Analytics by Semiotics

When talking about virtual and real worlds it soon gets difficult to determine what we consider as virtual and real. Our thoughts and imaginations are not technically enhanced or otherwise mysterious but they are not part of the actual, material world, either. They do shape our perspective and our plans and actions.

Public Buildings are solid environments but their particular determination, they way we perceive the building and select a proper behavior is not built-in but a system of signs and codes that we read permanently.
With the means of Semiotic Analysis I investigated on the relation between (real) buildings and our interpretation, that means our (virtual) reconstruction. The results are presented by an interactive documentation that reflects the subjective process of decoding (unfortunately, texts in German only). It is the fruit of the Master Class in Design Theory, led by Prof. Dr. Rainer Funke.

As a first example, I examined the Berlin Central Railway Station as a hub of public transport on the one side and I discovered an interference with the mixed-in shopping mall concept on the other one. Having travelling in mind initially, a passenger has to cross the shopping sector. This changes the context for his decoding of sign systems, so he misses the guides to the trains easily.

Berlin Hbf Identitaetskrise - Titelbild flash, 3.4 MB

For the second example, I was wondering which signs and features render a church into a somewhat mystic room with a very special atmosphere. Although one could still call it a house by its primary features it makes people whisper and feel different. Featured buildings include St. Hedwig, St. Paulus, Sophienkirche, and Maria Saal (Kaernten, A)
mythosraum kirche - title flash, 4.6 mb

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predict the tomorrow

Everyone uses Google (or search engines in general) to find something from the past: What are the soccer results from last week end, who wrote an article about surveillance, where is that “critical update” for my webbrowser? Google finds out the questions and needs of a lot of people (e.g. 50% of all US-search) and with a little extrapolation one could say: of the world. The (monthly) statistics on the psyche of the world can be inspected at the Google Zeitgeist.
The future is nothing random but created by ourselves everyday through actions that are driven exactly by these questions and needs that condense at the search interface of Google. Wouldn’t Google be able to predict the things to come?

While this is one of the stunning (at least to me) results of the Google and Borges class at Humboldt University, I developed a game concept that takes one step back and leaves prophecy to the players.

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simulation and truth

For getting a grip on my master thesis I made up a collection of fields of interest. There are a couple of buzz-words that I want to unfold in order to make them fructous for further investigations. This is one of the first steps and I hope to be able to add some details soon.

simulation/virtual
simulation depends and constructs reality (WoWarcraft, Second Life)
machines simulate an interface in order to get usable for humans

thoughts and theses?
opposite (according to Baudrillard): Illusion

is simulation linked to virtuality?
is operationalization the basis for simulation?

authenticity
unique, personal experience reproductive society, sampling

what role plays the “I” and how do we define it? >emotions

truth
democracy (many) experts (peers)
poetry and truth (>Goethe)

emotion
human control system, adding salience(“weight”) to information
subconscious

Links to authenticity and maybe truth?

games
a way to liberty/freedom (>Schiller)?
some things can not be described directly but rather circumscribed
storytelling, truth in poetry

immersion
which truth(s) might be created, available or perceived by being immersed into some medium, computer games in particular?

emergence
can truth come from (super)complex systems? What do emergent structures show?
are evolutionary systems useful?

massive systems can no longer be calculated but must be estimated statistically and are often simulated in advance > simulation

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extroverted biedermeier

radio gathering, found on wmmna

Some time ago Berlin’s UDK had the luck to award Sasha Pohflepp with his diploma degree in Visual Communication for his brilliant work called Blinks&Buttons. Although I knew his work for some time my research on social interaction for a mobile world gave me reason to read it in more detail. It triggerd some thoughts on public, community, and private use of media.

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ignorance is strength

The metaphor of “Big Brother” should be taken more serious and literal, it seems to me, than it can be usually observed: The “Brother” implies that we do not fear him when we encouter him. Even if we feel observed we don’t care.

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Neugier

Meine charakteristische Neugier bezieht sich nicht nur auf das Geschehen in meiner Umgebung, sondern auch auf das, was dahinter steckt. Beides erachte ich als entscheidend für mein Selbstverständnis als Designer

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real?

I’m very happy that I managed to get into the Masters Program for Interface Design at FH Potsdam. This proposal and a little presentation did it for me!
Now the real work starts as I want to re-work my proposal and re-think my ideas. I’m very curious about the results…

Here you can find the first outlining of my work (german only, unfortunately)

real? why our world has to be virtual if it wants to be authentic pdf, 32 kb

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Media Theory

Mit Hilfe der Ästhetik wird versucht, klare Regeln zu schaffen, um Design zwischen Kitsch und Kunst, Form und Funktion einzuordnen und die Gestaltungsarbeit damit einer (gerade auch ökonomisch) rationalen Umwelt zu erklären. Dieser Zweckorientierung entgeht dabei genauso wie dem naiv-harmlosen Verschönerungsgedanken, dass es ein Designer vor allem mit Stimmungen zu tun hat, ja Stimmungen absichtlich erzeugen will. Die Wirkung dieser “Atmosphären” (Gernot Böhme) ist dabei keineswegs trivial.

Um diese Wirkung einmal nicht nur gezielt zur Entfaltung zu bringen, sondern sie vor allem kritisch zu hinterfragen und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Gesellschaft zu reflektieren, eröffnete Prof. Dr. Friedrich 2003 das Offene Projekt (Theorie). Die Seminararbeiten von einigen Studenten und mir setzen sich je nach Semesterthema unter anderem mit Horckheimer, Adorno und Marcuse, aber auch mit Baudrillard oder Husserl auseinander.

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