Monday, September 01, 2008

Voloshinov: A Philosopher Who Anticipated Simulative Media Environments

"Any consumer good can likewise be made into an ideological sign. For instance, bread and wine become religious symbols in the Christian sacrament of communion.. But the consumer good, as such, is not at all a sign. Consumer goods, just as tools, may be combined with ideological signs, but the distinct conceptual dividing line between them is not erased by the combination. Bread is made in some particular shape; this shape is not warranted solely by the bread’s function as a consumer good; it also has a certain, if primitive, value as an ideological sign (e.g., bread in the shape of a figure eight (krendel) or a rosette).

Thus, side by side with the natural phenomena, with the equipment of technology, and with articles for consumption, there exists a special world – the world of signs."
Valentin Nikolaevich Voloshinov, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language (1929)

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