At first glance, the forty-five symbols in Johanna Buehler’s “Try To Trace The Tracks” resemble a hybrid of the well-known peace symbol and medieval O-T-maps that represented the early geographical imaginations of the world. In a way, they combine the concepts of freedom and locality through a personal narrative of daily commuting. Buehler observed herself riding her bike through an urban environment every morning. This is almost an algorithmic experience that combines a set of random decisions but ultimately leads to the same outcome every single day. The light and playful symbols invite viewers to speculate about the journey, unexpected impressions, and random encounters. Are there also missed opportunities because a path was neglected? Most certainly. The note in the window promoting a new job remains unseen and that special person around the corner remains unmet. But looking at the set of symbols it becomes clear that life will bring new opportunities every day and all the micro-decisions we make lead to a narrative that takes us toward our ultimate destination or goal. All we need to do is embrace the moment instead of speculating too much about missed opportunities.
Try To Trace The Tracks
Project description by the author
«All roads lead to Rome», just like my everyday bicycle track. The track begins in the beautiful northern district of ‹St. Johann› where I live, and ends in the South of Basel, ‹Dreispitz›, where I study Visual Communication at the Academy of Art & Design. Each morning I choose which path, between three different routes through the city, to get to University. Each way is, as such, equally exhausting, stressful, and annoying. There are many crossings, a lot of traffic, and potentially long waits at red traffic lights that can make the journey quite unappealing. This work illustrates how many crossings I must wait to turn or cross the road. Each symbol represents a crossing within a distance of a hundred meters: the center point is myself on my bicycle and the bold line shows my route. The symbols themselves are not sorted by any particular route so you can choose by yourself which way you want to go. In my additional poster series, I resolve the chaos, showing each route separately.
Johanna is a 29-year old student of Visual Communication at the Academy of Art & Design, Basel — originally born in Germany, but grown up in Switzerland. She is a graduated Textile Designer with a passion for interior design and product design. Johanna enjoys pushing the boundaries between experiment and consistency within the practices of graphic design, photography, and motion design. In her work, Johanna tries to capture the essence of an issue while discovering unique and simple ways to communicate. In simple words, she combines a creative mind with a broad interest across artistic disciplines.