On spatial modelling


  • Leonid Tchertov Department of Culture, The St. Petersburg Art School, St. Petersburg, Fontanka 18




modelling, spatial models, autonomic spaces, depictions, perceptographic code


Spatial modelling concerns both the case when spatial structures have a modelling function and the case when such structures become modelled objects. In the article, spatial models are considered as the means of human activity in both external and internal aspects. External spatial models are tangible objects which have structural similarity with something different from them and can represent it for a subject. These external models can be interpreted on various mental levels: sensorial, perceptual, apperceptual and conceptual ones. Each of them is connected with a peculiar way of internal modelling. Both external and internal spatial models can have a productive or a reproductive character, which depends on whether they serve as patterns for reproduction or if they are copies of originals. It is possible to consider external models as spatial texts if they can be divided into a plane of expression and a plane of content which are connected with each other by a semiotic system. In particular, such division can be revealed in depictions in which the two planes of both depicting and depicted spaces are open for the eye and their connection is regulated by indexes of a special perceptographic code. So, depictions can be treated as spatial texts interpreted firstly on the perceptual level of internal modelling and, secondly, on the higher mental levels by means of other visual-spatial codes.

The article is divided into three parts. The first part contains a description of the basic concepts introduced in the author’s interpretation. In the second part, these concepts are applied to description of spatial modelling and its semiotic means. In the third part an important special case of spatial modelling – combination of mimetic and semiotic means in formation of depictions – is discussed.


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How to Cite

Tchertov, L. (2015). On spatial modelling. Sign Systems Studies, 43(1), 77–101. https://doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2015.43.1.04