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The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 30, Issue 1/2, 2014

Peirce and the Cenoscopic Science of Signs

Garnet C. Butchart
Pages 27-52

Haunting Past Images
On the 2006 Documentary Film Description of a Memory in the Context of Communicology

Dan Geva and Noit Geva’s 2006 documentary film, Description of a Memory, is examined from a communicology perspective (philosophy of communication). My analysis integrates Roland Barthes’s semiotic phenomenology of photography with recent scholarship on the monstration and hauntology of motion picture images. This integrated philosophical approach deepens our understanding of the phenomenality and temporality of mediated visual images as related to our conscious experience of them as meaningful. I show how Description of a Memory offers a visual exemplar for communicology by way of its interrogation of the embodied effect of visual images on personal memory at the same time as it brings awareness of its own complicity in shaping the possible meanings viewers may make of its unique semiotic expression.

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