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Chance semiotics : the value and application of contingency in cinema art practice

Prokopic, P

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As this paper argues, chance is the key defining
aspect of film, distinguishing it from other forms of
art and communication. This is because film has
the ability to capture a direct, mechanical imprint of
the unpredictable movement of reality as a series
of equidistant static images. Through the enhanced
visibility (such as the close-up or slow-motion) and replayability of this static state, film can reveal contingent
nuances of this movement. Therefore, film can be
seen as uniquely positioned on a semiotic threshold
between movement and stillness – the infinitely
complex movement of the real, and the conceptual
stillness of language – translating randomness and
chaos into aleatory significance, or revealing the
unpredictable, contingent foundation of seemingly
ordinary, habitual events.
On the basis of a creative synthesis of particular
aspects of the philosophy and theory of Bergson,
Deleuze, Barthes and others, this paper sets out chance
as the defining semiotic aspect of film. Furthermore,
the paper discusses and presents outcomes of a
practice research in film, which used this theoretical
synthesis as a rationale for practical exploration and
experimentation – establishing chance as a significant
expressive tool and aesthetic element of film practice.
In this way, the paper presents new filmmaking methods
uniquely rooted in film philosophy, while contributing to
the expansion of the understanding of the nature of film
and to the narrative/stylistic potential of cinema art.


Prokopic, P. (2021). Chance semiotics : the value and application of contingency in cinema art practice. Avanca - cinema (Em linha), 85-91.

Journal Article Type Article
Conference Name AVANCA CINEMA 2021 International Conference Cinema - Art, Technology, Communication
Conference Location Avanca, Portugal
Start Date Jul 28, 2021
End Date Aug 1, 2021
Acceptance Date May 18, 2021
Publication Date Oct 25, 2021
Deposit Date May 19, 2021
Publicly Available Date Oct 29, 2021
Journal AVANCA CINEMA 2021
Print ISSN 2184-0520
Pages 85-91
Publisher URL
Related Public URLs
Additional Information Event Type : Conference


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