Sichtbare Dialoge im öffentlichen Raum
This paper aims to investigate the occurrences and characteristics of visual dialogues in urban spaces. In order to systematically examine the specific elements of visual dialogues the analysis draws on a corpus of more than 25.500 digital photographs taken in selected neighbourhoods in the cities of Essen, Bochum, Duisburg and Dortmund. The article discusses several approaches to the concept of “dialogue” and “dialogism” and distinguishes between a “narrow”, i. e. interactional approach and a “wide”, i. e. more fundamental approach to utterances and texts. In this more fundamental perspective on dialogism, utterances and texts are not the sole product of one individual speaker but full of references to pre-utterances and pre-texts, recontextualiations, polyphony as well as invitations for responses. The analysis reveals that the majority of visual dialogues in urban spaces are best explained within the framework of the latter approach, a previously inaccessible point of view in linguistic landscape studies.