Semantics, Syntax and Pragmatism – The processes of finding order…


Goff James, He, 2018

“Uncritical semantics is the myth of a museum in which the exhibits are meanings and the words are labels. To switch languages is to change the labels.”

Willard Van Orman Quine


Barbara Kruger,
Untitled (Your body is a battleground), 1989

Image Credit © Barbara Kruger


“Each person is an idiom unto himself, an apparent violation of the syntax of the species.”

Gordon W Allport


Thomas Hirschorn, Too Too – Much Much, 2010 (Installation – Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens)

Image Credit © Thomas Hirschhorn / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY


“A photograph shouldn’t be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.” 

Amit Kalantri

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John Baldessari, Two Whales (With People), 2010

Image Credit © John Baldessari


Through analysis, comparison, symbolism and emphasizing of the visual elemental composition of  art forms enables humans to possess the essential mechanisms of perceiving, comprehending, understanding and interpreting. The relevant  extracted data is then set out in terms of measured quantities and the found order is expressed in the individual’s analysis of the differing relationships of the inherent structures of that particular form. Whether through communicating using semantic, syntactic or pragmatic processes.

“Humans see what they want to see.”

Rick Riordan

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Marcel Duchamp
1917, replica 1964

Image Credit © Succession Marcel Duchamp/ADAGP Paris and DACS, London 2018


“All that can fall within the compass of human understanding, being either, first, the nature of things, as they are in themselves, their relations, and their manner of operation: or, secondly, that which man himself ought to do, as a rational and voluntary agent, for the attainment of any end, especially happiness: or, thirdly, the ways and means whereby the knowledge of both the one and the other of these is attained and communicated;…”

John Locke

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Umberto Boccioni. Unique Forms of Continuity in Space, 1913 (cast 1931)

Image Credit © Umberto Boccioni, MoMA, Photograph © Unstated


Further Reading

Semantics and Art

Pragmatism and Art

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