Artibus et Historiae no. 3 (II)

1981, ISSN 0391-9064

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ALICJA HELMAN - Art Synthesis in the Semiotic Concept of Complex Systems

The author tries to prove that the notion of synthetic art can be discussed with the help of the semiotic notion of Complex system and multi-code messages. A synthesis does not involve total systems, but only constituents of these systems - some of the subsystems; combination of the subsystems constitutes a new whole. Two co-ordinate and parallel lines overlap and participate in this process: the destruction of the primary systems involved in the synthesis, and the construction of the new systems.

The ordering of the selected subsystems into a new signifying whole may occur in two ways. The first one assumes the simple physical absence of the subsystems not belonging to the new whole. The other way is due mainly to the fact that the particular subsystems of a given work are neither "turned down" nor "off" by the material specific procedures resulting in a palpable effect. Such subsystems are still physically present, but they do not participate in the act of communication. The author - supporting her analyses by examples from music and film - tries to find the laws governing the relations of subsystems: the law of permeability of structure, the law of the alternation of a function and two kinds of special relation: relation of domination and of neutrality.

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