Visualized Word In The Space Of Modern Culture: Parameters Of Semiotic Interpretation


The semiotic content of modern visual culture is a form of worldview, part of verbal and non-verbal reality. In the space of modern communication, textual perception and verbal text space is not the only way to understand the world. Elements in the space of the artistic whole, heterogeneous in type of perception, allow you to organize the space of a work of art, an artistic image as a variable, alternative. The models of generating meaning in the work are implemented in such a way that the viewer and the reader have the opportunity to complete the artistic space of the reality created by the author. In the structure of modern film text, verbal written information is embedded not as an element accompanying sounding speech, but as a space of text complementing textual reality and generating a new dimension of meaning. Moreover, verbal accompaniment of the visual text is not mandatory, it is an excess component that has its aesthetic and semantic value. The verbal element functionally performs the role of a frame structure, a graphic leader that acts as an alternative meaning-generating structure, actualizing the perceptual visual environment. The phenomenon we are considering is presented in the structure of modern feature films, in modern painting.

Keywords: Visual semioticscreolized textidentity


In the space of modern culture, the text space is not linear, unified in the stylistic, genre and code respect of objects. The text of modern culture is visual, connected with the situation of a visual turn in modern culture. The visual space of modern culture includes in its composition another semiotic nature, in particular, modern painting, film text as poly-code type texts realize a space of meaning, combining verbal and non-verbal (visual) elements. Elements that are heterogeneous in type of perception in the space of the artistic whole allow you to organize the space of an artwork, an artistic image as a variable, alternative. The models of generating meaning in the work are implemented in such a way that the viewer and the reader have the opportunity to complete the artistic space of the reality created by the author. In the structure of modern film text, for example, verbal written information is embedded as an element that complements textual reality and generates a new dimension of meaning. Moreover, there is no need for verbal accompaniment of the visual text, the visual text is self-sufficient, but the verbal component in it has a special aesthetic and semantic value. Thus, a new speech genre is formed, the most effective, two-pronged in terms of using the means of updating meaning. The verbal element functionally performs the role of a frame structure, a graphic leader that acts as an alternative meaning-generating structure, actualizing the perceptual visual environment. The phenomenon we are considering is presented in the structure of modern feature films, in modern painting.

Problem Statement

A modern understanding of semiotics as a way of interpreting reality and creating an alternative world allows us to talk about the formation of principles for understanding a visual text as conditional and conditional on social reality. Methods of sociological research are reflected in the theory of modern semiotics of visual arts (R. Arnheim, O.V. Aronson, V.P. Rudnev, V.A. Kolotaev, V.L. Krutkin, A.G. Sonin and others). The term «creolized text» means «a text whose texture consists of two inhomogeneous parts: verbal (linguistic/speech) and non-verbal (belonging to other sign systems than natural language)…» (Sorokin & Tarasov, 1990, p. 180). Creolized text is defined as «a special linguistic-visual phenomenon, a text in which the verbal and pictorial components form one visual, structural, semantic and functional whole, providing its complex pragmatic impact on the recipient» (Sorokin & Tarasov, 1990, p. 180). Definition of terminology policedog text is embodied and addressed in the system descriptions of discrete units of the image and the parameters of their interaction with the socio-cultural picture of the world of modern man. This type of text is defined as «visual information», «videoservery a row», «iconic sign», «creolized text», «sowerberry complex», «videofemale texts», «linguo-visual complex» (Bernatsky, A., Bolshiyanov, L. M., Mikheev, A.V., Poimanova, O. V.), i.e. a text that combines various components that form the meaning that best describes the text space.

Research Questions

Modern text linguistics seeks to study the text and took great interest in creolized texts, combining the attributes of different code systems. Creolized texts are becoming more common in modern communication and is one of the most successful tools. The complexity of the coding system of meaning allows you to create a phenomenological add-on, which is a necessary condition of identification of the perceiver. A typology of the methods of compatibility of verbal and visual components in the structure of a multicode text is described in the theory of linguistics. For example, Elina (2010), based on the location of the main verbal and visual elements in the advertising text as a kind of creolized text, singled out the following most frequent structures for presenting content: 1) the dominant role of the text; 2) the dominant role of the image; 3) the text as a comment on the image; 4) an image as an illustration to the text; 5) the image and text carry information for one purpose - to name the subject of advertising; 6) both the image and the text are involved in creating the context, the dynamic situation in which the subject of advertising is presented; 7) the text as a graphically designed speech of the character (Elina, 2010). In this aspect we can talk about options and methods of compatibility of types of codes in a creolized text, allowing to expand the possibilities of interpretation and the formation of sociocultural identity (Budenkova & Savelyeva, 2016; Ignatova & Abbasova, 2018; Khrenov, 2018; Kolotaev & Markov, 2019).

Purpose of the Study

A new dimension of text from a position of sociocultural identity

Understanding the visual text is understood by us as a form and method of embodiment of sociocultural semantics, a form of conceptualization of the picture of the world. The visual code of the text space, text culture is a way of modeling social processes associated with an identity building system. This topic is given attention in the works of M. I. Zhabsky, K. E. Razlogov, N. A. Tsyrkun, N. A. Khrenov, V. I. Mikhalkovich, V. A. Kolotaev and many others (Khrenov, 2015; Kolotaev & Ulybina, 2016; Razlogov, 2015; Shashwat, Foroudib, Väätänenc, & Len, 2018; Thurlow, 2017). There are numerous studies devoted to the problems of national, cultural, political, gender identity in world cinema as a form of multi-code text space: «Interest in identity problems is caused by globalization and anti-globalization processes that make a person independently fit into the changing landscape of surrounding reality, constantly redraw their map identities, find ways to somehow indicate your presence in this world, or speak through cinema art about the fuzzy boundaries of his «I», about the complexity of self-determination ...» (Chernyy, Markov, Kolotaev, Dobritsyna, & Stein, 2019, p. 74). A new type of text measurement, which offers a multicode text, allows us to talk about a different way of transmitting content: in this case, the visual text as an integral work is not realized as a horizontal of meaning (in the temporal, diachronic, linear representation), but as a multilayer physically, really artistic whole, suggesting the possibility of completing the image, verbal accompaniment, meaning, i.e. allowing you to develop the text, finish building it yourself. In this case, we can talk about the type of textual reality discrete, infinite, incomplete, capable of self-development (in the terminology of synergetics). An important characteristic of this type of texts, which sets the boundaries for their interpretation from the standpoint of identity formation, is the ability to recognize «as a whole, which has the important property of being restored after the dominant component. The communicative expansion of formulas serves these goals ...» (Proskurin & Proskurina, 2016, p. 407). In the description of text components, text formulas of poetry texts Proskurin and Proskurina (2016) uses the principles of the flow of information processes: «The communicative expansion of the formula due to redundant information provides recognition of the formula in diachrony and its transmission in texts. In other words, the apparent redundancy of the poetic formula is a logical consequence of its possible oral nature, since the latter often relies on the speech context, which provides the transmission…» (p. 422). According to the same principle, a multicode creolized text operates: the compatibility of several types of components in its structure forms a certain amount of redundant information and, as a result, the formation of a new type of context. Kinotext as a form of multicode text is loaded with a larger set of elements of description and interpretation of the linguistic picture of the world. In this type of text space, value is generated by a combination of smaller elements, fragments of a statement, frames, scenes.

