“Inscription” is a material, as well as psychical and virtual, process without which nothing meaningful or semiotic could exist. Writing (following Derridean deconstruction) is nothing but a series of marks or traces that some agency (human or nonhuman) has left and which can carry signification (i.e. can be re-inscribed, reiterated and reproduced). Inscription or writing is therefore a lot more than just a metaphor, it is a basic semiotic process that goes beyond the fundamental distinction between nature and culture. Animals, plants, machines, humans, but also things, digital devices, programmes, as well as “natural” agents like wind, water or fire leave marks and traces that allow for “reading” and interpretation.
This “graphic” model of signification continues to have an enormous impact on human conceptualisation, but in a posthumanist context it also opens up a powerful critique of anthropocentric notions of agency and new ecologies of writing. Some of these I am hoping to explore under a number of new -graphies: