"The seed is a household object but at the same time it is a revolutionary symbol." - Ai Wei Wei

Ai Wei Wei, Sunflower Seeds, 2010.











Welcome to Art and Text!





Have you ever stared at a work of art, and wondered, "What the hell?"


Mike Kelley, More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid, 1987.











Vincent Van Gogh, Leather Clogs, 1888.











Bronzino, Allegory with Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time, c. 1545.











Have you heard heated critical commentary on something seemingly bengin, and wondered, "Why on earth?"






















Have you suspected that a message is being conveyed, but aren't sure the meaning?












Or, alternately, totally understand the message, and find the strategy brilliant?












Banksy, Calais Jungle, 2016.











Or, as a consumer of both images and objects, do you just want to know how signs color our "free will?"












Francis Bacon, Two Studies for Self-Portrait, 1977.































Jan Van Eyck, Arnolfini Marriage, 1434.





















You may be wondering "Why?"
What is the point of this deep thinking exercise? Why study semiotics?
Semiotics teaches us that reality is a system of signs. Studying semiotics can assist us in becoming more aware of reality as a construction, and of the roles played by ourselves and others in constructing it. It can help us to realize that information or meaning is not 'contained' in the world or in books, computers or audio-visual media. Meaning is not 'transmitted' to us - we actively create it according to a complex interplay of codes or conventions of which we are normally unaware. Becoming aware of such codes is both inherently fascinating and intellectually empowering.
Wall Street Journal, Pep Montserrat











Magritte, Treason of Images, 1928 - 1929.