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Sign Systems Studies

Volume 34, Issue 1, 2006

Irene Machado
Pages 245-259

Impact or explosion? Technological culture and the ballistic metaphor

The term ‘impact’ has become the kind of word which, when it relates to the evaluation of technological advances in contemporary culture, suggests signs of erosion, debilitation and evasion. The misinformed and indiscriminate use of the term in the most varied of contexts has created an impasse in the cultural semiotic approach, where sign systems are viewed in terms of borders and relations. The objective of this article is to examine the trivialisation of the use of the ballistic metaphor in this explosive moment of the culture. For this, we will refer to the formulations presented by the semiotician, Juri Lotman, in his book, appropriately entitled Culture and Explosion. To what degree is the concept of explosion presented as a counterpart to the notion of impact? The desire to find answers to this question is what motivated this inquiry.

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