2013-2014 academic fall report to the Dpt. Of Semiotics, Tartu University from Jelena Grigorjeva PhD in semiotics, 0,3 sen.researcher.
The last academic fall I spent in Tallinn because of the financial situation in what I was set by the unfair decision of the non-competent commission of our Faculty.
I continued working on theory and practical application of the model of Semiosphere © Lotman 1984 together with the model of DHS © Grigojeva 2012. I proceeded in forming and growing semiotically a self-identity of the eco-tricksters’ sub-culture (hangout around “PLUG” magazine and Sputnik festivals). The major problem in Estonia is the traumatic situation with Russian minority. In the last fall we made a considerable step forward in providing a productive equal asymmetric dialog between the two language cultures in our country. I want specially to mention Evi Pärn’s residence performances in Kanuti Gildi. “PLUG” magazine was awarded by MISA and Ministry of Culture for the contribution to the integration in Estonia http://rus.err.ee/v/culture/71a80a4d-ba7d-4f2c-a82b-7659d2c47627. I published in the 25th “PLUG” a program essay on a good taste specifying the identity of Russian-speaking aesthete in Estonia (эстеты Эстонии). Russian-Estonian poet Igor Kotyuh coined a perfect meme: Eesti design (эстонский дизайн).
I continued analyzing and practicing theatre and I published my analytic observations in “PLUG”. They can be followed by the links http://www.plug.ee/index26.php and https://www.facebook.com/plug.eee?fref=ts. I consider theatre to be the most powerful instrument of collective psychotherapy. And I think there is no doubt that our civilization needs this psychotherapy urgently.
My student Jelena Grigorjeva-Pazilina defended (finally! after 3 years of injustice and ignorance!) her Russian-Estonian film work “Lask” at the Baltic Filmi ja Media Kool. This time the evaluation process was formally correct. But Tiina Loog showed her aggressive incompetence to the audience. We made with Jelena a big work on psychoanalyses of our traumas together. All materials on the process of self-reflection in a dialog are documented by minutes. I consider this work as a model case of psychotherapy by means of art with further reflection on it.
I was very happy with the work of my student Kristin Orav during this season. She perfectly conducted the semiosalons in Tallinn in Von Krahl. There were interesting presentations from both theorists and practitioners. Great job, Kristi:)!
I attended multiple performances, presentations, exhibitions and conferences in Tallinn and regularly reported my reflections online. I detect a considerable growth of ‘butterfly’ pattern content in the local semiosphere. I coined a new international art research project “The Puzzle of Forking Paths”.
I intensified my artistic practice. I started painting and working with various media. I made a set of 3D models of mnemonic theatre in the tradition from Ramon Lull to Dali. I presented these works to my spiritual supervisor in painting Heiki Navitrolla and some of my art students.
For my academic anthropologic trip I went to Barcelona. The main purpose of all my trips was always an expertise of originals of artifacts de visu and en situ. I never had enough support to follow my professional duty and need ( I belong to the evidential paradigm as defined by Carlo Ginsburg), but I used all possibilities. I went to Barcelona to see in originals the works of Antonio Gaudi and Salvatore Dali. I saw them. Especially impressive is Dali’s “Bread in basket”. Absolute masterpiece de visu. I got a lot of revelations experiencing the Sagrada Familia. I worked as a semiotic expert for Sagrada Familia as well – I fixed and pointed out a basic communicative mistake in this organism. The interested can ask for my letter exchange with SF by e-mail.
So, that was my short report on my research and pedagogic activity.
Now, I feel my duty to give a
Semiotic expertise of the work of the Department of Semiotics of Tartu University in 2013-2014.
I state that since 2014 the Department of Semiotics of Tartu University is illegal to teach semiotics in Lotmanian tradition. Formally referring to the tradition of Yuri Lotman the Department permanently falsify it.
As we all perfectly know, the main contribution of Yuri Lotman to the global thought is a theory of productiveness of a dialog in asymmetric systems crowned with a model of a hypertext – the semiosphere.
The whole stuff of the Department demonstrated a total inability to conduct a productive professional dialog on the logical and inevitable evolution of Yuri Lotman’s thought. My colleagues showed complete indifference to the introduction of the basic navigator to the semiosphere that I suggested in clear terms in 2012. The last time I repeated my presentation in Kaeriku at the Summer School on Semiotics 2013. You can watch it on youtube here
I got NO scientific or philosophic reaction from my colleagues on the matter of this invention. But I was reduced in my position. First, my 0,5 senior researcher’s was reduced to 0,3 (2011) and then by a secret vote of a non-competent commission I was deprived of my 0,5 of lecturer. The decision was based on anonymous students’ reports and NOBODY from the commission even tried to verify the information they got from the anonymous reports. So, the judges were illegitimate to judge by default. And when I informed the rector’s office of this I got an answer that this is a law. When I pointed that this law is invalid I got NO answer.
The same claim concerns the whole structures and levels of the University and especially – the Center of Ethics of Tartu University. Wherever I appealed for justice I got NO answer. So, these systems are invalid. They are unable to react in a controversial situation.
The whole story of my struggle for my rights can be followed by the letter exchange with the machine of my Alma Mater. It seems to be dead. Dead soulless machine working only for itself.
Besides my personal fate, this was a struggle for maintaining the traditions of Lotman’s school of semiotics. I wrote an Open Letter to Mihhail Lotman (0,7 sen.researcher of Tartu University) describing the situation with semiotics in Tartu. I got NO answer. Mihhail Lotman is a public figure, the heir of Yuri Lotman’s genes and archives, but he showed NO reaction to the claim that the school of his father is destroyed in his presence.
So, I failed. With abandoning my position that will take place on September 2014 (as I was informed by Kalevi Kull) the original tradition of Lotmanian semiotics is interrupted in Tartu. There are no direct Russian-speaking students of Yuri Lotman and Zara Mintz teaching semiotics at the Department left. The new generation of students is invalid for this tradition because they do not read Russian, so, they cannot verify what they are thought. Imagine a situation when philosophic system of Heidegger would be taught without reading Heidegger in original! Mihhail Lotman have not provided even his children with Russian language knowledge, so, his students cannot compare what he teaches with the originals.
I asked myself why my colleagues seemingly belonging to the same tradition couldn’t properly react to the new breaking results of our school?
The answer I got with the help of semiotic theory of language and languages in its’ evolution.
Estonian language, or better – Estonian mental national identity, is not sufficient to comprehend and apply the basic statements of Lotmanian semiotics. I affirm that languages differ within both synchronic and diachronic positions on the scale of general evolution. From this perspective there are national languages and international languages. The latter position gives higher status in the hierarchy of language=thought competence. This competence allows thinking not only on national needs and interests but of the needs and interests of all creatures using all languages. Russian language achieved the level of thinking wider than its national frames. Lotman’s semiotics is a perfect proof of this achievement. Estonian language did not. And there is no hope that it ever does. Unless Estonian intellectuals will open the widest discussion on the existing problem of suppression of Russian minority in their country. Estonian state practices nationalism on the state law level! This is a conscious crime against humanity. This crime should be fixed, investigated and presented to the public court of internationally recognized referees.
Till then I announce all diplomas issued by the Philosophic Faculty of Tartu University invalid since 2014. This academic institution is not legitimate to teach students. It does not fit the parameters of scientific and human values.
Jelena Grigorjeva, PhD expert in semiotics
P.S.: I also claim that Tartu University makes financial profit of my ideas but does not pay me royalties. My idea on national identity won a big grant for our Department. I claim both for moral and financial compensation for using my (c) property.
I will share my expertise as widely as I can.