Volume 3   Number 1      Fall 2008

A Portrait of a Dialogical Self: Image Science and the Dialogical Self
Nora Ruck & Thomas Slunecko

University of Vienna, Austria
pp. 261-290   (pdf)
(6.5 MB)
ABSTRACT. In the dialogical self (DS), temporal and spatial characteristics of the self are considered of equal importance. Nevertheless, the spatiality of the self has received little interest in the research practice of the dialogical self, which still analyzes meaning predominantly as a temporal phenomenon. Image science, by contrast, deals mostly with the spatiality of meaning for the pictorial mode of representation is constituted by the spatial relations between depicted elements. We present a method of image analysis that may retrieve the spatiality of the self on an empirical level. We then interpret a self-portrait by the Mexican paintress Frida Kahlo as a portrait of two I-positions and induce challenges pertaining to dialogical self theory from this analysis: on a theoretical level the interplay of temporality and spatiality and the role of culture in DS theory; on an empirical level the analysis of ‘silent’ positions and cross-cultural analyses of dialogical relations; finally, we address modes of visualizing DS theory itself and suggest a more bottom-up approach to generate diagrams.  
Keywords: planimetric analysis, imagery, I-positions, Übergegensätzlichkeit, silent voices