limited to human faces, but includes a vast universe of fictional animated faces, variously called ‘characters’, ‘mascots’ or ‘kyara’. In Japan, while certainly not new, kyara have been spreading thanks to globalization, digitalization and media-mix strategies. Through the connection between visual design, fictional narratives and socio-cultural consumption, kyara can be considered semiotic figures of in-betweenness, key symbolic mediators (...)
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  5. Faces in the Pre-Hispanic Rock Art of Colombia: Semiotic Strategies, Visual Semiospheres, and Gestures.Martín Cuitzeo Domínguez Núñez - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):463-488.
    This article analyses the sign systems or semiotic models that make up the meaning of a double face or mask drawing in the pre-Columbian rock art of Colombia, also discussing two human figures with depicted faces associated with the main picture. The sample of rock art was detected on the walls of the Chicamocha Canyon at the Mirador de Barcenas site in the Santander Department in Northeast Colombia. Its origin is attributed to the Guane chiefdom. We hold as a central (...)
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  6. Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall and the Post-Nuclear Culture of the Face.Emanuela Ferragamo - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):383-399.
    The intertwining of landscape and face belongs to human spatial epistemology: as suggested by Matteo Meschiari, primitive humans used to orientate themselves in landscape through recognition of facial patterns. By reflecting upon Marlen Haushofer’s novel The Wall, the article aims to question the semantic of the “face of the landscape” in the wake of an imagined nuclear apocalypse that leaves behind a cat, a cow, a dog, a woman and a wall. The wall transcends the boundaries between human and other-than-human: (...)
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  7. Notes on the Semiotics of Face Recognition.Remo Gramigna & Cristina Voto - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):338-360.
    Perceiving and recognizing others via their faces is of pivotal importance. The ability to perceive others in the environment – to discern between friends and foes, selves and others – as well as to detect and seek to predict their possible moves, plans, and intentions, is a set of skills that has proved to be essential in the evolutionary history of humankind. The aim of this study is to explore the subject of face recognition as a semiotic phenomenon. The scope (...)
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  8. Introduction: Studying the ‘Facesphere’.Massimo Leone - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):270-278.
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  9. Fatal Portraits: The Selfie as Agent of Radicalization.Peter Mantello - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):566-589.
    For the modern-day jihadist, the digital self-portrait or, more specifically, battlefield selfie is a popular tool for identity building. Similarly to the selfies taken by non-violent practitioners of self-capture culture, the jihadist selfie represents an alternative to the Cartesian formulation of a unitary and indivisible self. Rather, it is a product of social relations and performative actions, constituted in dialogue with others through very specific socio-cultural frameworks and expectations. However, unlike its non-violent Doppelganger, the expectations of this dialogue are centred (...)
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  10. Cultures of the (Masked) Face.Gabriele Marino - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):318-337.
    What we generally regard as ‘the face’ should be semiotically understood not as something given and monolithic, but rather stratified – it is at least threefold: biological, physiognomic, perceivable – and relational as it has to be put within a narrative in order to make sense. The face lies at the centre of a whole semiotic system, the form of life, revolving around the issue of identity. What we may call ‘the natural face’ is not, as common sense would suggest, (...)
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  11. Face Off – a Semiotic Technology Study of Software for Making Deepfakes.Søren Vigild Poulsen - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):489-508.
    Deepfakes, an algorithm that transposes the face of one person onto the face of another person in images and film, is a digital technology that may fundamentally alter our belief in visual modality and thus presents alarming consequences for an image-centric culture. Not only are these face-translations now so advanced that it is virtually impossible for people to tell that they are fake – this technology is also becoming accessible to laypersons who, with little or no computer skills, can use (...)
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  12.  1
    Culturally Significant Symbolic Faces: For a Sociosemiotics of Faces in Films.Antonio Santangelo - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):418-436.
    Every now and then when watching a movie, we come across faces in which we recognize a significant value, because they represent some important cultural models we use to assign meaning to our experience of the world. By way of example, I will discuss the faces of the protagonists of two recent films, Abdellatif Kechiche’s La vie d’Adele. Chapitres 1 & 2 and Leonor Serraille’s Jeune femme, comparing them with the faces of the protagonists of some older movies, such as (...)
