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Tracing the basics – a study in graphic shapes

Abstract

My talk asks what relation there is between the term “trace” and concepts like “graphic”, “sign” and “script”. It also asks: What is “script”? 

Based on these initial questions I shall discuss a concept of the trace as the very basic momentum of elemental graphic rendition. This phenomenon can be seen as the condition for the emergence and development of graphic systems as the “physical body” of notation conventions, which has enabled mankind to store and transmit information. The “point” and the “stroke” are considered as the very basic shapes of a trace, and starting there I will discuss the “graphic functions” by which we can generate more elaborate sets of graphs to be utilized in real-life scenarios. Finally, a step-by-step study of further basic graphic shapes will be discussed, leading to the outline of a possible system of trace morphology.