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Semiotic Knots, Lacanian Ponderings & Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Posted on | November 7, 2012 | No Comments

Following a Lecture by the eminent and world leading Dr Ryan, my Hamish Fulton mind wanderings and path treading again wonders at the strange similarities between the frames of the Tryadic structure and Sign Types Map of the American Semeiotic work and the Lacanian Borromean Knot. While the European Dyadic structure has a marked similarity to the Lacanian model of the Mirror Phase and splitting or breaking due to miss recognition. Of course I could be totally wrong but it just has that odd uncanny feel to it, that we could be again talking about the same thing from different ends of the one looped and knotted string.

As a side, in conversation with my collaborator she asked:

OK, I’ll take the bait. What’s the difference? [between the American and Euro versions].

To which I answered:

Well for starters the USA version is spelt semeiotics, secondly, if I have this right (and I may not) it seems that in the USA version the understanding of something, a symbol / word / culturally agreed thing (eg: we all understand what a table is) can always be linked to the natural object, the object exists. Therefore some things are not dependent on language to understand them because you can always track the beginning of the word back to the natural object source. However Euro semiotics says that some aspects of language no longer have roots in objects, the object aspect has gone;  because it has become broken and some things are completely conceptual and abstract so that it never had any object to link to in the first place. I’m thinking that the Euro stance exists as an aspect of the American one, but the American one cannot exist on its own because there are exceptions to its rules which it cannot explain. It is a sybmiotic relationship. Take for example the loss of words or language. If it were always rooted in a concrete unchanging natural source which is always detectable, then words would never die out, they would always exist (think Plato)… but we know this isn’t true words vanish and die all the time. … I could of course be barking up the wrong tree (presuming that trees exist as an object!).

My collaborator holds the view that certain types of thinking and certain people do not use language as a thinking mode at all, but rather think in purely image / visual terms.  This also lends itself to instances when people revert to images or just pure expressions of colour, when language has broken down. Such occasions are frequently the realm of the Art Therapists. Semiotics or Semeiotics has no authority or explanations in such instances.


For the best Borromean Knots and work on the Sinthome I recommend:


While for Semeiotics and Semiotics I recommend the excerpt from the thesis of:



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