Easter Bunnies – Super-Signs

Begins 11:50 am

[OS Working off line over the Easter holidays.  Over 60 million Easter Eggs sold in Ireland!  That is phenomenal for a population of 4.5 million.  The Easter Bunny is growing more materialistic every year.  The symbols, signs of Easter are/were everywhere.  It was overwhelming.  The Easter Bunny is the Godzilla of Spring, rising out of the marketing departments of retailers.  It has grown since my childhood and has grown in the cultural ‘mind’ of Ireland.  It is also the centenary of the 1916 Rising.  Flags flying everywhere.  Lots and lots of semiotic phenomena to observe.]

Given the diverse range of semiotic systems…

[SS This sentence is incomplete because I feel I can’t move forward.  Someone dropped down to give me one of the fecking Easter Eggs I was talking about earlier.  The kettle, which is the noisiest boiling pot ever, was pressed on.  “Find a quieter place to work”, I hear you say.  But the rising of the daffodils does not a warm house make.  With all these interruptions, I have spent almost one hour trying to sound like a decent PhD candidate by coherently analysing the content of page 235 of Eco’s work.  I am going to try again.]

Restart 12:40pm

The diverse range of semiotic systems with multiple levels of possible articulations, reminds us that semiotics is wider and far reaching than language.  Hence, Eco’s reminder, and repeated here, that “…there is no reason to bow to the linguistic model…” (p 234).   He seems to imply that there is a degree of complexity in other semiotic systems that is not apparent in the linguistic one.  Eco uses an example of how a scanner decomposes and analyzes an image that it transfers to a computer through binary signals. (p 235)  The complexity of the image is constrained only by the technical limitations of the equipment.  In theory, he claims, it is possible to reproduce a scanned image of Lenoardo’s Mona Lisa.


Eco cites Huff’s work (1967) on his analysis of the composition of images and mapping of their combinational possibilities and continuous gradations. He isolates minimal graphic units into: “color, density, form, position of the elements…configurations of the lattice”. (p 236)  Huff posed “the [formidable] problem of a binary reduction”, Eco claims.  (p 236) This problem is best summed up in the difficulty of maintaining a continuous surface in a graphic realisation of a reproduced image by photomechanical devices.  Eco refers to other works in this area by Moles (1968), Soulis and Ellis (1967), Cralle and Michael (1967), Knowlton and Harmon and concludes that reproductions are limited only by time and economic means. (p236)

Ends 1: 05pm

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