I have been thinking objects come my way, and by the way I respond to them, I significate them.
Now I understand all objects (things – units) are significant, and my response focuses attention on that significance.
Object Oriented Ontology (OOO) posits the universe is entirely composed of units. I use object and thing synonymously. The two words have semantic baggage. Unit has no baggage, so although unit is the preferred word in an ontological and semiotic sense, the terms object and thing are useful when talking to people who do not study these distinctions. It’s easier to empathize with a thing or an object. That empathy is the baggage that OOO eliminates by using the term unit in describing the composition of the universe.
I expose the baggage. The units are already significant. I’m not a significator in that sense, as Rosanna Albertini recognizes in her post The Remote Life of Images in her blog the Kite, where she refers to Ernst Cassirer’s quote “The true poem [or painting, or photograph] is not the work of the individual artist; it is the universe itself, the one work of art which is forever perfecting itself.” Ernst Cassirer, An Essay On Man.
Although, in the way we use the English language, a significator is one who signifies.
A sign refers to something that conveys meaning.
In Saussurean analysis, which Barthes largely uses, the distinction between signifier and signified is crucial. The signifier is the image used to stand for something else, while the signified is what it stands for (a real thing or, in a stricter reading, a sense-impression).
In this sense, what I photograph is the signified, and my image is the signifier that stands in for the signified, and I create meaning without explanation (knowledge). See Anithasree’s notes below.
The word signifier has been already taken and used as above, so I’m not a signifier, so until I find significator has been previously taken and used differently, I will continue to refer to myself as a significator.
I have not found any use of significator in Part II of Barthes’ Elements of Semiology titled SIGNIFIER AND SIGNIFIED.
Anithasree Munuswamy wrote on October 16, 2016:
I had Semiotics as one of my subjects last year and I am going to post stuff which I had written as part of my assignment.
Semiotics or semiology, in general, is the study of signs, symbols and signification. It is all about studying how meaning is created, rather than knowing what it is. The very basic principle of semiotics lies in the assumption that meaning is made by the deployment of acts and objects which function as "signs" in relation to other signs.
‘Semiotics takes in any system of signs, be it images, gestures, musical sounds, objects, and the complex associations of all these, which form the content of ritual, convention or public entertainment’ [Barthes, Roland, “Elements of Semiology”, 1964].