Congress: Is it real?


Congress: Is it real? Structuring reality by means of signs
8-10 October 2013, Cankaya University, Ankara, Turkey

“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you’re just a reflection of him?”
Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

Dictionary defines reality as “the quality of being real or having an actual existence” and supplements this with a definition of real as “having objective existence,” and finally to exist as “having a place in the domain of reality.”

Although the concept of reality has been questioned since Plato & Aristotle, 21st century with its advanced post-modern societies, with the explosion of new media technologies, plus the rise of the objects having no material, increase in information production, rise of capitalism and consumerism, where one experiences a world that was created with information having no references, deeply deserves to be questioned through the concept of reality. 

We obtain the “image of reality” via television, film etc. as more real than actual being. The life of large part of the world’s population is determined by a media offer that is nearly everywhere, permanently and simultaneously available as well and barely controllable. This vulnerability of everyday life has a significant impact on the perception of reality.

Characters on television might seem more alive to us than their flesh-and-blood equivalents. We relate those to video game characters better than our own friends and family. Images related to a building do not have any association with a real building. Computer-simulated environments can reflect physical presence of places in the real world, as well as imaginary worlds. We are watching paintings in virtual museums, and wars in our living room.

Now, researchers and engineers are pulling graphics out of television screen or computer display and integrating them to real-world environments. This new technology, called augmented reality, blurs the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell. All those technologies have the effect of breaking down the boundary between real and imaginary. It is a ‘real’ without ‘being real’.

As semiotics is a discipline that is deeply connected with the human experience, the aim of the conference is to bring together theoreticians, scholars, artists, researchers and students from all areas of disciplines to discuss 21st century’s reality.

Conference includes theoretical discussions as well as visual performances, workshops and poster presentations. Selected papers will be published by Semiotica. All accepted papers, after peer review, will be published in the digital Proceedings of the Conference. Additionally, selected papers on the conference topics will be published in print. Other index publication opportunities will be announced.

The subtopics of the conference will cover but not limited to:
– What is real?
– Am I real?
– Parallel Realities
– Simultaneous Realities
– Constructed Realities
– Meaning of Reality
– Fictional Realities
– Visual Realities
– Textual Realities
– Reality & Appearance
– Imagery Realities
– Fragmented Realities
– Virtual Realities
– Augmented Realities

See for more details:

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