, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 359–373 | Cite as

Autocommunication and Perceptual Markers in Landscape: Japanese Examples

  • Kati LindströmEmail author
Original Paper


Juri Lotman distinguishes between two main types of communication. In addition to the classical I-YOU communication, he speaks about I-I communication, where both the addresser and the addressee are one and the same person. Contrary to how it sounds, autocommunication is not self-sufficient musing inside one’s self, it is remodelling oneself through a code from an entity outside oneself, be it animate or inanimate. According to Lotman, it is often the rhythmical phenomena like poetry, the rhythm of waves, etc. that lend themselves for the act of autocommunication as external codes. After having received the message one is not identical to the original oneself anymore. Perceptual markers of landscape—specific rhythms, ephemera, the rhythm of human everyday activities, bodily movement—can be considered as a secondary code leading to autocommunication in the person who contemplates the landscape. Looking at the landscape—which also implies the rhythmical movement of the eyes—one uses it as a code to reconstitute oneself. A person who has confronted a landscape does not leave it as the same person. The present article poses a definition of autocommunication in landscapes and discusses the way in which other sensorial information apart from the visual—smell, movement, rhythms etc—are used culturally to reinforce autocommunication with oneself. It can be said that several institutionalised religious and cultural practices expect the subject to reconstitute him- or herself mainly through the bodily landscape experience.


Landscape Ecosemiotics Autocommunication Phenomenology Perception 


  1. Bender B. (Ed.) (1993). Landscape : Politics and perspectives. Providence, R.I.; Oxford: Berg.Google Scholar
  2. Broms H, & Lotman J. (1988). Greetings to the symposium. An interview with Yuri Lotman in Helsinki, June 1987. In H. Broms, & R. Kaufmann (Eds.), Semiotics of culture : Proceedings of the 25th symposium of the Tartu-Moscow school of semiotics, Imatra, Finland, 27th-29th July, 1987 (pp. 115–123). Helsinki: Arator.Google Scholar
  3. Bunkše, E. (2004). Softly heaves the glassy sea: Nature’s rhythms in an era of displacement. In T. Mels (Ed.), Reanimating places: A geography of rhythms (pp. 71–86). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  4. Bunkše, E. V. (2007). Feeling is believing, or landscape as a way of being in the world. Geografiska Annaler, Series B: Human Geography, 89(3), 219–231.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Connerton, P. (2007). How societies remember Fourteenth (14th ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cosgrove, D. (2003). Landscape: Ecology and semiosis. In H. Palang & G. Fry (Eds.), Landscape interfaces: Cultural heritage in changing landscapes (pp. 15–20). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Daniels, S., & Cosgrove, D. (2007). Introduction: Iconography and landscape. In S. Daniels (Ed.), The iconography of landscape: Essays on the symbolic representation, design and use of past environments (9th printing. Original edition 1988. ed. pp. 1-10). Cambridge: Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  8. de Certeau, M. (1988). The practice of everyday life [Arts de faire.] (paperback ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  9. Farina, A. (2010). Ecology, cognition and landscape: Linking natural and social systems. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  10. Ingold, T. (2000). The perception of the environment: Essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ingold, T. (2009). Against space: Place, movement, knowledge. In P. W. Kirby (Ed.), Boundless worlds: An anthropological approach to movement (pp. 29–44). New York: Berghahn Books.Google Scholar
  12. Jakobson, R. (1960). Closing statement: Linguistic and poetics. In T. A. Sebeok (Ed.), Style in language (pp. 350–377). Massachusetts: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. Kull, K. (1998). Semiotic ecology: Different natures in the semiosphere. Sign Systems Studies, 26, 344–371.Google Scholar
  14. Lagopoulos, A. P. (1986). In M. Gottdiener & A. P. Lagopoulos (Eds.), The city and the sign: An introduction to urban semiotics. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Lagopoulos, A. P., & Boklund-Lagopoulou, K. (1992). Meaning and geography: The social conception of the region in northern Greece. Berlin: Mouton.Google Scholar
  16. Lefebvre, H. (2004). Rhythmanalysis: Space, time, and everyday life. London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  17. Lindström, K., & Tønnessen, M. (2010). Being in the world of the living – semiotic perspectives. Biosemiotics, 3(2)Google Scholar
  18. Lotman, Y. (1990). Universe of the mind: A semiotic theory of culture. London: Tauris.Google Scholar
  19. Lotman, M. (2001). The paradoxes of semiosphere. Sun Yat-Sen Journal of Humanities, 12(April), 97–106.Google Scholar
  20. Mels, T. (2004). Lineages of a geography of rhythms. In T. Mels (Ed.), Reanimating places: A geography of rhythms (pp. 3–42). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  21. Mitchell, W. J. T. (2002). Landscape and power (2nd ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  22. Olwig, K. (2002). Landscape, nature, and the body politic: From Britain's renaissance to America's new world. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  23. Olwig, K., & Mitchell, D. (Eds.). (2009). Justice, power and the political landscape. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Solnit, R. (2002). Wanderlust: A history of walking. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  25. Widlok, T. (2008). The dilemmas of walking: A comparative view. In T. Ingold & J. L. Vergunst (Eds.), Ways of walking: Ethnography and practice on foot (pp. 51–66). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Semiotics, Institute of Philosophy and SemioticsUniversity of TartuTartuEstonia

Personalised recommendations