Vestigia is the online journal of the International network of psychoanalytic practices (INPP) and publishes papers and reviews in all languages.

The Freudian discourse is essentially one that transcends cultures. We want to create a space for disruption and critical discussion and that resists uniformity, resolution and insularity. For this reason we aim to create a dialogue not just between psychoanalysts, psychologists and other colleagues in the caring professions, but one which includes philosophers, historians, writers, poets, painters and other artists, and all those interested in the contribution psychoanalysis can bring to our understanding.

Vestigia (footprints, traces)

‘Then there is the trace, the footprint in the sand, the sign about which Robinson Crusoe makes no mistake. Here sign and object separate. The trace, in its negative aspect, draws the natural sign to a limit at which it becomes evanescent. The distinction between sign and object is quite clear here, since the trace is precisely what the object leaves behind once it has gone off somewhere else. Objectively there is no need for any subject to recognise a sign for it to be there – a trace exists even if there is nobody to look at it.

When have we passed over into the order of the signifier? The signifier may extend over many of the elements within the domain of the sign. But the signifier is a sign that doesn’t refer to any object, not even to one in the form of a trace, even though the trace nevertheless heralds the signifier’s essential feature. It, too, is the sign of an absence. But insofar as it forms part of language, the signifier is a sign which refers to another sign, which is as such structured to signify the absence of another sign, in other words, to be opposed to it in a couple’ (Lacan, S3: 167).