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  13. The Face and the Faceness: Iconicity in the Early Faciasemiotics of Paul Ekman, 1957–1978.Devon Schiller - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):361-382.
    Paul Ekman is an American psychologist who pioneered the study of facial behaviour. Bringing together disciplinary history, life study, and history of science, this paper focuses on Ekman’s early research during the twenty-year period between 1957 and 1978. I explicate the historical development of Ekman’s semiotic model of facial behaviour, tracing the thread of iconicity through his life and works: from the iconic coding of rapid signs; through the eventual turn from classifying modes of iconic signification using gestalt categories to (...)
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  14. Urban-Human Faces and the Semiotic Right to the City: From the USSR Propaganda Machinery to the Participatory City.Elsa Soro - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):590-607.
    Now that the usage and meaning of urban spaces have been dramatically challenged by the global pandemic, several debates and reflections are going on around the manner in which cities – both as concerns the public and the private spaces – have been designed. The article observes how “urban-human face” representations have served different models of urbanity across times and cultures. Using a framework deriving from semiotics of culture, according to which the city represents a model of the world, the (...)
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  15. The Face of Health in the West and the East: A Semio-Cultural Analysis.Simona Stano - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):298-317.
    Magazines, leaflets, weblogs, and a variety of other media incessantly spread messages advising us on how to achieve or maintain our health or well-being. In such messages, the iconic representation of the face is predominant, and reveals an interesting phenomenon: the “face of health” seems to be unattainable as such, and is generally represented in a differential way, that is to say, by making reference to its opposite – the “face of illness”, or at least of malaise. In fact, the (...)
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  16. Semiotics of the Pornographic Face: From Traditional Porno to Beautiful Agony.Bruno Surace - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):400-417.
    Today’s pornography constitutes a semiotic laboratory capable of meticulously describing some characteristics of the cultures from which it comes and for which it is intended. In it, the role of the face is preeminent and assumes relevance both from a diegetic and a formal point of view. A face which makes itself a sign and is articulated in a dialectic between the syntagmatic and the paradigmatic axis, finding expression as an aspectual device, establishing a peculiar semiotic procedure of absentia in (...)
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  17. Jaan Kaplinski and His Contacts with the Tartu-Moscow School of Semiotics.Ekaterina Velmezova, Kalevi Kull & Ene-Reet Soovik - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):608-615.
    Jaan Kaplinski, Estonian poet, essayist and public intellectual, sadly passed away earlier this year. To commemorate him, we publish some excerpts from a conversation with him that was recorded in 2018 and in which, among other topics, we also talked about Kaplinski’s relationship with semiotics and his personal contacts with eminent scholars of the Tartu-Moscow School.
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  18. The Transcendence of the Face: A Semiotic-Linguistic Path.Ugo Volli - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (3-4):279-297.
    This paper starts with an examination of the terms use d to designate the face in different languages, in particular in Italian, comparing these with the definitions provided by some authoritative dictionaries as well as with their etymology. This exploration yields some remarkable results: firstly, it appears that the face is indeed a term that has a material meaning, but at the same time it is a social object; secondly, the importance of the communicative function emerges, which makes the face (...)
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  19. Solar Energy Discourse in the Sunshine State.Prisca Augustyn - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):63-85.
    This case study of a 2016 Florida constitutional amendment analyses the semiotic devices and mechanisms of shaping public opinion on solar energy and beliefs about energy distribution. After a nationwide rise in rooftop solar installations between 2014 and 2015, utilities in several US states were faced with challenges to their business models. Anticipating similar problems in Florida, utilities and energy corporations promoted constitutional amendments. This semiotic analysis follows the voter from the billboards and flyers to the text on the ballot. (...)
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  20. Trajectories of Anticipation.Sebastian Feil - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):191-215.
    The article characterizes Peirce’s concept of habit as a major contribution to a Peircean concept of preconceptuality, first, in relation to its function in the sign process, and second, in relation to other concepts of preconceptuality in cultural studies. Hans-Georg Gadamer’s notion of prejudice, Michel Foucault’s notions of the preconceptual and the dispositif, and Hans Blumenberg’s conception of metaphor all share certain key characteristics with Peirce’s notion of habit. The same comparison also highlights the fact that certain elements are missing (...)
