Publisher: Studio Vista
Product Dimensions: 27.7 x 22.6 x 2.8 cm
Release Date: 1966
Condition: acceptable (Ex-library book with typical and stampings)
SIGN, IMAGE, SYMBOL
edited by GYORGY KEPES
Communication, in the very broadest sense of the term, is the subject of this volume. “Everything that exists and happens in the world, every object and event, every plant and animal organism, almost continuously emits its characteristic identifying signal. Thus, the world resounds with these many diverse messages, the cosmic noise, generated by the energy transformation and transmission from each existent and event. . . . The entering into a knowing relation with the world through the use of symbols is to be seen as the uniquely human way of dealing with the actual world of signals to which all organisms are selectively responsive. . . . As we recognize and more fully understand these symbol systems which man has created for establishing his various cultural worlds and providing for fulfillment of his varied potentialities, we will have the needed instrument for the cultural renewal we must undertake.”
Different aspects of comprehension, observation, perception, and representation are here studied by scientists, psychologists, historians, anthropologists, architects, and artists. The essays establish a broad interpretation of the meaning of signs, images, and symbols, and explore the creative use of image making and symbol-making in the encoding of our common culture and the shaping of our environment.
The introductory contributions indicate above all that communication is a two-way process: a message comes from the environment, but becomes meaningful only if it reaches and is recognized by those it concerns.
In the essays that follow a biophysicist describes the neurological processes that transform signals into perceptual or conceptual meanings, while a psychologist investigates the common roots of seeing and thinking.
A subsequent group of papers present the graphic, pictorial projection of perception and thought, while in further contributions, psychologists and art critics seek an understanding of the internal role of image-making processes.
A group of case studies present three levels of communication: from a painter’s complete rejection of outside references, to a graphic artist’s socially critical work, to a film designer’s well-defined functional use of motion images.
In the concluding portion of the volume, anthropologists discuss man’s image-making in the limiting environment of the Arctic Eskimo world, While architects and historians present man’s symbolic conquest of the complex urban environment.