2-4 October, 2015

Culture of Seduction [the seduction of culture], not necessarily from a sexual perspective, but as a mechanism of attraction and appeal has often been the case in many communication strategies and approaches of mass and popular culture. In a ‘seduced’ post-economic crisis environment, the Semiotic aspects and power of ‘seduction’ within visual communication, persuading the viewer to act by positive, negative or perhaps manipulated and directed means, open up a space where extremes become apparent and occasionally pose ethical problems.

According to Hegarty (2004), «[f]or Baudrillard, seduction stands for play, the play of appearances which has always prevented the existence of a transparent reality, which would be free from the traps of illusion, while allowing simulation of truth to operate…seduction implies sexuality, but eroticism and play have given way to visibility and omnipresence, everything is now sexualized, [in Baudrillard’s words] ‘register[ing] an explicit demand for seduction, but a soft seduction, whose weakened condition has become synonymous with so much else in this society-the ambience, the manipulation, the persuasion, the gratification, the strategies of desire’».

From the avant-garde era to our contemporary period, there is a spectrum of activity where artists and visual designers are obliged to live and create in a situation of great ambivalence. Seduction has historic and increasing agency in visual communication – the requirement to entice/persuade viewers is ever more powerful in difficult economic times, in an increasingly hyper-real world-and designers become ever more complicit in its strategies.

The purpose of this conference is to explore from a semiotic perspective how verbal (text/typography), non-verbal (images), sound and motion signs work in synergy to construct ‘seductive’ messages in visual communication, as well as raising questions about who are the seducers and who are the seduced? The field of Graphic Design and Visual communication creates outcomes which can be de-coded or critiqued through semiotics and the growing area of design theory.

Additionally, for the first time, the conference will be hosting an exhibition of 23 posters from renowned designers. The exhibition is of particular interest as it promotes applied design that interprets the theme of the conference, in a creative and imaginative way. Contrast and coexistence of scientific research together with graphic design constitutes a forum for dialogue and further research in the broader field of Visual Communication.

The exhibition will be on until October 16, 2015, on the patio of Tassos Papadopoulos Building at Cyprus University of Technology, corner of Themidos and Ifigenias, Limassol.

Research Laboratories of the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts (SVC & LGCRL) support the organization of the conference. The conference is also supported by the Hellenic Semiotic Association, United Designs Alliance and “The Copy Shop”.