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  21.  4
    Towards an Integration of Two Aspects of Semiosis – A Cognitive Semiotic Perspective.Piotr Konderak - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):132-165.
    Meaning-making processes, understood hierarchically, in line with the Semiotic Hierarchy framework, change on various timescales. To account for and predict these changes, one can take a cognitive view on semiosis. I adopt an interdis-ciplinary approach combining semiotic studies and cognitive studies in an attempt to account for meaning-making activity and to predict the course of semiosis. In this context, I consider meaning-making activity as shaped by both “external” (to a semiotic system) as well as “internal” factors. I also show how (...)
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  22. Narratives and the Semiotic Freedom of Children.Sara Lenninger - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):216-234.
    Both adults’ habits-of-thought and their understanding of children’s stories shape how adults interpret children’s participation in conversations. In the light of the requests on children’s rights that follow from the Convention on the Rights of the Child this paper stresses the relevance of authorities having semiotically informed knowledge on children’s meaning-making within conversations with adults. In Article 12, the CRC stipulates the right of children to participate in and to be heard about decisions that affect their everyday lives. According to (...)
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  23. Editorial: Anticipation and Change.Lauri Linask, Inesa Sahakyan & Aleksei Semenenko - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):7-11.
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  24. Music as a Non-Arbitrary Avenue for Exploration of the Social.Juha Ojala - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):86-107.
    The article examines how music affords exploration of social aspects of semiosis: how music signifies the social, beyond the fact that music is an inherently participatory social process. Pentti Maattanen extends Peirce’s notion of ‘hard fact’ to ‘soft facts’ to which we accommodate our behaviour in order to get along in society. As mutual beliefs, soft facts are continuously tested and updated in inquiry. Representation of oneself is also continuously correlated, thrown together, with that of the rest of the world, (...)
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  25. Towards the Semiotics of the Future.Katre Parn - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):108-131.
    The paper aims to make a contribution to semiotic research on the future by bringing together various approaches that deal with the relationship humans have with the future. More specifically, the paper concentrates on anticipation viewed as an activity that is based on modelling the desired future as suggested by Nikolai Bernstein. The model-based approach to anticipation allows drawing connections between the psychophysiological and semiotically mediated forms of anticipation on the one hand, and between individual and collective forms of anticipation (...)
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  26. Metaphor, Induction and Innovation.Inesa Sahakyan - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):166-190.
    Today more than ever innovation seems vital for us to anticipate the future and adapt to our rapidly changing world. But what is innovation and how is it accomplished? How can the mind generate innovative ideas? To gain a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the human capacity to innovate, the present study aims at answering two basic questions: first, ‘what makes innovation possible?’ and second, ‘why are innovative ideas unusual?’. These questions are addressed within the framework of Peircean semiotics, (...)
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  27. Anticipating the Societal Transformation Required to Solve the Environmental Crisis in the 21st Century.Morten Tonnessen - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):12-62.
    This article introduces an ecosemiotic approach to the two great challenges facing humanity in the 21st century: solving an escalating environmental crisis, while also safeguarding and further improving human living conditions. An ecosemiotic framework for the study of societal transformations is presented and political and other normative aspects of what I call transformative semiotics are discussed. This envelops socio-cultural and socio-ecological developments framed in terms of umwelt theory and Deep Ecology. In the long run, developments in human ecology as reflected (...)
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  28. The Dialogic Nature of Double Consciousness and Double Stimulation.Donna E. West - 2021 - Sign Systems Studies 49 (1-2):235-261.
    The objective in this paper is to demonstrate the indispensability of Peirce’s double consciousness to foster abductive reasoning, so that internal/external dialogue inform the worthiness of hunches. These forms of dialogue establish a mental give-and-take forum in which novel meanings/effects are particularly highlighted and noticed. Such attentional shifts are compelled by surprising states of affairs within the beholder’s internal, interpretive competencies, or from external factors. The dialogic nature of these signs pre-forms operations not possible non-dialogically; they command, interrogate, or suggest (...)
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