CulturalNature Arga #2

CulturalNature Arga #2

Tiago Cruz (Instituto Superior da Maia, Maia, Portugal & Universidade Aberta, Lisbon, Portugal), Fernando Faria Paulino (Research Centre for Arts and Communication, Instituto Superior da Maia, Maia, Portugal) and Mirian Tavares (Research Centre for Arts and Communication, University of Algarve, Faro, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/ijcicg.2014010102
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Abstract

CulturalNature Arga#2 is an interactive audio-visual installation intended to explore the concept of landscape as a verb (to landscape) questioning and reflecting about the semiotic discourses associated with this concept. The landscape as something natural, static, peaceful, silent, etc. is a semiotic discourse with roots in a past related with the representation of a point of view, not only perceptual but also conceptual, ideological. These representations enformed the visual culture leading to a particular discourse. The installation proposes a reflexion about the way different elements associated with a particular territory shape this territory's landscape, giving it a dynamic existence, a product of cultural activity. Like J.T.W. Mitchell, here, the landscape is seen “…as a process by which social and subjective identities are formed.” (1994)
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The Landscape And Its Semiotic Discourse

Landscape, as a view, refers to a specific point of view over a scenery or specific area of a territory with particular natural and/or cultural characteristics. As a noun, it’s related to a representation of this point of view. As a discipline, it refers to a particular field of disciplines like painting and photography, which deals with these representations. As a verb, it refers to the act of shaping a territory with the intent of making him more pleasant and useful. (Lorch, 2002)

The landscape is a social phenomenon that can be perceived according many different points of view and characteristics. It consists and it’s formed by natural and cultural forces that can be studied and identified by a wide range of disciplines. In the context of the audio-visual interactive installation CulturalNature Arga#2, the landscape is thought as a verb (to landscape), as a social practice that acts over and transforms a particular space.

J.T.W. Mitchell (1994) identifies two ways of approaching the concept of landscape –as a representation and perception– and adds a third one –as a media in its own. The landscape, when it refers to a representation, on one side, may assume itself as a progressive movement in the direction of a purification of the visual field and, on the other side, as perception, it can assume itself as a process of contemplation and naturalisation of cultural and social constructions. Besides these two, and in a postmodern perspective, Mitchell refers to landscape as an allegory to the social and psychological that needs to be deconstructed, underlining that the landscape is a media on its own that carries messages related with the space, the subject and the activities.

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