10th Congress of the International Association of Visual Semiotics AISV-IAVS 2012

10th Congress of the International Association of Visual Semiotics AISV-IAVS 2012

Tuesday 4 to Saturday 8, September 2012
venue: Faculty of Law,
University of Buenos Aires Figueroa Alcorta Av. 2263
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Theme of the congress: Contemporary dilemmas of visuality

Call for papers: http://www.aisv2012.org/docs/aisv2012-eng-call.pdf

300 to 500 words in English, Spanish or French

Theme of the congress:
Contemporary dilemmas of visuality /
Dilemas contemporáneos de lo visual / Dilemmes contemporains du visuel
A dilemma (from the Greek, dis = two, lemma = topic or premise) is a problem whose solution allows for two possibilities, but none of them is completely satisfactory, so that a difficult choice comes out, upon which ethical and moral issues oſten impact. When a dilemma appears it is not possible to choose from a correct or an incorrect issue, but between two options that may be correct at the same time, but contrary to each other in a certain sense; between two equally appreciated values which, however, come into a conflict. In the field of visuality the dilemmas appear frequently, and seem to have multiplied themselves in the contemporary world, where images and their implications have acquired new strength in the infinite web of global connectivity.

It is perhaps in the field of photography –and particularly in press photography, traditionally linked to the greater effects of reality– where the most dilemmatic situations arise today: to make visible –or not– the oſten terrifying image of the present conflictive scenario, with its wars, attacks, famine, forced migrations, that put us “regarding the pain of others”, as Susan Sontag pointed out, and that may elicit undecidable political dilemmas that involve power factors in a worldwide level. In this extreme visibility, which expands the limits of the knowable, where the many forms of art also are displayed, images seem to recover the symbolic power that worried the ancient people, putting them at the risk of new idolatries. Visibility is assumed as a condition of democracy, as an imaginary of transparency, but also as an erasure of the uncertain threshold between public and private domains, another of the dilemmatic zones.

The dilemmatic visual situations are not limited, however, to moral or cultural questions; they appear equally in the more primary context of visual perception. In this sense, visual ambiguities, paradoxes and antinomies have also a place in the theme we are concerned with. The identification of the referents may suffer from the hesitations coming both from the perceptual organism and from the organization of the object. Even images that are generated and used in the context of scientific practices (diagnosis, experimentation, demonstration, explanation, etc.), which are oſten endorsed with a pretension of objectivity and unambiguity, do not escape from these situations.

Thus, visual contemporary dilemmas concern both ethics and aesthetics, politics, human and social sciences in general, as well as natural sciences, perhaps with special emphasis on biology. Since all knowledge relies on signs, the semiotic perspective allows precisely for an interdisciplinary and integrating view. Is in this vast territory that we want to pose the semiotic reflection on the dilemmas of visuality, calling to questioning, thinking and criticis

Important dates
29 February 2012: Submission of abstracts of oral papers and posters
30 March 2012: Acceptance of abstracts
1 April to 30 May 2012: Registration (necessary to publish in the Proceedings)
30 May 2012: Submission of full papers for the Proceedings

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