Saturday, September 27, 2008

Lines, threads, traces

"Somewhat daunted by the sheer profusion of different kinds of line, I resolved to draw up a provisional taxonomy. Though even this left many loose ends, two kinds of line seemed to stand out from the rest, and I called them threads and traces. Yet on closer inspection, threads and traces appeared to be not so much categorically different as transforms of one another. Threads have a way of turning into traces, and vice versa. Moreover, whenever threads turn into traces, surfaces are formed, and whenever traces turn into threads, they are dissolved. Following through these transformations took me from the written word, whence I had commenced my inquiry, into the twists and turns of the labyrinth, and into the crafts of embroidery and weaving. And it was through the weaving of textiles that I eventually returned, by this roundabout route, to the written text. Yet whether encountered as a woven thread or as a written trace, the line is still perceived as one of movement and growth. How come, then, that so many of the lines we come up against today seem so static?"

Ingold, Tim (2007), Lines: A Brief History, Routledge. London and New York, p.2


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