Programme: Sources of Creativity. From Local to Universal

An international symposium around Eero Tarasti’s work in the eve of his 70th birthday. An event organized by the Academy of Cultural Heritages and the Semiotic Society of Finland in Mikkeli, Finland, 8-10 August 2018

The symposium will be arranged at the place of genius loci of Eero Tarasti’s life, his second home and summer town Mikkeli. It is open for contributions on the fields of his scientific and artistic output and dealing with his ideas, theories and activities in the scholarly and cultural context. The convention will also include excursions to important places of his life. There will be a concert and a festival gourmet dinner at Tertti Manor.

The congress site is the Music Institute of Mikkeli (Mikkelin Musiikkiopisto), Maaherrankatu 10, 50100 Mikkeli.

Anyone interested can follow the symposium. There is no participation fee; yet, we encourage you to contribute to this event in the form of a free donation to the bank account of the Academy of Cultural Heritages: FI40 1544 3000 0285 84 (BIC: NDEAFIHH). (PayPal is also available for those outside the European Union, please inquire at


The papers given at the symposium will be published as a special volume in the series Acta Semiotica Fennica. Languages: English, French, German, Italian. Inquiries concerning the event:

Organizing committee: Professors Pirjo Kukkonen, Pertti Ahonen, Kai Lassfolk (Helsinki University), Altti Kuusamo (Turku University), Anne Kauppala (Sibelius Academy), Juha Ojala (Oulu University), Rector Ilmo Pokkinen (Mikkeli); secretaries Paul Forsell and Aleksi Haukka.

The symposium is supported by the Southern Savo Region Cultural Foundation (Etelä-Savon Kulttuurirahasto).



Wednesday, 8 August


9-10 a.m. Registration at Music Institute (lobby), Maaherrankatu 10

10-12 Welcoming words by the Organizing Committee

Music and Arts, chair: Pirjo Kukkonen

  • Jean-Marie Jacono, Université Aix-Marseille:
    Existential Analysis of Music and Society: Modest Musorgsky (1839-1881)
  • Julius Fujak, University of Nitra, Slovakia:
    The independence and inner freedom as a primal condition of the creativity in contemporary culture and arts
  • Malgorzata Gamrat, Cracow Music Academy:
    Semiotics code and intertextuality in Berlioz op 14a and 14b
  • Mathieu Schneider, Vice-Président de l’Université de Strasbourg: « Saviez-vous que les Celtes parlent avec l’accent suisse ? Essai de sémiotique existentielle à partir du chant de matelot et du solo de berger dans Tristan de Wagner » / « Did you know that Celtic peasants speak with a Swiss accent? Essay in existential semiotics above the sailor’s song and the shepherd’s tune in Wagner’s Tristan »
  • Altti Kuusamo, University of Turku:
    Rights and Wrongs of a Credible Forgery. The Case “van Meergeren” revisited

12-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.30 Creativity, chair: Altti Kuusamo

  • Zdzislaw Wasik, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznan:
    Human Creativity as a Preternatural Gift of a Genius or a Universal Property of an Average Individual
  • Inna Merkoulova, Sorbonne, Paris / Université de l’académie des sciences, Moscou:
    Dialogue sémiotique et sources de la créativité: Greimas et Karsavine
  • Daniel Röhe, University of Brasilia, Brasil:
    Creativity in Existential Semiotics and Psychoanalysis

15.30-16 Coffee break

16-18 Semiotic theories and applications, chair: Pertti Ahonen

  • Kristian Bankov, IASS/AIS; New Bulgarian University, Sofia:
    The existential semiotics of lying yourself
  • Mauri Ylä-Kotola, Rector of Lapland University, Rovaniemi: Transcendentalism, postcolonialism, and metsytics.
  • Pirjo Kukkonen, University of Helsinki: Time in Semiosis

19-20.30 Concert at the large hall of the Music Institute (fee for non-participants: 10 €, to be paid at the entrance). Programme:

Laura Pyrrö, soprano; Eila Tarasti, piano: Songs by Richard Wagner, Gabriel Fauré, Reynaldo Hahn, Jean Sibelius, Eero Tarasti, and Giacomo Puccini

