Visual Rhetoric | drawing-based research


Drawing-based research on visual synthesis by Vjeko Sager


The prefixes “inter”, “multi” or “trans” still remain synonyms for division instead of signifying the integration of disciplinary practices.  At the moment, there are no common denominators in visual standards, despite many attempts to bridge the disciplinary gap. In last 500 years, science uses analysis as the only principle in understanding nature, steering Western civilization away from universal principles. This tactic is responsible for disciplinary branching and disintegration of knowledge, which has ended with futile attempts to break subatomic particles. We must be reminded that, according to Hegel, the new ground should be approached by synthesis, by introducing the new idea that resolves the conflict between the initial proposition (thesis) and its negation (antithesis).


The true “paradigm shift”  will manifest itself as a genuine Hegelian synthesis, or an attempt to bridge the void between disciplines. Applying the practice of drawing as a mediator between traditional and new (post-digital) aesthetics, it become possible to trace information (in any direction)  and assemble the lost disciplinary connections. I have a passionate belief in the power of drawing to resolve the current dissonance among fields of creativity.


This drawing opus entitled “Visual Rhetoric” is an outcome of my extensive research on spatial semantics. This artistic exploration of properties of the void provided me with a new sensitivity to perceive and register neglected visual data such as charge, anticipation and repulsion of energy. These often neglected parameters generated a new visual language capable of conveying emotions into marks, force into lines and events into forms. New visuals confirmed the old truth: drawing was and will always be a medium of a true synthesis, allowing a true amalgamation of semiotic meanings. Following this concept, it became possible to access absolute creative freedom and follow the idea back to its origin.

Architecture of synthesis

This research verifies drawing’s ability to connect disciplines not because of its simplicity, but because of its capacity to interact with every medium, to illustrate and express, mimic and process idea beyond apparent (logical) meaning. In other words, drawing has the role of the primary visual instrument capable of communicating thoughts at any level. This statement brings out the close relationship between drawing and philosophy, where we encounter the intrinsic connection among drawing and the way we think.

Visual Rhetoric is an attempt to expose and synthesize dislocated knowledge, hidden behind disciplinary screens. Historically, art, design and architecture are manifestations of disciplinary encounters and this modest research may inspire and remind artists, designers and architects to identify and apply drawing as a key element of synthesis.


This research inspired a manuscript "Semantics of Space" (350 pages of text & illustrations), hundreds of drawings and working sketches in various formats, several drawings in large scale (more than 100 square feet) and many short essays and studies.

I am looking forward to share and further expand this research with peers and colleagues. If you are interested to discuss this topic or to collaborate, please be free to contact me. Email at

Vjeko Sager

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