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Image and Knowledge

Maria Giulia Dondero
Cet article est une traduction de :
Image et connaissance [fr]

Notes de la rédaction

With the collaboration of Sémir Badir, Jean-Marie Klinkenberg, Thierry Lenain, François Provenzano, Göran Sonesson

Texte intégral

1This issue explores the complexity of the relationship between vision, image and knowledge. Vision is examined critically both as a perceptive action that shapes the activity of knowledge — particularly in the context of scientific experimentation — and as one of the activities that regulates the accuracy of scientific production and results. It therefore serves not only as an element for establishing knowledge but also as an instrument for verifying / validating knowledge (Édeline, Allamel-Raffin, Cholet, Moutat).

2While in semiotics and in the epistemology of science, the question of the amodality of knowledge is relevant, this issue of Signata shows quite explicitly that knowledge is always dependent on textual materiality, that is, on a discursivity that can unfold in a variety of diagrammatic forms. These forms are characterized by a figurative density and a tendency to schematize, to varying degrees (Leclercq). They make it possible to test not only what is there, present, but also what is possible. These tests function as actions transforming rules into lines and lines into shapes, that is, into wholes that can assume the status of evidence.

3This issue does not however focus exclusively on strictly scientific knowledge, produced through the exercise of vision and tested through a series of images understood as a chain of elements leading to scientific demonstration or dissemination, according to a tradition that runs from Peirce to Latour. This issue also considers how images, whether they are artistic or for advertising, and underpinned to a greater or lesser degree by commercial, political or didactic logic, can shed light on a style of reasoning or refine the awareness of our own perception since the image is an instrument of self-reflection for itself and for us, the observers (Festi, Roque, Lenain, Le Guern).

4The materiality of knowledge is taken into account from the point of view not only of scientific documents or rhetorical experiments with artistic and advertising images, aimed at prefiguring alternative forms of life, but also from that of its multiple mediations (Pittalis). From this perspective, knowledge is approached as a matter of mediations, that are also material, where the screen competes with paper to assert itself as a means of symbolizing the life of culture (Basso Fossali). The media thus become actors in the mediation of knowledge, a knowledge that is directly linked to technologies and to the rhetoric embodied by their devices (Fabre).

5While the image makes it possible to focus and direct attention by providing an objectification of gestures and phenomena, it should not be forgotten that it is also a medium for sensible projections and a field of enunciative operations that open up as much to distance as to projection in the possible worlds of the image, and to envelopment by the image (Basso Fossali, Bordron).

6Between distancing that characterizes control and penetration that characterizes immersion, the structure of the points of view offered by the image can be considered as a pivot of knowledge. For the image, far from offering us a view of things, can offer us a test bench of several ways of looking, an enacted confrontation between several paths of thought, since it is never irenic or static (Massaert, Sonesson).

7This issue of Signata thus explores the particularity of the contribution of vision to knowledge. It examines the ways in which images can become a source of knowledge, argumentation and negotiation, and can serve as a medium for memory, experimentation, discovery and denunciation in the context not only of the sciences and the arts, but also of advertising, political and didactic practices.

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Maria Giulia Dondero, « Image and Knowledge »Signata [En ligne], 10 | 2019, mis en ligne le 30 juin 2019, consulté le 17 juin 2024. URL : ; DOI :

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Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

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