Helsinki University Music Society ensemble, trio: Zoltan Takacs (Concert master of the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra), violin, Markus Hallikainen, cello, and Eero Tarasti, piano: Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Movements I and II from Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50 (1881-82)

Thursday, 9 August


10-12 Semiotic Theories and applications, chair: Kristian Bankov

  • Pertti Ahonen, University of Helsinki:
    Using Artificial Intelligence in Social and Human Sciences: Eero Tarasti’s Existential Semiotics as a Source of Enlightenment
  • Elzbieta Wasik, Adam Mickievicz University of Poznan, Poland: “Linguistic Creativity or the Creative Use of Language: Understanding the Universal Creativity of Human Self as Its Mental Aptitude for Transcendence Through Semiotic Means
  • Panu Heimonen, PhD Student, University of Helsinki:
    Sympathy, Existential Semiotics and the Problem of Other minds
  • Eetu Pikkarainen, University of Oulu:
    On Joy: Question to Actsemiotics about emotions
  • Eila Tarasti:  Eero’s Life in Pictures

12-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.30 Cultures, chair: Hannu Riikonen

  • Rahilya Geybullaeva, Baku Slavic University, Azerbaidjan
    Behavioral models in literature and their sources: marriage types
  • Rahilya Geybullaeva, Baku Slavic University, Azerbaidjan (and Anuar Galiev, Kazak Al-farabi National University, Almaty, Kazakstan):
    Eero Tarasti and the development of semiotic studies in Central Asia and Azerbaijan
  • Rodrigo Felicissimo, Elisabeth Bracher, University of São Paulo:
    The “God’s Finger” mountain range – from the “Melody of the Mountains”composition technique, developed by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos
  • Aleksi Haukka, Doc. student, University of Helsinki: Communication in the Book of Joban existential semiotic reflection
  • Kai Lassfolk & Riitta Rainio, University of Helsinki:
    Archeoacoustics Study of the Rock Painting Site of Verijärvi in Mikkeli
  • Hannu Riikonen, University of Helsinki:
    Eero Tarasti and the Art of Letter-Writing

15.30-16 Coffee break

16-18 Semiotic Applications and cultures, chair: Zdzislaw Wasik

  • Ramunas Motiekaitis, Lithuanian Academy of Music, Vilnius:
    Structure and (Extreme) Complexity: an Attempt to Reconsider Models of (Existential) Semiotics 
  • Ritva Hartama-Heinonen, University of Helsinki:
    To translate is to lie: Authenticity and forgery revisited
  • Osmo Kuusi, Aalto university/ University of Turku:
    Tarasti’s Existential Semiotics and the Signification Process of the Future Sign
  • Sari Helkala-Koivisto, Tampere, University of Helsinki:
    Musical existence, bodily mind, and prosodic sign
  • Kim Keskiivari, MA Student, semiotics, Univ. of Helsinki:
    The Prospects of a Metacultural Metalanguage for an Existential Semiotic Theory of Culture
  • Jukka Soisalon-Soininen, Polish culture specialist, freelance journalist: Mannerheim and his Poland

19 Dinner at Tertti Manor (transportation by congress bus leaving in front of the Music Institute at 18.45). NB: prepayment obligatory to the account of The Academy of Cultural Heritages, see above (43 € meal, 70 € meal with drinks)

Friday, 10 August


9-12.20 Music, chair: Jean-Marie Jacono

  • Timo Laiho, PhD, Musicology, University of Helsinki:
    Structural solution to Zeno’s Achilles paradox
  • Grisel McDonell, PhD Student, University of Helsinki:
    Creativity in Romantic Virtuosity: An Existential Semiotic Perspective on the Body, and Performance as Sources of Creativity in the case of the Italian double bass virtuoso and composer Giovanni Bottesini (1821-1889)
  • Sanna Iitti, University of Helsinki:
    Unconscious drives in Franz Liszt’s Loreley song
  • Lisa Nylander, University of Tampere:
    Winning Streak of the song Lili Marleen / Der Siegeszug von dem Lied Lili Marleen

12.20-14 Lunch

14-19 Excursions in the Mikkeli area (leaving in front of the Music Institute) including City Hall, Market Place and Hall, Mannerheim Museum et al.