The word in the image structure as a source of sociocultural identity

A new stage of the production revolution, the parameters for assessing the reality of the modern cultural layer is associated with changes in production technology that focuses on the production of images: imaginary reality is the reality of the visible and invisible, and not spoken and unspoken in the space of modern culture. Image as a new way of distributing reality is the result of a synthesis of high art and everyday life, a way to aesthetically overcome the dichotomy of style and image quality, of elite and mass culture (Dobronitskaya, 2016; Kolodii, Kolodii, Chayka, & Goncharova, 2015; Kolotaev & Markov, 2019). When analyzing a photographic image and an artistic pictorial work, a fixed type of image, an elementary visual particle, is analyzed. However, when this fragment of visual static reality is supplemented with additional types of encoding of meaning, the image parameters and the ability of the image to formulate objective reality, illustrate an identifiable picture of the world are modified. In this sense, the parameters of the interpretation of film text come into conflict with the theoretical foundations of the semiotic concept of R. Barth. In his theory, the basis for the analysis of the reconstructed alternative reality in film text is the analysis of an individual film frame, without taking into account the parameters of its semiotic expansion towards diachronic and historical development. In the system of modern art, the inclusion of the word material in the visual context is a way of stylistic and structural adaptation of the text to the semiotic structure of the era of «visual rotation». The modern addressee of the message today needs a visual perception of the cultural elements of the modern era, because this is the methodological basis for bringing the destructive basis of the epistemological space of the cultural world, social reality to the level of its harmonious perception as integral, complete, multi-aspect. The non-linearity and ambiguity of the coding nature of the object allows us to talk about a new quality of polytext reality, which integrally reflects the sociocultural space, i.e. allowing a person to identify with him, to be qualitatively embodied. For example, the artists of the London School in the style space and thematic originality of their painting deliberately rethink, transform the history of art, offering opportunities for a new understanding of the world, its physical, almost tactile sensation, materially comprehending the space of the visible, felt. The style of «pop art» allows you to implement the concept of built-in verbal reality into the visual space of the picture. The verbal text inscribed in the poster space of the pictures builds a new type of understanding of the whole image: it is a type of creolization, the purpose of which is not to comment, complete, adjust the transmitted visual image, but to present the verbal act as an independent type of text space, equivalent to the visual type of representation of meaning. In the style of conceptual collages that include text fragments of different types of semiotic encoding in the visual space, the London school artist Ron B. China works («The Killing of Rosa Luxemburg» (1960), «Good Old Times» (1970), «The Red Dancer of Moscow» (1975)). This artist uses inserts with textual verbal elements in various forms (a poster fragment, a photograph of the text on the cover, imitation of the font table, imitation of cuneiform text, etc.). This way of presenting an artistic idea is a kind of intentional, artificial illogical inclusion of a verbal component in the structure of a visual text, but, on the other hand, it represents an image of a world destructive in its structure, with a manifested context and the absence of a metaphorical meaning. The modern viewer perceives this form of artistic reality as a kind of objective space, destructive, entropic. The world is perceived fragmentarily, visually determined, the procedure for categorizing fragments of reality is carried out by comparing and incorporating incompatible semiotic elements into one artistic space. The modern artist Tauba Auerbach presents the word, verbal text space as a type of modern ornament, presenting the word or replica in a graphic manner, giving it a geometric shape, reviving in a specific way the Baroque manner and the concept of creativity «world - book», «world - word». In the history of art, this is stylistically connected with the concept of curly (graphic) verses, but in the space of modern culture this way of presenting the meaning of the text is a way of translating a word into a visual coding system. In the context of Auerbach painting, a verbal word is deprived of a semantic lexical load, representing a figurative graphic filling, symbolizing the space of a word and meaning as a visible, visual space. The tradition of including a word in the structure of a visual image is closely connected with the history of the formation of the positions of sociocultural identity in the implementation of a religious national strategy for creating a picture of the world. In this aspect, we can recall the practice of designing sacred religious texts, in which the practice of including fragments of texts, religious utterances, sacred songs, suras as an ornamental replica, a painting element, calligraphic object in the illustration was implemented. Antique and medieval calligraphy and ornamental painting acted in a role that shapes and describes the structure and correct understanding of the picture of the world, limiting the possibilities of its interpretation. It is interesting to use the verbal code in the structure of film text. The film «Antenna» (La Antena, 2007, dir. E. Sapir) presents the image of a world in which the idea of ​​actualizing a word as a type of person’s self-identification is represented in the style of silent cinema in black and white color scheme. a speaking person is a metaphor for a person acting, thinking, rational, independent, individual. The hero of the film robs the inhabitants of the city of votes, this allows him to control the city, to absolutize power over the inhabitants. The lack of voice appears in the film in the metaphorical function of leveling personal status. The speech function is performed in the «Antenna» through visualization of word patterns, snippets of tests, characters represented in the cinema text in the form of a background image, decorative design of the «theater backdrop» of movie scenes. The verbal form of meaning, the transmission in this way of implied, but not able to howl actualized speech, symbolizes the procedures of the general context of understanding, physical actualization of the unspoken, self-identification in the process of social representation and adaptation of the speaker.

Research Methods

The problem under study is at the intersection of several modern directions in linguistics, the sphere of interests of which is the study of the text as a multidisciplinary, multicode phenomenon, on the one hand, and a material object, a simulacrum, which is a representation of the methods and styles of the socio-cultural and national identity of a modern person in the space of cultural self-identification . The methodological basis of the work is a complex of scientific knowledge in the field of linguistics, philosophy, cultural studies, semiotics and hermeneutic interpretation of the text. Interpretation of the subject of research occurs in accordance with the methodological principles of complexity, the unity of typological and substantive. The philosophical and semiotic understanding of the visual text as a multicode, creolized is realized within the framework of theoretical studies by R. Bart, A.F. Losev, S.M. Eisenstein, Yu.M. Lotman, J. Hazinga, U. Eco.


Texts with built-in verbal code are a special type of creolized text. On the one hand, this is a type of text, which is a unity of visual and verbal components. On the other hand, this is a work of art, a multidimensional phenomenon, the aesthetic potential of which allows us to talk about an individual, but giving the opportunity to identify the structure of the world embodied in this type of polycode space.


The verbal component in the structure of the visual text in the space of modern culture is a form and a way of describing a picture of the world in which this new type of semiotic space sets the boundaries for self-identification, determining the parameters of sociocultural identity. This category of texts (in the system of painting, traditional applied art, author's cinema) is a unique phenomenon related to the system of creolized texts. This type of linguistic reality forms a special space of meaning and assessment of the linguistic picture of the world, an understanding of social reality as destructive, entropic, capable of expanded polymodal perception.


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03 August 2020

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Sociolinguistics, linguistics, semantics, discourse analysis, translation, interpretation

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Ganzhara, O., & Sergodeeva, E. (2020). Visualized Word In The Space Of Modern Culture: Parameters Of Semiotic Interpretation. In N. L. Amiryanovna (Ed.), Word, Utterance, Text: Cognitive, Pragmatic and Cultural Aspects, vol 86. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 260-266). European Publisher.