Semiotics Table

Signifier                                                                                     Signified                                                                           Literal Meaning
Four aluminium towers                                              tall narrow buildings                                             tall building, either free standing or
                                                                                                                                                                          forming a part of a building
seven gates                                                                   barrier/ protector                                                  a hinged barrier used to close an
                                                                                                                                                                           opening in a wall, fence or hedge
drawbridges                                                                 passage                                                                  a bridge, especially over a moat which is
                                                                                                                                                                          hinged at one end so that it may
                                                                                                                                                                           be raised to prevent people crossing
canals                                                                             man- made waterway                                        an artificial waterway constructed to
                                                                                                                                                                       allow the passage of boats or ships
                                                                                                                                                                       inland or to convey water for irrigation
nine quarters                                                               divided into sections                                            be stationed or lodged in a specified
my eye returns to contemplate                       he is longing to go back to the desert                     he wants to go back but it is too late
the desert expanses
this path is only one of the many                    out of many, this was one path                                out of many, this is one path and others
paths that opened in front of me                                                                                                            are yet to open


The uninterrupted and intense heat of the sun

The feel of the grimy sand everywhere

The endless sea of dry desert to be travelled

This is what I had left behind there.

Dorothea, my escape from it all

Thought I would settle down

Away from the grit and the grime

But after so many years I was still dissatisfied.

Once again longing for the feel of the sands

The bumpy camel rides across the miles

The golden sun warm against my skin

The music of the low hum of the voices in the caravan

As we travelled across to unknown places

Miles to be covered, destinations to be reached

Meeting new people discovering new places

An endless journey, this is where I belong, this is what I want.



Curatorial Note


The project revolves around understanding the uniqueness of a place and its characters. Deconstruction of the passage and understanding semiotics played an important role in comprehension of an idea. This thereby allowed us to look at each of the features more closely and interpret them visually and in writing.
The monuments in a place creates another layer of interpretation and the influence it has on the people and the environment.
Octavia- Thin cities in Invisible cities by Italo Calvino speaks about the spider web city and the lifestyle within this environment. The silken threads of the web relates to the thoughts that often entrap us from moving ahead. My narrative relates to breaking free from these thoughts which is visually seen through the tunnel book.

Curatorial Note


At the start of this project we were introduced to Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and read a common passage on the city of Isidora. In the first week we explored the meaning of this passage and wrote a narrative on the city. Based on this narrative, in the studio class we made visuals that illustrated the story that we had written.

By the next week, we had read the whole book and were asked to choose a passage that we wanted to work with for the rest of the project. The passage I chose was cities and eyes (1) that describes the city of Valdrada. In this week, we explored how memory was connected to our passage and wrote a short paragraph exploring this connection. In studio, we made visuals bringing out the essence of this connection through black and white silhouettes.

In the third week, by answering some questions on constructed environments, we studied how Calvino had described his cities and given each city a unique landscape. In studio, we again made black and white visuals, which gave a sense of how our city would look. We then also tried to make cut outs from this visual. In the fourth week we looked at semiotics. We deciphered how signs and symbols in our city had a hidden metaphorical meaning that we hadn’t explored and made visuals and cut outs for the same.

In these three weeks, although we worked with one city and looked at different aspects of it, each class was a little disconnected from the other. In the fifth week, everything finally came together and all the written work and visuals that we had made aided the final outcome of the project, which was a tunnel book.

In this fifth week, based on our complete understanding of the city from the work we had done, we wrote a story that was then translated into a tunnel book with 15 cut outs. For the tunnel book all the layers of the city that we had explored based on memory, constructed environments and semiotics came together to form one three dimensional visual. As we had worked with our cities over the period of four weeks in seminar and studio, it was much easier to construct a story and visualize it in the form of a tunnel book and elements from all our previous visuals seamlessly came together for the final outcome of the project.


A Poem on Valdrada




I was walking down the street and I couldn’t stop staring at him

Wherever I went, he was always in my line of vision

Inverted, reflected mirroring my every action

His picture in my head leading to a chain reaction

His enchanting face his kept me in shackles, arrested

I couldn’t get him out even when I rested

Make it stop, please let me see,

Images of people that don’t look like me.


Poem on Zobiede

Am I in Zobiede now?
Am I with her again?
I could look for her
But I won’t find her
Apart for in my memories
I wish she finds me
But I almost believe she doesn’t exist
Have I become delusional?
Is that what I’ve become now?
Am I in Zobiede now?
Am I with her again?
Oh god, this frustration
Between parallel realities
I almost feel like I’m living an inception
Of someone
Am I in Zobiede now?
Am I with her again?
Will I ever know the truth?