New approaches to plastic language: Prolegomena to a computer-aided approach to pictorial semiotics

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this paper we summarize observations bridging the declared aspirations of pictorial semiotics and its real achievements. Pictorial semiotics is here understood as the general study of pictures as signs and it constituted a fundamental step beyond the art historical captivation with individual images. In the first part of our contribution we present a review of the most important methods that have been proposed as an answer to deal with several pictorial problems (multiple instances, segmentation, non-figurative meaning). In the second part, we offer some positive and on-going implementations designed to remedy the shortcomings observed. What is suggested is the proof of concept that human researchers need the assistance of computing methodologies. However, computers can only do their job once an adequate phenomenology of human experience is fed into the process.


External organisations
  • University of Paris VIII
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Other Humanities
  • General Language Studies and Linguistics


  • data exploration, digital semiotics, pictorial semiotics, plastic language, visual computing
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-95
Issue number230
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch