Plastir Number 25 – 12/2011

FORM FLUENS : NOTES ON THE PLASTICITY AND THE COMPLEXITY OF LIVING SYSTEMS

Luciano BOI is mathematician, philosopher and epistemologist. He teaches in the Centre of Social Analysis and Mathematics of the EHESS (Paris) and was professor invited in many European and American Universities, but he is before all a transdisciplinary researcher or more precisely a topologist within the meaning of discoverer of places, of ontological junctions which gave Rene Thom in reference to Aristote. To judge this point, we just need to cross his fields of predilection: geometry-physics interactions – from the general relativity to the Supercord theory, topology-biology interface – folding up of DNA, space organization of the chromosome -, phenomenology and geometry of space perception, epistemology, mathematics-arts intersection. He is also the author or the co-author of many works on crossed topics between mathematics, biology and philosophy, on the history of sciences and the intelligibility of space or the philosophy of nature (Peter Lang, 1995, 2000, 2006). His last book, « Morphology of the invisible » (Pulim, 2011) milked morphogenesis, transformations and singularities on the topological, biophysical and semiotic levels. Luciano Boi makes us the honour to approach the major role played by the plasticity of living systems and its natural articulation with complexity in PLASTIR. Such a role would gain to be recognized like such, as we do not cease to affirm it at PSA, as well as at the conceptual level (PLASTIR n°18) – where plasticity is not assumed to only be a systemic property, but an active and operational dynamic principle, at the scale of alive systems – formation and evolution of the forms and functions – but also of of other code systems in interaction, as at the transdisciplinary plan (PLASTIR n°8, n°11, n°22). Luciano Boi defines clearly plasticity “as a dynamic tension between vulnerability and robustness”, a […] dynamics between vulnerability and robustness precisely attested by the scientific expressions of plasticity and complexity, that could constitute well one of the essential links of a scientific, philosophical and renewed cultural reading of the alive systems. Dynamics expressing itself […] in the “freedom” that the form seems to have compared to itself, i.e. in its capacity to acquire new qualities and new behaviours”. “The plasticity, which is a rich and strange conceptual node is one of the great secrecies of the nature which, although difficult to encircle, always acts by multiplying the effects and by causing new propensities. In addition to its ubiquist character, it allows that deep relations are woven between sciences of nature and other disciplines, generally raising of the human sciences. Disciplines which describe they also the life or the human one in dynamic terms of tensions between completion and incompletion, determination and indetermination, finality and contingency, individuality and community. Far from being isolated in their specific fields, research in psychology, philosophy, anthropology, or in sociology, are today in astonishing resonance with up to date works in biology. The plasticity, coupled with complexity, represents a synthetic and transverse field knowledge being constituting. The study of this field requires a multi-field approach, new conceptual tools and new scientific practices. ”. Can one better conclude, if is not to affirm that Luciano Boi is without any doubt one of those who will be able to model, at the same time on the topological level & on the geometrical theory of the dynamic systems, the plasticity of the living systems and to show the multiscalar and deeply coherent vocation of all the metaplastic systems.

THE ART OF THE METAXU

Philippe QUEAU is polytechnician, engineer of the ENS of telecommunications. He was director of the INA (National institute of the Audiovisual) from1977 to 1996 when he undertook latest researches on the synthesized images – foundation of the IMAGINA forum – and was a precursor by creating the first French web network (Mediaport) in 1994. He then directed the division of the Information Society at the UNESCO, being named representative in Moscow (2003) and currently in Morocco where he coordinates the worldwide activities of the Maghreb. However, Philippe Quéau is not satisfied to forge a ground with the technological innovation, he is an actor of the dialectics he preaches, as we showed it in PLASTIR n°14 with “The digital fingerprint of the soul”. In fact, in addition to the creation of House Flies and its diffusion in tele virtuality 3D to Cluny (Paris), Philippe Quéau is the author of several collective works on aesthetics, the virtual world (The Virtual one – Virtues and Giddiness, Champ Small valley, 1993, The Planet of minds, For a policy of the cyberspace, Odile Jacob, 2000), on ethics, about the art & science relations , but especially that of the Metaxu – “Metaxu – Theory of the intermediate art” (Field Small valley, 1989) – which is very close to the original search of this Greek word meaning “intermediate” that Plato appreciated, and to the ambition of Quéau of a mediating thought between the matter and the form, aiming to determine, to crunch, to marry the form and the bottom, to show by the symbol and the first art where is “the hanging point” of a humanity, if not in perdition, in loss of human landmarks. Thus in great conceptual complicity with the concept of plasticity, he derives subtly and for our greater happiness these “myriads of “intermediate” beings , making and unceasingly demolishing the world by their mediations or their transformations” at the numerical era. The intermediate art of the Metaxu transport us elsewhere, distinguishes us at the same time as it confuses us, pushes us to be born from the interval or between-two. It dilutes the reserves, proves by the imaginal and the not tell as all that can emerge on behalf the divinity who falls to us, of the multiplicity and a negligible change of the forms, of the autocatalytic activity of the brain on the becoming of man, of the variations (Here it is), the fusions – “How to melt without confusing? ” – (Small islands, Water and Hills), the deformations (Kneecaps), the changes (Coast of Adam), the deteriorations and finally of the mediations (Foams, The Angel and the oyster): “The intermediate beings are of infinite number. But it was already announced that one could distinguish two big classes in this profusion: the messengers, who connect, and the hybrids, who mix. They are the two poles of a dialectics of the same and the other, of connection and fusion. The intermediate being can be a messenger because he has a hybrid nature, and that he has elements of several natures. Reciprocally, he has the privilege of these various natures, because he knew to unite them and connect them, in a perennial way. At the intermediary, there is the same one in the other and from the other in the same one”, dixit the author who specifies that “this principle, very Taoist, is also a consequence of the language, its insufficiencies and the way in which it applies to the world. The words must gather under the same banner of distinct realities, they are carried there to bring them closer and to hybrid them by subsuming them under the same meaning”. Yes, the metamorphosis is moving, and it is the art of Quéau, intense, luminous, surgical, which gives birth to these intermediate beings and carry them to our subconsciousness. The Metaxu blog of Philippe Quéau.

