Iconicity in multimedia performance

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This paper analyses the complexity of intermedial iconicity through the analysis of Laurie Anderson’s piece <i>White Lily</i>. It reveals the media aesthetic strategies by which Anderson enacts the abstract concept of time through the iconic use of language as well as through iconicity in music, gesture and computer animation. The performer’s multimodal enactment of time experience demonstrates the integration of iconic, indexical and symbolic forms of representation. The semiotic analysis of the example is based on Sebeok and Danesi’s modeling systems theory and the concept of “embodied cognition” brought forth by authors like Varela, Thompson and Rosch and Lakoff and Johnson. Thus, Anderson’s performance illustrates the tenets of a corporeal media theory that introduces the body as the founding medium of semiosis.


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