Cognitive Semiotics Seminar: "When is non-space represented as space (and when not)?" (Johan Blomberg, LU)
Johan will give us a preview of his latest research, framed as a "practice talk" for the conference on Visual Semiotics in Bogota, Columbia at the end of this month. All interested are warmly welcome!
It is common in language and for other sign systems like gesture and depiction to use space to represent non-spatial phenomena. We talk about the ideological affinities of persons and political parties in terms of ‘left’/‘right’ or we use visuo-spatial diagrams where the axes may represent virtually any conceivable abstract dimensions. Such strong tendencies for spatialization have been assumed to show that space is a prioritized domain, serving as structural template for understanding less tangible ones. I have previously offered some critical remarks on this claim in relation to language (e.g. Blomberg & Thiering 2016; Widoff & Blomberg submitted). In this talk, I step outside of my comfort zone to look at visuo-spatial representations. I suggest tentatively that the alleged similarity between space and non-space may in part be facilitated by the abstraction necessarily involved in any kind of representation.