le 25 mars 2021
Publié le 26 mars 2021 Mis à jour le 14 février 2022

e-Guest Lecture : Massimo Leone


Semioethics of the Visual Fake

Massimo Leone, Professeur de philosophie de la communication, de sémiotique culturelle et de sémiotique visuelle à l'université de Turin - Italie, est actuellement fellow-in-residence à CY AS, invité du laboratoire AGORA

The ethics of images differs from that of words because images always carry an intrinsic motivation that words do not. There is of course something conventional in images, as there might be motivation in words, yet the materiality of visual signs anchors them to reality and perception in a different, more cogent way. That is why images do not lie in the same way in which words do. Even when they are farfetched, they transmit an idea of real possibility that words can hardly evoke. Two different ideological stances can be taken as regards the relation between images and the reality effect they prompt. Humanities, including semiotics, tend to emphasize the weight of the cultural context; increasing evidence, however, shows that images work as they do also because they match the innate neurophysiology of cognition. Humans are biologically inclined to react to images, and representations trigger different perceptions depending on their technology, which is evolving by accumulation through human history. Semiotics is therefore called to debunk the realistic propaganda of new devices for representation and display, pointing at their conventionality, but must also take into account how new advances in the production of simulacra tend to introduce emerging phenomena in the relation between images and the human perception. The visual fake of today is indeed somewhat more powerful that those of past epochs, because it is constructed through machines whose outcome can be debunked only by other machines. Furthermore, the evolution of digital cultures is now creating a blurring of fictional and non-fictional genres. The visual fake starts to circulate like a virus, multiplying the occasions for ambiguous suspensions of disbelief. What is needed is, instead, a new ecology of the fictional, able to give rise, in turn, to a reasonable semioethics of the visual fake.

Date : 25 mars 2021 de 12h30 à 14h00

La vidéo est publiée sur la chaîne YouTube de CY AS