Reality as a Construct: Sign System, Subconscious and Simulacra | Research Thesis Project by Spiros Anemoyiannis

This research thesis by Spiros Anemoyiannis aims to initiate an exploration of an infinite field of philosophical concepts while also attempting to create a visual vocabulary based on some of those ideas. 

“You believe that reality is something objective, external, existing in its own right. You also believe that the nature of reality is self-evident. When you delude yourself into thinking that you see something, you assume that everyone else sees the same thing as you. But I tell you, Winston, that reality exists in the human mind, and nowhere else.” – Orwell, G. (1978). Part Three, II. Nineteen Eighty-Four (p. 249). Kaktos Books

To wonder about what reality truly is, might be a bold gesture.

Whether our perception of the world has to do with the subconscious structures that define us, or the totality of our existence is just a simulated play, the presence of which we are ignoring, are subjects that this investigation can only touch on very lightly.

Starting with a brief pass through the semiotic theory of F. de Saussure, an introduction to the functions of language is given. Following an examination of how language usage affects people’s perceptions of the world, the exploration approaches the work of J. Lacan. For him, the subconscious plays the most basic role in this process of understanding the world. Thus, the study traverses “The Theory of Orders”, that is, Lacan’s notion of the subconscious’s evolution, as well as its relationship to the acquisition and use of language. Hence, in an attempt to reach some outcome, follows a review in order to discover if there is any relationship between these ideas of the subconscious and the human sensory perception forming the broadly accepted reality.

Furthermore, drawing again from Saussure’s semiotic theory, the fundamentals for the development of J. Baudrillard’s work are studied to a primary degree. Specifically, he describes how the objects surrounding modern society constitute a system, similar to the system that Saussure described for language. Following chronologically what Baudrillard described as “The System of Objects”, the term of “Simulation” appears, and similarly to the previous analysis, an attempt is made to acquire some degree of understanding. As before, whether these theories affect human sensory perception is also examined.

As is obvious, this research extends over such a vast field that just sorting through the right elements in order to produce some result would be the work of a lifetime.

So, in conclusion, perhaps the most important result of this particular exploration is the author’s first contact with this inexhaustible world.

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Facts & Credits

Project title: Reality as a Construct: Sign System, Subconscious and Simulacra
Typology: Research Thesis Project
Academic semester: September 2022
Student: Spiros Anemoyiannis
Supervisor: Konstantinos Ioannides
Institution: School of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Text: provided by the author