The relief of a landscape shapes the places of a region: flat, wavy, broken or steep, and conditions the processes of ecological succession and human occupation and introduces certain rhythm to the history of a place. The geomorphology of an area allows us to understand the metamorphosis of the sheets of rock constituting the relief; which, just like the covering of vegetation seen on the surface, not only expresses the physical reality of the site, but also the symbolic, described in the legends and stories associated to a site. In the Mediterranean region, even in the relatively low lying areas, the relief is almost always varied and considerable: plains are broken up by valleys, scraps of plains near cliffs and slopes.
The relief of a landscape is perceived as connected shapes. To understand something is to understand a presence more or less intensely. The Fariseu site is an example of this. In gestalttheory, a theory derived from the German word gestalt which means the integration of the parts as opposed to the sum of all - unitary structure, configuration - , the pregnancy (fullness of meaning) of a shape, or rather its apprehension is only as great as its coherence and clarity. The underlying concept came from the philosophers Kant, Goethe and Mach, who in the 19th century said that perception is a unitary act: the whole is perceived before the individual elements. Ludwig Curtius refers to a landscape as an understood whole4: geschlossenes Gebild.
The forms which are physically pregnant are structurally stable forms, morphological accidents which survive the erosion of interraction5 better than others. Biological pregnancy is defined differently: it is the ability of one shape to invoke other shapes as a sign. Among the shapes which may be observed in the exterior world, there are, primarily, those which protrude, that is the gestalten defined by their surroundings, internal morphology and localisation in space and time.
In abstract terms we may admit the existence of a local pregnancy which governs, by means of its individual features, the organisation of differentiated spaces associated to particular happenings. Within a pregnancy, there are, for example, the features it contains - the natural division of a territory by its catchment areas delimited by ridges. Since Husserl a prominence has been understood as a discontinuity, in the sense that Petitot bases the observation that: deep signs (sema) are pregnancies and features are manifested as singularities. However, generally, pregnancies transform protruding objects into meaningful objects, through the subjective interpretation of the viewer.
There is a geological pregnancy manifested in topological and chorological features. Chorology is defined today as the study of the spatial distribution of the plants that constitute the covering of vegetation in any one region - chôra, for the Greeks of Classic Antiquity. According to etymology, choréma derives from the verb choréo: to provide space for something. Topology already implies an in situ analysis, the characterisation of the topos, the site, the specific features of a place. A region is a place where happenings are expressed in landscapes, geological, ecological and anthropomorphic forms seen as a whole, containing different kinds of singularities which may be analysed in terms of information.
According to Shannon’s Information Theory, the information associated to an event which occurs with the probability of p is a quantity which may be interpreted as the length of time of the reconstitution of the event: the rarer the happening, the greater the value of the information. There is another meaning for the concept of information: an ordered state would be a state whose description, reproduction or preparation, requires a large quantity of information. More concretely, the value or measure of information is one of Hartley’s concepts, later adopted by Shannon, and is linked to the idea that information removes, or reduces the uncertainty in a series of events and that the entropy is the uncertainty of a contingent variable, where the probability is a measure of the possibility or probability of an event. More pragmatically, Weaver defines information as a measure of the free selection of a message.
The notion of information implies the possibility of each person, both near or far from the event, being able to understand it, being able to mentally recreate its origins. Therefore, based on what was said previously, it may be concluded that the greater the entropy, the smaller the perception and consequently the pregnancy of an object.
The valence of an object corresponds to its power of attraction and its aesthetic value represents not only a function of aesthetic measurement but also a function of super-icon, that is, the quality of being a super-icon of the aesthetic object.
Fontanille, using the atonic/tonic distinction and the two dimensions of a stressed structure - in this case: the intensity and the extension - distinguishes four types A,B,C,D in the characterisation of the diagram of a semiosphere16 which underlies a universe of meaning. We may associate it to a pregnant form in Thom’s sense: associating a pregnancy to a salient form constitutes the past of predication.
Fig. 1 - Diagram of Fontanille’s Semiosphere (p. 285)