Abstract

FROM INTRA-OBJECT SYMMETRIES TO TRANS-OBJECT AESTHETICS: HOW SEMIOTIC INVARIANCES SHAPE THE CONSTRUCTIVIST AESTHETIC EXPERIENCE

Klaus Schwarzfischer

Semiotician and Design Theorist, (b. 1966 in Neumarkt, Germany)
Address: INDUKT Institute for Systems Communication and Design, Dr.-Gessler-Str. 23 D, 93051Regensburg (Germany)
E-mail: ks@indukt.de

Abstract: Any Gestalt perception can be understood as an analysis of semiotic symmetries. Four steps will lead to a constructivist conclusion: Firstly, a positivistic analysis is not sufficient for aesthetics (parsing only intra-object symmetries). Resulting models typically use an input-processing-output paradigm (bottom-up). They normally do not control ecological validity. Secondly, it is important to model the observer’s expectations (top-down-processes). Semantic and pragmatic invariances (inter-object symmetries) will hereby come into view. Thirdly, the observer’s mental world model is crucial for defining the possibility space of Gestalt processes in aesthetic experience (across-all symmetries). Those multi-dimensional processes reveal that there are much more relational symmetries within the world model construction than within the observed object. Fourthly, if applying Integrative Aesthetics (which is based completely on symmetries) on itself, we can draw a constructivist conclusion: Any aesthetic experience may be much less a judgement concerning the observed object than an second order observation of the observing system (a self-test of the observing system).

Keywords: Evolutionary Aesthetics, Neuroaesthetics, Symmetry, Gestalt, Semiotics.