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The Symbol as Visual Act

The symbol in space and as visual perception makes us reflect on the eye’s movement. Viewing a point without references allows the eye to move in all directions. The horizontal line effortlessly leads the eye along its direction. The vertical line provokes tension, fatigue and drowsiness.

Comprehension of the symbol (initially a visual configuration and movement) enables us to seriously consider the action that it effects from the external world over the psychism (when the symbol is presented as perception, from a cultural object), and makes it possible to investigate the work of representation (when the image is expressed as symbol in an internal personal production, or is projected in an external cultural production).

The Symbol as Result of the Transformation of What is Perceived

The compensatory function of the symbol emerges here, as referential and a creator of order in space. The symbol contributes to fixing the center in an open field and to freezing time. Monument-symbols give psychological and political unity to nations. There is also a type of symbol that corresponds to non-collective productions, wherein one observes the compensatory function of the consciousness in front of the data from reality.
The Symbol as Translation of Internal Impulses

Symbolism in sleep and in artistic production is generally the correlate of cenesthetic impulses translated into levels of visual representation. Another case of symbolic manifestation as translation of internal impulses is that of certain gestures, known in the East as “mudras”. Certain general body postures and their meanings are familiar to people the world over, and correspond to distinctions made in relation to the symbols of the point and circle, for example, an upright body with open arms symbolically expresses mental situations that are the opposite of those associated to the body’s position when folded over itself, as in the fetal position).

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