Plastir Number 47


Thierry Magnin, current vice-chancellor of the catholic University of Lyon (UCLY, France), is a physicist. PhD in theology, he was a professor and researcher in physics at the National Superior School of the Mines (French engineering school) of Saint-Etienne, then to the university of Lille, before joining the university seminary of Saint-Irénée of the UCL which will direct him to an ecclesiastical quarry. It is this double cursus which prevails in most of his reflections on the relationships between the science and that the man do with it, in particular in the era of the bionics. Grand Prix of the Academy of Science in 1991 and national committee member of the CNRS (National Center of Scientific Research) until 2000s, he published in particular: Scientific satellite Parabolae, New City (2000) ; Has the universe a meaning ? With Jean Audouze, Controversies, Salvator (2010 ; Ecology and economy in crisis: what say it the religions? with the team of the catholic Institute of Toulouse (ISTR), Harmattan Ed. (2011) ; The scientist and the theologian in search of the Origin, Desclée de Brouwer (2015) and to Think of the human being in the time of the increased man, Albin Michel (2017). Yet, we are at the heart of the subject there which he approaches for PLASTIR and summarise in these terms: « The NBIC (Nanotechnologies, Biotechnologies, sciences of Information and the Cognitive sciences) as well as the Artificial intelligence arouses so many hopes for the medicine as ethical fears today. The passage of the man repaired to the increased man is in question, on the background of transhumanism. The objective here is to show that the new perspectives of the biology on the mutual relations between biology-psyche open new horizons in ethics, from the notions of plasticity, vulnerability and complexity for an alive care of which we have to take, for the human being in particular. »


Aline Pénitot, composer of concrete music, and Olivier Adam, researcher bio-acoustician, sign this article for two ways questioning quite hard the link art-science and taking up with this not split peculiar to the Renaissance there towards which we want to tighten. – according to the artist, « whales convey an emotional, symbolic and historic charge of an abyssal depth. It is likely that the same Herman Melville was not able to make the tour with Moby Dick. Their songs fascinate. Small overview of a musical listening of humpback whales in the style of the composers of concrete music. » Grand-grand daughter of a Norman privateer, Aline Pénitot was born on a continent. She moored several years in the studio of composition of Christine Groult at Pantin (France). Today, she is a journalist, an author of radio and a composer of concrete music. She works on the human development of an interface Human- machine-whale. Her compositions and radio plays were schedule on France Musique, France Culture, the RTBF, the RTE, the groenland radio and of numerous festivals. She received the grant on the side of the waves, the grant draft of a dream and that of the Pierre Schaeffer of the Scam as welle as that of the Dicream and the CNC. She is a prize-winner of the Diagonal Paris-Saclay. She was in residence in the Group of Musical Search, in the National Center of Musical Creation of Reims. In 2017, she belongs in residence at the Why Note, center of art the Consortium of Dijon, in the CCR of the Dominicans at Guebwiller and at the Foundation Royaumont. – According to the scientist, the question settles in these terms: « what do let’s know about songs of humpback whales today? How males generate these singing exercises so complex during the periods of reproduction? My scientific approach aims at answering these questions to understand better their behavior, their interactions and so better protect them ». Olivier Adam is a professor at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie (France), a specialist in signal processing and in bioacoustics. He studies cetaceans since 2001 in the team Communication animal of the Institute of the Neurosciences Paris Saclay. He is at present carrier of three research projects: the analysis of the singings of humpback whales, the study of the interactions mother-whale calf to humpback whales, and the detection and automatic identification of the sound transmissions of cetaceans. He drafted more than about forty articles appeared in international scientific journals, published in 2017 the book  » Cetaceans, New knowledge stemming from French research « , and organize regularly conferences on these themes. It will be a question for us of seizing this progress through an art and science exemplary project in the meaning that it translates more an imminent process than an approach strictly voluntarist. And it designs it at every level. The composer is hardened sailor, apneist and electroacoustician, joining the line of Schaeffer, and the researcher is neuroscientific and fascinated by the singings of humpback whales, but also by the signature whistled by dolphins. The story of their epic drains crews of sailors, concert performers, directors of movies and scientists, since this revelation in 2012 when Aline Pénitot cannot distinguish the singing of the whales of the work of the bassoonist Brice Masson. Technically, it can be explained by doubled vocal cords, but it is the singular story which begins and the answer of the humpback whale which interest us here.


