SITUATED ECOLOGIES gathers art, design and research collaborations to contest and democratise ecologies.

Travel report: Turning the biosphere into the “semiosphere” in Tartu, Estonia

As part of the effort to develop collaborations that help to transverse and put in dialogue science and humanities, Martin Avila travelled to Tartu, Estonia (September 1-3) to meet with (bio)semioticians Kalevi Kull and colleagues.

Kalevi Kull and Mart#984EEC

In the words of Jesper Hoffmeyer (2008), “Biosemiotics is the name of an interdisciplinary scientific project that is based on the recognition that life is fundamentally grounded in semiotic processes”, that is, on communication processes based on signs, human and nonhuman. One of the implications of this approach is that it investigates the existence of meaningful communication in many other species besides Homo sapiens, turning the biosphere into the semiosphere, and examining all kind of forms of communication without submitting to a linguistic paradigm. Biosemiotics is an emergent field of studies which, to our understanding, resonates with some strands of posthuman theories in its decentering of the human and some aspects of decolonial studies in acknowledging the multiplicity of being (while maintaining a scientific paradigm).

While visiting the Semiotic Department at Tartu University, Martin presented his postdoctoral research Symbiotic Tactics as well as the book chapter co-written with Henrik Ernstson “Realms of exposure: A Speculative Design Perspective of Material Agency and Political Ecology”.

See also: http://www.flfi.ut.ee/en

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