Semiotics of hybrid natures:
Anthropogenic ecosystems, multimodalities, transformed umwelts
University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
Conference presentations can be viewed here.
Nathalie Blanc (CNRS / Université Paris Diderot -Paris 7, France)– “At the crossroads of senses and meaning, socio-environmental communities”
Morten Tønnessen (University of Stavanger, Norway) - “Current human ecology in light of Umwelt theory”
Kati Lindström (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden) - “Generating value in protection policies: Challenge of the Anthropocene entanglements”
Global and all-encompassing human impact has brought along many new types of relations between humans and other biological species. These interactions change animal ecologies but also bring along new forms and aggregations of umwelts (animal personal worlds, after J. v. Uexküll). In this context, human technology both alienates and reconnects — media technologies have created new ways of becoming related with the environment (development of citizen science and augmented realities), and there are new technological capacities for restoring and shaping environments (geoengineering). Correspondingly, the human-animal-environment configurations have a hybrid nature: they are based on ecological relations, make use of the technologies and artificial environments and at the same time are represented and framed by human culture.
Achieving better knowledge on the dynamics and expressions of “hybrid natures” is essential for mitigating environmental conflicts and enhancing biodiversity in environments under human impact. The aim of the conference is to exchange knowledge on various manifestations of hybrid natures as well as to elaborate suitable research methods in ecosemiotics and beyond in other environmental humanities. Semiotics appears to have good potential for developing methods with prognostic value — for instance, analyzing umwelts and communication for estimating what species can reach stable co-existence and what adjustments may be needed for new natures to persist.
Possible topics for contributions include, but are not limited to:
The conference “Semiotics of hybrid natures: anthropogenic ecosystems, multimodalities, transformed umwelts” is organized by The Department of Semiotics at the University of Tartu, Estonia and by the Estonian Semiotics Association under the auspice of International Society of Biosemiotic Studies. The conference is supported by the Estonian Research Council (Grant PUT1363) and The Faculty of Humanities and Arts at the University of Tartu.
Organising team: Nelly Mäekivi, Riin Magnus, Silver Rattasepp, Timo Maran
E-mail: hybridnatures [ät] gmail.com
Venue: campus of Humanities and Arts of the University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2., room 226
Program can be downloaded from here.
8th of November
9th of November
10th of November
Registration desk open (Jakobi St. 2, lobby (room 124))
Chair: Jonathan Beever
Philosophy & ethics
Chair: Filip Jaroš
Chair: Jason Mario Dydynski
Welcome address by
Reconstructing the Worlds of Wildlife: von Uexküll, Hediger, and Beyond
Semiotic Fitting and the Nativeness of Ecosystem
Nils Lindahl Elliot
Between Word and World: Hybrid Geographies from a Geosemeiotic Perspective
Digital Umwelt: An Ecosemiotic Approach to digitalization
“Like when you walk into the wood after rain and you see mushrooms coming out:” Janaina Tschäpe’s Botanical Hybrids in Melantropics
Sound, Silence, Environment: Liminality
Marcelo Moreira Santos
Beyond the Biological Umwelt: Colonizing Possible Worlds in Transmediatic Ecosystems and Augmented Reality
Toxicity as the Future. Human’s Relationship with Post Nuclear Ecosystems
To Care, to Look After, to Protect: Semiotics of Benevolent Violences
From Virtual Pets to CryptoKitties: Human-Animal Relations in the Digital Age
Chair: Nils Lindahl Elliot
Chair: Silver Rattasepp
Chair: Pauline Delahaye
Generating Value in Protection Policies: Challenge of the Anthropocene Entanglements
Current Human Ecology in Light of Umwelt Theory
At the Crossroads of Senses and Meaning, Socio-Environmental Communities