Kaled Aït Hamou is a researcher in biosemantics which we know for a long time at PSA, because he had presented to us, his work on « The productions of the sense, their neurosemantic analysis in the expression of the natural phenomena and the ways of reasoning » during the Conferences of the Group of the Plasticians or GDP in 1997 at the Institute of Human Paleontology in Paris. We follow his searches since this period (PLASTIR 2, 11/2005, PLASTIR 28, 09/2012). Director of the department of linguistics of the University of Abidjan from 1982 till 1990, he was more recently a researcher associated in the center of quantitative linguistics of Paris VI, then President of the NGO (non-governmental organization) TERRA PARKIA working in Sahel. He recently published « Biosemantics », an essay which makes a synthesis of his works at TheBookEdition (2015). Biosemantics is defined as the discipline the most capable there of reporting relations between certain anatomical structures of man’s brain sapiens and its semantic productions. Including phoniatrics, linguistics, logico-mathematicics and didactical studies, this holistic approach allows us to introduce the present contribution to PLASTIR. It is a question for the author of describing the spatiotemporal gradations, the approximations as far as the physical world are feigned at the linguistic level by adverbs, endings, reduplications or by the vocal holding (syllabic strain) at the oral level. All these simulations characterize for him the FINITY. Two neuro physiological structures of the neural brain authorize these linguistic simulations, the LARYNGEAL CENTER and the UPPER LARYNGEAL NERVE. The cortex of the Homo Sapiens possesses these two structures. Without them, the simulation of the finished world is the same as the neural cortex of a primate. The iteration of a process, the digital approximation, the gradations in the physical world could not be feigned by the neural one. Ce cortex phenomenon can be observed during a thyroïdectomy with ablation of the upper laryngeal nerve. The not FINITY, the center of the hormonal communication integrates these structures of the neural brain. The concept of infinity in mathematics is dependent of course on the simulation of both modes of neural and hormonal communication. « Very small becomes so small that we want ! » says Kaled Aït Hamou. We need to seize all the impact relevant to it …


Olivier Goulet defines himself as an artist and a performer while detecting that it is a very ambiguous function. He realized numerous works and exhibitions or conferences always looking for farther an expression which we could qualify as transcorporal. This is what he tells us of the status of the artist : «  Meaning at the same time everything and nothing, it requires to be specified so that the interlocutor understands about what it is and at which level of understanding it takes place: plastician, musician, cook, gardener … The status of the artist is ambiguous, as well from a legal, countable point of view as a social one. I am not going to go into these considerations today, but the artist is profoundly useless and absolutely essential at the same time. The art history learns us, in particular since Duchamp that the art is where we decide that he has to be. We thus measure the importance of the intention which is also determining in the notion of ambiguity. » That introduces perfectly the body movements which stretches out his words and the questioning which he subject us in this article: «  how the sense emerges from this gestural and sound magma which we produce? I shall commit a dialogue between theoretical considerations and my appropriate experience resting on my various transmedia practices: the ambiguities of representation of the skin with the creation of the synthetic membranes SkinBag; the management of the relational ambiguity in certain performative devices (protected kisses); the value of the danced gestures and the positioning of his (her) body in our everyday life; the way of affecting the other one by the massage and besides … The ambiguity is a beautiful front door to approach the notions of enjoyment, dizziness, exhibition, faintness, transfer, optimal, of caress, as a game with the standard, the usual and the being oneself. Without staying in a description of the ambiguous gestures, the heart of my project there is to succeed in embodying them. Semantic bugs will make way for a time of improvisation with an endangerment of the body, on the verge of madness and on the verge of the ridiculous, to reach a particular emotional state of vibration. The not verbal will invade the space in search of gestural and sound limits, by taking the accidents as so many beacons and tracks to be followed. Will the sung and harmonious variations succeed in articulating to produce of the sense? How does a gestural disorganization crystallize and does become ritual? The significance and the interpretation are in contributing ambush in ambiguous roughness of our relationship to the world. »


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