Prof. Bernd Herzogenrath and Dr. Jenn Chubb at the FHS and the National Gallery explore the boundaries of the human and the non-human (29-30 November 2023, The Faculty of Humanities and the National Galery Prague) 

Where is the boundary of contemporary music, which is increasingly influenced by computing technology, whether in the form of generative artificial intelligence or just the algorithms of streaming services? What can the films of cult director David Cronenberg, famous for his cinematic „mutants“ and his remarkable depictions of violence, tell us about our corporeality? Can music help us better understand the role of humans in a world transformed by it and its rhythms? And how do documentary soundtracks sonically frame and co-create narratives about artificial intelligence?

Four special seminars will be held at the FHS and the National Gallery to address these themes. They will be presented by Professor Bernd Herzogenrath from Goethe Universität Frankfurt and Dr. Jenn Chubb from the University of York. Come and explore the themes of the boundaries of the human and the non-human in film and music in the context of the significant development of artificial intelligence together with a foreign academic.

Peirce's Semiotics and the Arts: Workshop with Francesco Bellucci and Frederik Stjernfelt

FHS UK and AVU would like to invite you to a unique workshop with the two leading experts in the field of semiotics, philosophy and humanities. Francesco Bellucci and Frederik Stjernfelt. 

Seminar at the Faculty of Humanities (Dec 14th, 16:00, Room 003)

Bellucci and Stjernfelt give a joint reading and commentary of an important text of Peirce’s.

The Deduction of the Dicisign

A joint reading and commentary of a section of R 478, the first version that Peirce wrote of a Syllabus for his Lowell Lectures in the autumn of 1903. In this section Peirce set forth an argument designed to prove, or better to deduce, that propositions (here for the first time re-named “dicisigns” or “dicent sign”), provisionally defined as those sign that are capable of truth value, are necessarily compounded or complex entities. The deduction’s conclusion is that a dicisign is a structured sign in which two parts are connected. In this joint reading and commentary, we reconstruct Peirce’s argument, outline its connections to other aspects of his semiotic theory, and explore some important development of the theory that is based on its conclusions.

Workshop at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Dec 15th, 13:00, Main Lecture Hall)

Two distinct talks on a common theme: Peirce’s Semiotics and the Arts

Bellucci: “Legisigns and Their Variants”

In his celebrated Languages of Art (1968) Nelson Goodman said that any theory of art must do some preliminary work into the theory of symbols or notational systems. A crucial element in Goodman’s theory of notation is the distinction between a “character” and the “instance” of a character. This, as Goodman recognizes, is the distinction made by Charles S. Peirce between a “type” sign and a “token” sign. In this talk, I will reconstruct the steps by means of which Peirce arrived at his type/token distinction in the context of his classification of signs.

Stjernfelt: “Propositions and Artworks”

Much work has been done using aspects of Peirce’s semiotics in the analysis of artworks in literature, painting, film, etc., oftentimes using the icon-index-symbol distinction. Rarely, however, has the central role of propositions, or Dicisigns, in Peirce been acknowledged in the art context. Here, I shall address the role of propositions in artworks along two axes: 1) the role of Ingardian “quasi-propositions” in fictional artworks; 2) the deliberate modernist aesthetic strategy of weakening or blurring propositional structure of the artwork – which may coincidentally have contributed to the failing recognition of artistic propositions more generally.

The workshops are a result of the GAČR project 22-17984S Focal images: Violence and Inhumanism in contemporary art and media culture investigated at FHS UK, ZČU and AVU.