Dear All,

This is just a quick update to say that everything is coming together nicely for Semiofest. We are looking forward to seeing all those of you who can make it on Friday 25th or Saturday 26th May.

We just wanted to let you know our plans for the Friday and Saturday night. After the event is finished on Friday we would imagine that most of you will want to go out for a meal. All that talking and listening will make us hungry. It turns out that the area Semiofest is held in, W11, is blessed with some pretty good eateries. Rather than booking one place for 60 people which we’ve struggled to do however, we thought it would be more feasible for us to break into groups of 10 or 15. We can then perhaps check out different restaurants and then meet up later if we all want to.

The restaurants we have earmarked for Semiofest participants on Friday are the following.

1. Taqueria – Mexican, No Set menu, Westbourne Grove

2. Al Waha – Lebanese – Set menus £22 or £26, Westbourne Grove

3. El Pirata – Spanish – Set menus £20 or £25, Westbourne Grove

4. Khan’s – Indian, No Set menu, Westbourne Grove

Some of you have mentioned that networking is one of the prime reasons you are coming to this. Just to let you know that there will be places to go to prolong discussion after the programme has finished… This will not be all of you because I know you are probably all far too respectable for that but there are places to go for those who want to go out to party later.

Supper Club is less than 5 minutes walk from the venue:

Cuban band on Friday, funk and boogaloo on Saturday:

And then Westbourne Studios itself has music / club on every Friday night and of course a bar…

Chris and Organizing Committee

Semiofest Co-Creation Task Briefing

We’ve been pulling together the co-creation task for the Friday. The good news is that we’ll have a task and one with a real purpose behind it. These are sourced from a co-creation agency that one of the organizing committee has as a client. There are currently two tasks, both of which are very topical, interesting and give us a corpus of materials to look and to get to grips with. One of these tasks is a project eliciting posters designed to raise awareness about the importance of freedom of expression and safety for journalists globally. The other is a project focused on sourcing new ways to vote for the Facebook generation. We’ll be choosing one of these over the next few days.

The idea will be to get people into smaller mixed groups of 5 and analysing materials together and submitting the materials to a semiotic analysis together. This will both to use semiotics to create an analytic framework for extracting more meaning from the entires and sorting them into themes but also to dig for connotations and cultural codes that that will allow us potentially to go beyond the material.

The desired outcome of the task is to show how semiotics can add value to making sense out of creative work. We’re not looking for polished conclusions – the primary focus of the task is simply:

to work together towards a common goal, which is also good networking
to share ideas and perspectives (being respectful of each other’s ideas)
to have reflections and / or some sense of how the task and process went

The reality is that in each group there will be a mix of abilities and different theoretical persuasions in each group and varying abilities to ideate too. Some groups will have those less experienced in interpreting texts and they should feel free to sit back and chip in as they can. We will encourage people to dig into the material and to be creative. The format for the session will be as follows:

Briefing 10 minutes
Working 50 minutes
Sharing 30 minutes

So please bring your computer so we can upload materials. Look forward to working with you all.

Chris and Organizing Committee

Quali-Quantitative Instruments for the Semiotic Analysis of Social Media

by Dario Compagno, Semiotic Researcher, Logos.S, Italy

How can we analyze thousands and thousands of tweets semiotically? We cannot read them one by one, and even if we could, it would be impossible to make ourselves an idea of their global sense.

What we need then is the aid of a software, able to find statistically significant patterns and to draw diagrams that we can interpret.

This presentation will present a case study (about the positioning of four pop-drink brands in a fairly large twitter corpus) and will quickly address these two theoretical questions:

– what is the difference between a corpus and a text?

– what does a semiotician gain by using statistical software?



Unlocking The Meaning Economy (semiotics in the era of networks)

Unlocking the Meaning Economy

View more presentations from Tim Stock

Think of semiotics as the elixir for big data. It is the new design thinking. It’s a way to make order of the chaos coming at us. Looking for context turns the framework of semiotics into a science more akin to epidemiology. Going forward, ideas and innovation need to synchronize with new signs and signals. Perpetuating the signs we already know and are comfortable with is not sustainable. This presentation examines the methodology of culture mapping and its use in structuring cultural signals.

Unlocking The Meaning Economy

Syncretic Rhetoric Strategies in Advertising and Propaganda

by Ricardo Monteiro

The presentation “Syncretic Rhetoric Strategies in Advertising and Propaganda” intends to offer a methodological approach to analyze syncretic texts (verbo-visual, audiovisual etc) and also to suggest some criteria to help the evaluation of their efficiency. The examples to be discussed will include both advertising and propaganda, considering their structural similarities as pieces of communication and the specificities of their targets. Although permeated by contributions by the Peircean and Russian schools of semiotics, the conceptual and methodological approach of the presentation is fundamentally based upon the so-called French semiotics, following the steps of such authors as Algirdas Greimas, Jacques Fontanille, Jean-Marie Floch and Andrea Semprini, among others. Thus, one of the methodological strategies to be exposed consists on determining the categorical oppositions that pervade the syncretic text both in the planes of content and expression, and that organize the figures and themes in the different instances of substance (verbal, visual, musical, sound etc) that compound the syncretic text. Such a research, tested throughout about seven years of consultancy, intends to contribute to supply the lack of bibliography regarding to syncretic texts as a whole – constantly obliterated by studies that treat separately the different languages that compound the syncretic text rather than investigating the consequences of their interaction in the process of generation of meaning.



Semiotics and Artificial intelligence; Your Kids Are Smarter Than You

by Sandy Santra, Partner, TSS Consulting, US

Sandy Santra’s talk discusses why kids are smarter than us when it comes to semiotics and computers.

Among the topics tackled are Information Technology, Artificial Intelligence, and the Singularity movement’s race to build an android or cyborg capable of human-level sentience.

Sandy Santra offers solutions on how humans can leverage computer systems and logic to get a leg up on certain scientists’ determination to create a robot smarter than humans, and the practical application of advanced human semiotics skills to keep up with a world whose “intelligence explosion” threatens to potentially sideline humans within a decade as a result of predictable cybernetic advances.

Semiofest 2012 Programme Rough Outline

The rough outline to SemioFest agenda is now available to view here. We have an exciting lineup of speakers who are presenting a wide gamut of ideas. Kicking off with our keynote speakers Prof Paul Cobley and Mark Taylor of Mr Mark Taylor’s Brand Emporium who will be followed by a line up of academics and practitioners presenting perspectives on semiotics.

Topics, co-creation slots

There is great momentum behind SemioFest. We are finalising all arrangements. We have more than enough abstracts for all the presentation slots. We just need to confirm exactly who will be presenting and when.

Just to give you an idea though there are abstracts on the following topics and this does not include Keynotes, Panels or Co-Creation slots:

  • Semiotics of luxury brands
  • Digital flows and cultural codes
  • Semiotics and the semantic web
  • Index for benchmarking brands
  • Semiotics and brand Equity
  • Social media strategy
  • Rhetoric in advertising
  • Rhetoric in product design
  • Archetypes and pattern analysis
  • Colour semiotics
  • Semiotics and urban gaming
  • Qual and quant text mining
  • Crowdsourced semiotics