Lunch (Cafe Truffe, Raekoja plats 16)
Chair: Daniela Kato
Chair: Riin Magnus
Humans and other animals
Chair: Nelly Mäekivi
Biosemiotic Modelling of Humans and Non-Human Animals in The Island of Doctor Moreau
Perspectivism, the Maieutic, and Animal Umwelts
Cat Shelters in Estonia: Anthropomorphic Processes in Hybrid Environments
Hybrid Natures in the Contemporary French Novel: The Case of Jean Echenoz
Semiotic Event Analysis (SEA) for Multispecies Environments
Diverse Anthropogenic and Technological Impacts on Ants and Myrmecophiles
Kadri Tüür & Maris Mägi
Semiotics of Literary Environments
The Information Process of Hybrid Natures
Tactile Communication in Captive Apes: Keeper-Animal Interspecies Communication
Chair: Katarzyna Machtyl
Chair: Matthew Chrulew
Chair: Alin Olteanu
Pigs, Horses, Rabbits and Other Shapes of Hybrids in Biological Art
Information Technologies and the Assimilation of Human Perception
Katja Pettinen & Myrdene Anderson
Re-regarding the Human —Mind, Body, Species — As One Hybrid Amongst Others
Jason Mario Dydynski
Dissecting Pikachu: A Semiotic Analysis of “Cuteness” in Animal Characters
Mehmet Emir Uslu
Semiocide: A “Negative” Approach to Human-Environment Relations
The Network of Hybrids. A Strawberry, an Animal Cry and a Man Within the Semiosphere
Responding Through Design
Alin Olteanu & Florian Rabitz
The Epistemology of Environmental Studies: Semantic Network, Climatization and Niche Selection
Social event at Sisevete Saatkond.
Short presentations on multispecies cities by Karin Bachmann & Berk Vaher (Tartu 2024 – for European Capital of Culture).
Musical presentation by Eugenio Israel Chávez.
The deadline for registration will be October 20. The registration form is available here.
Location and venue
Conference “Semiotics of hybrid natures: Anthropogenic ecosystems, multimodalities, transformed umwelts” will take place at the Campus of Humanities and Arts of the University of Tartu, Jakobi St. 2., room 226
The social event on Friday, November 9 at 19:30 will take place at Sisevete Saatkond.
There is wireless internet connection at the Conference venue. Most of the cafes in the centre of Tartu have wireless internet connection (look for the sign WiFi on the door).
The seminar provides necessary equipment for presentations (blackboard, computer, PP-projector). If you need any other equipment, please let us know in advance.
TRAVELLING TO TARTU
For up-to-date information, use tourist information site Visit Tartu.
By plane: Tartu is situated in Southern Estonia and is directly accessible by plane via Helsinki. Helsinki-Tartu flights are operated by Finnair seven days a week. Flight time is 50 minutes. Tickets for the flights leaving from Tartu Airport can be bought only on the Finnair website and from travel agencies. You can also Travel to Tartu through Tallinn and Riga. Tallinn Airport is located just outside the city centre, on the road to Tartu. From the airport it is comfortable to rent a car, take a bus or use Airport Shuttle service. Riga International Airport is connected to Tartu trough Lux Express buses.
By bus: The trip from Tallinn to Tartu takes around 2.5 hours, with buses leaving Tallinn every half an hour or so from 5:40 to 23:59. On the hour, every hour from 7:00 to 20:00 comfortable Lux Express buses depart on the Tartu-Tallinn-Tartu route. You can use power outlets, free WiFi, listen to music or watch movies and enjoy free hot drinks such as tea, coffee and cocoa. All Lux Express buses stop at Tallinn Airport in both directions. Find tickets and times at Tpilet or Lux Express.
There are also international bus connections with Rīga in Latvia and St Petersburg, Moscow and Pechory in Russia. More information: Lux Express website and other carriers, such as Eurolines or Ecolines.
By train: Eight times a day you can take a train on the line Tallinn-Tartu-Tallinn. Fast, comfortable diesel trains take you to your destination in two hours. All trains offer free WiFi. The line to Valga also provides opportunities for connections to Riga. For more information and schedules see Elron and Pasazieru vilciens. Another international route is Tallinn-St Petersburg-Moscow, operated by AS GoRail.
