Title
Counting Frame
Material
web application
Year
2022

The abacus is “perhaps the oldest continuously used calculating tool aside from fingers.” Simply: the abacus is a frame which holds rods of freely-sliding beads, and these beads represent digits which are manipulated to perform arithmetic.

Among the possible etymological origins of the word abacus: “a square tablet strewn with dust” or “sand used as a writing surface” — these meanings point to the mutable nature of the device. Beads are moved temporarily to denote positions of integers in the mind of the operator; a kind of tactile notation, as if the thought process were a snake moving through sand.