2022 marks the centenary of Juri Lotman
, the renowned semiotician and literary and cultural scholar, which will be celebrated in Estonia and all over the world. Together with his colleagues, he laid the foundation to a new
scientific discipline: the semiotics of culture.
His ideas about the semiosphere, the translatability of culture, semiotic models, and the dynamism of culture have influenced the development of the humanities. Lotman’s ideas have also been applied in art and media studies, educational and social sciences, and digital and environmental humanities.
Juri Lotman on unpredictability
Unpredictability is connected to explosion both directly and indirectly. “In explosive circumstances the calculation of probabilities does not work, there is only chance, and the result is unpredictable,” Lotman explains. In his writings, unpredictability is primarily associated with culture.
Lotman explains that the future must be respected. And it is precisely the unpredictability of the future that must be respected, for which he emphasizes the importance of art: “Art is the teacher who has been provided for us for our entire lives, and which is precisely capable of teaching us how to cope with unpredictability.” He elaborates: “Art is free, like all thinking and creation. What does “free” mean? Where there is choice, there is freedom. And this choice must be unpredictable for us to be able to speak of freedom.”
These thoughts are from the 1990 recordings of the lecture series „Conversations on Russian Cultural History“.
Marko Kekishev, email@example.com
Organiser of HGDF 2022