Spending the night in Tallinn
If you arrive late in the evening you will have to spend the night in Tallinn. There are different hotels and hostels where you can find accommodation in Tallinn, see also: www.tallinn.ee/eng.
Please check the schedule of Tallinn public transport here.
You will find the interactive map of Tallinn here.
Nationals of the member states of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA) and any third-country national who is a holder of a residence permit of a Schengen state do not need a visa to enter Estonia. If this does not apply to you, please check the website of Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for possible restrictions and visa regulations.
Weather in Tartu
You can check the weather forecast for Tartu before arrival here.
Estonia’s currency is Euro. Please note that in small shops, buses etc. it is advisable to use smaller banknotes than 50 EUR as there may not be enough change for larger bills.
You can pay with VISA, VISA ELECTRON, MASTERCARD and MAESTRO in almost all shops, cafes and restaurants (though not at the bus station or in the buses!). ITIC and ISIC cards will give reduced fare in some buses, as well as several bookshops and some cafes in Tartu (notice the sign on the door!).
Additional information about Tartu
You can find a lot of practical information visiting the following websites.
Tartu tourist information
Estonia tourist information
There is a wide selection of accommodation facilities in Tartu from four stars-hotels to B&B and hostels.
Organizers of the Conference have made limited preliminary reservations with fixed prices to the following hotels (use keyword “Hybrid Natures” for booking, preliminary reservations are kept up to 30.09.2018):
“Academus Hostel”. Pepleri Str. 14, Tartu.
Single room 28€, double room 36€, discount -10% for ISIC/ITIC/IYTC card owners.
“Hektor Design Hostel”. Riia Str. 26, Tartu.
Single room (with breakfast) 38€, double room (with breakfast) 57 EUR, make reservation in sales [ät] hektorhostels.com.
“London Hotel”. Rüütli Str. 9, Tartu.
Single room (with breakfast) 77€, double room (with breakfast) 93 EUR.
”Art Hotel Pallas”. Riia Str. 4, Tartu.
Single room (with breakfast) 58€, double room (with breakfast) 69 EUR.
In addition, there is a wide variety of choice available at the Visit Tartu website.
Tartu is bidding to become a European Capital of Culture in 2024 with the comprehensive concept “ARTS OF SURVIVAL”. Arts of Survival seeks response to major challenges of Tartu and the region with strong messages for the whole 21st century Europe and the world. Our central question is: What can small cities and communities of Europe do in culture to secure human survival on Earth? We firmly believe that future cultural endeavours must seek to minimise and revert harmful human impact on the environment. This has not been said loud and clear enough. Even the latest European cultural agenda speaks of and for culture largely through economy while ecology is barely mentioned. We put ecology before economy – also before cultural economy. Altering urban/rural environments, green areas and our ways of being in them is for us the main challenge for arts and culture now. Tartu inspires Europe to take care of biodiversity and reduce harmful human impact on ecosystems in urban planning; grow our own food; clear the waters and land from trash to reuse, upcycle, invent and create. All this is not just inspiration for traditional arts; we regard them as arts in themselves: Arts of Survival. We also aim to set the template for creative economy thriving on social and environmental awareness. Asking big questions from, in and with arts: bringing ecology strongly to the fore in cultural identity and creative economy. Promoting biodiversity, nature-friendly urban development, sustainable lifestyle and environmental awareness. All communities, even small communities, have global responsibilities. Let’s see and act beyond the current problems of Tartu, the region, Estonia, Europe even – Arts of Survival seek to make nature matter more in humanity, humanity matter more in arts, arts matter more in Europe and Europe matter more in the world for the sake of human survival on a surviving planet. Tartu’s official history is largely about nation- and state-building. But look closer, and you see a wealth of countercultural identities: rebels and outcasts, boffins and mavericks, dissident samizdat groups and defiant subcultures. They and many more have shaped the cultural „biodiversity” of this city; they stand for its hidden history and present Arts of Survival.