FAMILY RESEMBLANCE BETWEEN WITTGENSTEIN AND TCHOUANG-TSEU – ON AN IDEA OF SOUN-GUI KIM –

Claude BERNIOLLES is poet and philosopher. Graduate in law, he followed with assiduity the courses and seminars of the Collège de France of Yves Bonnefoy and Jacques Bouveresse, by withdrawing lesson which he distils in his literary research and in our review since 2010. He offers to us in this twenty fifth number, the third issue of his work devoted to Wittgenstein, the two first: Wittgenstein and the bumps of philosophy and Wittgenstein, the genius duty by Ray Monk, having been published in PLASTIR n°20 & n°23, respectively. The originality and the eclecticism of his approach push him this time to explore the family resemblance (air de famille) between the occidental philosophy of Wittgenstein and the Oriental one Tchouang-tseu, and this, through one of his readings of the Korean writer, Soun-GUI Kim. In the second philosophy of Wittgenstein, the concept of family resemblance (or air) is quasi conceptual, sticking to the resemblances and thus to the divergences or rather to the indeterminations. Claude Berniolles finely analyzes these relations and their analogies within the two philosophies. Moreover, he attempts to decipher in the plan of the representation of the language and the various forms which it can cover at the philosophical or cosmological levels, also analyzing symbolic systems and the human experiment. Thus it is the case of the Taoist principle of Wu-wei or of the Not to act, of various arts, metaphysics and ethics finally “represented” in the work of art of Wittgenstein and Tchouang-tseu. The author based his purposes on the words or the calligrammes of Soun-Gui Kim who in Monntain, it is the sea speaks about the “[…] base of the rule of the single brush feature [which] resides in the absence of rules which generates the Rule; and the Rule thus obtained embraces the multiplicity of the rules” in connection with Shi Tao. “Sublime Comparison which returns us to “the rule” of Wittgenstein where one would not await him; “the rule has neither a base, nor an explanation: it is there”, known as Wittgenstein, “thus we make”, dixit the author. Another analogy used, while being based on the work of Jean François Billeter, that between Western and Chinese aesthetics in connection with the music as a first Chinese art, “[…] art understood as a “gesture” by which the interior movement which precedes the movimentum intus of the musician, merges with the execution itself of the piece which will be played.”. The analysis of the air of family continues on the ethical and metaphysical level, “[…] art shown explicitly in the last page of Mountain it is the sea: “Tchouang-tseu and Wittgenstein: The same research of simplicity and happiness”, correlated with the “ordinary language” and the “step on side” of Wittgenstein. Claude Berniolles will finish on the concepts of happiness, important for the two philosophers, of ethics and aesthetics, calling an answer out of the world for Wittgenstein, and finally of “Supreme simplicity” coming very close to transcendence according to Shi Tao.

GEOGRAPHICAL IMAGINARY AND ALLEGORY OF THE DEATH IN THREE VOYAGES EXTRAORDINAIRES OF JULES VERNE

Lionel DUPUY, geographer, is professor of History-Geography and French in the Secondary school as well as associated researcher at the SET (Society, Environment, Territory – UMR 5603 CNRS) at the University of Pau, France). He is also part-time lecturer at the free University of Aquitaine. He wrote several books about Jules Verne at the Clef d’Argent (Route of an initiatory travel, 2002, Jules Verne, The man and the ground, 2006, Funny Jules Verne, 2008), developing in particular during his doctoral work the related aspects linked to inter and of intra-semioticity, to temporality, to the myth of the Eldorado and more generally to the marvellous and the geographical imaginary in the work of art of Jules Verne. This work was published in PLASTIR n°6, 8,10 12. He presents to us in this issue the transdisciplinary aspects crossing literature, imaginary, geography and semiotics which he detected within three Extraordinary Travels of Jules Verne. Six illustrations chosen within the vernien work clearly show us the powerful role of the iconicity and of the geographical imaginary in all the texts of the novelist. As the author raises it, each image is strategically positioned, refers to the representation of a precise and evocative geographical space, with the transmission of knowledge and of a history. It is the case of the poles where the ice and the ice-barrier project us in virgin and unknown territories, in a world to be explored, or of the Carpathes, in Transylvania. It is also the case of the highly symbolic Sphinx which projects us in Antiquity and Egyptian mythology, openly raising the question of the nature of beyond. In these two cases, the novel is not satisfied to describe, to image, but opens with the metaphysics questions, the romantic image of the space time, the allegory of the death : what there is at the poles? What is there after death? As Lionel Dupuy raises it: “The geographical imaginary is always associated with an allegory of dead […] To know space, to say the geography of these strange, distant territories, unexpected, it is necessary to be able to cut through a path deprived of reference mark, beacons, it is necessary to be able to go beyond some limiting presented like a priori insuperable. And in the novels of Jules Verne, the illustrations take an active part also of this setting in scene of geographical imaginary characteristic in this century of explorations and new discoveries.” Website about Jules Verne animated by Lionel Dupuy.

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