#TICAW (The Images Concepts And Words, December 20, 2014):

SynTalk thinks about the deep historical and ongoing interrelationships between (the all pervasive & incessantly productive) images, and concepts & words. We make the widely sweeping journey from ancient rock art to the Coca-Cola logo to images on monitors in hospitals, to possible futures (say) a 1000 years out. The concepts are derived off / from ‘Lingo Dev’, Aristotle, Hippodamus of Miletus, Freud, Saussure, Peirce, Derrida, Foucault, Le Corbusier, McLuhan, Debord, & Baudrillard, among others. Can concepts or conceptual entities come to be without language? What are the links between rock art, and speech, script, words, entoptic phenomena, induced phosphene images, catenary curves, ‘scene of experience’, & language? Do 100,000+ years old rock arts provide a promising clue to how meaning gradually emerged from the pre-conceptual pre-representational ‘cauldron’? Are letters and pictures interchangeable, and have they always been so? How images come from very ancient times and how they thrust forward from without and from within? Do we dream in images? Is there any logo which is non iconic? How the core pursuit of advertising is to give form to an abstraction. How does advertising tackle different media, & how an advertisement in the print necessarily needs to be ‘processed in the mind’? How do you create the concept of ‘Friday dressing’? How Jarawas (from Andamans) have come to use words from English or Hindi. Does extinction of languages lead to death of concepts, & the attendant phenomena of amnesia and aphasia? We discuss Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Phoenician, Greek, & Chinese scripts. How icons (& further images, diagrams & metaphors), index & symbols are different from each other? How is a notion different from a concept? Is there conflict and cooperation always at play between images (of say, Batman, Hanuman, Manga, or Anime), & are images conquering the world? Where do specters and ghosts come from? Is there an incessant mass-ification of images (via ‘procession of the simulacra’) ongoing and ahead of us, & are images the long term future of language? Are images & meanings going to be increasingly crowd sourced in the future? Is a technology-driven ‘master narrative’ taking over the visual arts, cities, & forests, and is the ‘visual landscape’ shrinking? The SynTalkrs are: Dr. K. K. Chakravarty (art, public administration, Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi), Santosh Desai (advertising, strategy, Futurebrands, ex-McCann-Erickson, Delhi), & Prof. Franson D. Manjali (semiotics, interdisciplinary, JNU, Delhi).

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TICAW show.

Dr. K. K. Chakravarty (art, public administration, interdisciplinary) is currently serving as the Chairman of Lalit Kala Academy, Ministry of Culture, Government of India. He entered the Indian Administrative Service (I.A.S.) in 1970, and retired with the rank of Secretary, Government of India (in 2009). During his tenure, he held various posts at the district & provincial level in developmental and cultural administration in the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh. He also held positions with an academic content such as Director, Education, Archaeology and Museums (1981-84), Commissioner of Archaeology and Museums (1988-91), Special Secretary, Culture, (1984) and at a national level as Director, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya at Bhopal (1994-2000). Dr. Chakravarty has been an active administrator, patron and independent scholar in several fields of education & culture. He has, as an instance, conducted a nation wide survey of rock art (petroglyphs & pictographs). His current mission is to revitalize the connection between arts, life and nature, and the complexity, variety and unity of its expressions. Dr. Chakravarty pursued his Masters in Public Administration (M.P.A.) and Ph.D. (Fine Arts) from Harvard University, after completing his M.A from Kolkata University. Prior to that he studied political, constitutional, economic and cultural history of India, European history, history of political thought and international relations at Presidency College, Calcutta in 1960s.

Santosh Desai (advertising, strategy) is an author, columnist and a media critic. He is the author of the bestselling Mother Pious Lady: Making Sense of Everyday India published by Harper Collins. Santosh is the MD & CEO of Futurebrands (a brand and consumer consultancy company) and has previously been the President of McCann-Erickson. His principal area of interest lies in examining the evolving nature of consumer culture in India. He is a keen observer of the relationship between culture & brands, and has spent over 21 years in advertising. He writes regularly, with columns in the Times of India (column ‘City City Bang Bang’), Mint & Media International on subjects ranging from everyday Indian life, popular culture, cinema, advertising, marketing and media criticism. He has been a film critic and is a published writer of children’s fiction. He is on the board of ING Vysya Bank & Amar Chitra Katha and is also on the governing council of several educational institutions. He is a trustee on the board of C-FAR (Centre for Advocacy & Research) and Breakthrough. He has also served on several juries, including that of the National Film Awards and the Tata Literature Live Awards. He received his M.B.A. from IIM Ahmedabad.

Prof. Franson D. Manjali (semiotics, linguistics, interdisciplinary) serves as a Professor of Linguistics and Semiotics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. After receiving his Ph.D. at JNU in 1986, he taught for a year at University of Delhi, and then went on to pursue two years of post-doctoral studies in Paris (Paris-4, Sorbonne, and EHESS) where he wrote a monograph titled Nuclear Semantics – Towards a Theory of Relational Meaning (Bahri, 1991). He joined JNU as Assistant Professor in 1989. He attended the First International Summer Institute in Cognitive Science at SUNY, Buffalo in 1994. During 1998-99, he had a stint as a Fellow at Indian Institute of Advanced Study (IIAS), Shimla, during which his intellectual orientation veered from Semiotics and Cognitive Science towards the poststructuralist philosophies. His book, Literature and Infinity (2001), published by IIAS, attests to this shift, and contains texts relating to the works of Levinas, Blanchot, Derrida and Jean-Luc Nancy. His more recent publications Language, Discourse and Culture – Contemporary Philosophical Perspectives (Anthem, 2007), and Labyrinths of Language – Philosophical and Cultural Investigations (Aakar, 2014) contain essays that explore and analyse diverse issues in language studies, literature, culture, and philosophy from the poststructuralist and postcolonial viewpoints. Prof. Manjali was born in Mysore, and received his early education till B. Sc. at Calicut University in Kerala.

ŸNote: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s