The Art of Utopia and the Real City: Basic Principles
AbstractAnti Randviir: The Art of Utopia and the Real City: Basic principles
Keywords: function of utopia, city, sociocultura l systems, utopian
logic, semiotic reality
The article addresses semiotic topics connected with utopia and the utopian. Even though the argument is based on the widely analysed text by Thomas More, it still targets the fundamental semiotic techniques and principles applied in Utopia that has established the universal logic for the utopian discourse ever since 1516. Simultaneously it will be evident that it is worthwhile to raise the question of the legitimacy of describing certain cultural production as utopian in the light of More’s highly singular prototypical text. The utopian discourse and consciousness is often an issue tied with the urban context and the city. The article will question such an association because of the status and functioning of the utopia as launched by More. Except from extremely particular specimens, urbanity in its sociocultural dimension in a specific time-space probably cannot be, and is not useful to be discoursed in utopian terms.
The semiotic interpause is hard to achieve in the context of the physical environment. Yet this is the point where the utopia, the city, the society and the utopian come together. Thus it might be useful to review the notion of utopia in its connection with quite practical development of the (urban) sociocultural life in which even the status of objects in communicative situations is being continually re-defined.
Anti Randviir (PhD) is a semiotician. He is currently a senior researcher at the Department of Semiotics of the University of Tartu. His publications have mainly treated various issues in the field of sociosemiotics, semiotics of space and city.