AbstractAlthough ‘voice’ is a contested concept used in many different ways, it is often used to indicate degrees of authorial agency and, as such, is useful for exploring interest and design in artwork and three dimensional artefacts. This paper investigates the semiotic signifiers of voice in artwork, arguing that the notion of materiality is crucial for understanding voice in designed three dimensional artefacts. The methodological approach is multimodal social semiotics where meaning is seen to be made through the selection and configuration of modes in texts and through the interest of the sign-maker in a particular context. This position paper focuses on authorial engagement as realized through semiotic choices, and explores the relationship between creativity and constraints in sign-making. It also investigates ways in which voice is constructed intertextually through citation in artwork. It argues that in designed artefacts, citation takes the form of explicit or implicit negotiation with authoritative conventions, and it is also realised through sensory and connotative provenance. The overall aim is to find apt semiotic terms to talk about voice across modes, genres and domains. Identifying these semiotic tools and signifiers of voice may be useful in a number of domains, including the pedagogical where voice often instantiates the negotiation between students’ lifeworlds and the new ideas, contexts and genres they encounter.
Multimodal Communication – de Gruyter
Published: Mar 24, 2018
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