How things change their meaning

November 19, 2008

Right now I am listing to a Berkeley lecture about art and cyperculture and how the web and people play together. The podcast is called “Practice of Art 23: Foundations of American Cyberculture” – very clumsy title isn’t it? It is very thought provoking and I as you might have guessed by now – I like that. One of thing things I came to think about is how words change meaning all the time. Not just words but many things. They were mentioning the world Cyperpunk and talked about that it originally meant to reject the cybernetics witch I told my boyfriend and he found it really weird because he very strongly associate with science fiction and cybernetics. I just thought it was interesting how it had flipped on a plate and that of course made me think about other things that have changed meaning in a really substantial way…

Think about the swastika before the Nazis to it into use it was a sun symbol and then you travel in Europe you will see it on many old buildings that has nothing to do with the Nazi-regime. How long will it take before we can use that symbol for anything else? I am pretty sure that the meaning will at some point get lost in the mists of history.

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Another thing that has got a whole new meaning today would be the word black… I bet you think about more then a colour just by me mention the word – some of you will be thinking about race, others the night, others evil – we put so much meaning into a simple word. And that is one reason that is matters what we call things – the words in them self means nothing of course, but as soon as they have meaning associated with them then we think about those meanings when we hear the word.

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Fiets doesn’t really mean anything to me, but it means bicycle in Dutch. That starts a stream of thought in my mind right away – I have tried to illustrate them above.

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