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Journal article Open Access

Affordance as a Method in Visual Cultural Studies Based on Theory and Tools of Vitality Semiotics

Martina Sauer

Art Style | Art & Culture International Magazine


In a historiographical and methodological comparison of Formal Aesthetics and Iconology with the method of Affordance, the latter is to be introduced as a new method in Visual Cultural Studies. In extension of epistemologically relevant aspects related to style and history of the artefacts, communicative and furthermore action and decision relevant aspects of artefacts become important. In this respect, it is the share of artefacts in life that the new method aims to uncover. The basis for this concern is the theory and methodological tools of Visual Semiotics, which I have already presented. A direct comparison of the three methods based on the same example should clarify the points of contact and the respective performance of the methods. For this purpose, the Christ among the Doctors of Albrecht Dürer from 1506 will be used, which was already examined in 1905 and indirectly in 1915 by the prominent representative of Formal Aesthetics Heinrich Wölfflin, and in 1914 and finally in 1943 by the founder of Iconology Erwin Panofsky. With the new method the communicative-action and decision relevant aspects and thus their share in life should be shown.

Art Style, Art & Culture International Magazine is an open-access, biannual, and peer-reviewed online magazine that aims to bundle cultural diversity. All values of cultures are shown in their varieties of art. Beyond the importance of the medium, form, and context in which art takes its characteristics, art is considered the significance of socio-cultural, historical, and market influence.
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