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Photography, Trace, and Trauma$
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Margaret Iversen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226370026

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226370330.001.0001

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Index, Diagram, Graphic Trace

Index, Diagram, Graphic Trace

(p.67) 5 Index, Diagram, Graphic Trace
Photography, Trace, and Trauma

Margaret Iversen

University of Chicago Press

The index and the diagram are, on the face of it, incompatible types of sign. While the index has a close, causal or tactile, connection with the object it signifies, the diagram is a sign that involves statistical abstraction, such as trends in the stock market or the weather. This chapter focuses on a hybrid form of representation that has aspects of both. The graphic trace is an indexical diagram. It takes from the index a registration of something unique, the impress of an individual thing, while incorporating the diagram’s abstraction from what is immediately given in perception. The use of the graphic trace in art is explored by drawing on an essay by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke, the chronophotography of Étienne-Jules Marey and the work of artists including Marcel Duchamp, Susan Morris, Brian O’Doherty, Gabriel Orozco, Amalia Pica, and Nedko Solakov.

Keywords:   chronophotography, diagram, Marcel Duchamp, graphic trace, index, Susan Morris, Étienne-Jules Marey, Brian O’Doherty, Gabriel Orozco, Rainer Maria Rilke

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