Plastir Number 70


Edwige ARMAND is an artist and Senior Lecturer in Digital Art at the University Gustave Eiffel and is attached to the LISAA laboratory. Passionate about the history of science, art and philosophy, she combines these different disciplines around the question of technology and science. Changes in our relationship with reality, subjectivity and the body as a result of technology and science are central to her research and creation. The cross-disciplinary nature of his work enables him to explore more broadly the processes of creation and the transformations in representations that the arts help to convey. To revive the dynamic of art-science relations, she co-founded and has chaired since 2016 the association Passerelle Art-Science-Technologie, which works to bring these disciplines closer together, and she is also involved in the Transversale des Réseaux Arts Sciences (TRAS). Don FORESTA is an artist-researcher and art theorist who uses new technologies as creative tools. He specialises in art and science, and his main work in this field, « Mondes Multiples« , was published at the end of the 1980s. He has been a professor at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (EnsAD) and the École Nationale Supérieure d’Arts de Paris/Cergy (EnsaPC), and a research fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE). He has spent 40 years transforming the network as an artistic tool and is now working on the creation of a permanent high-speed network, MARCEL, dedicated to artistic, scientific, educational and cultural experimentation <>. He initiated this project while artist/professor in residence at the Studio d’Art Contemporain in Le Fresnoy, Lille and London with a fellowship in performance arts from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In 1981, he carried out his first on-line exchange between MIT‘s Center for Advanced Visual Studies and the American Center in Paris, where he was director of the Media Art programme. In 1986, as curator of the 42nd Venice Biennale, he set up the first computer network to be used by artists. He holds a doctorate in Information Science from the Sorbonne and was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. He has dual American and French nationality. Don Foresta is also a member of a think-tank, Gramhona, at the Collège de France. In this article, our two authors take a closer look at the relationship between art and science from a research-creation perspective, and at the paradigm shift we are witnessing today in terms of the cross-disciplinary nature and fruitfulness of the relationship between these two reputedly opposed disciplines. For them, « creativity results from a crisis of perception, when we do not have the intellectual elements necessary to understand what we perceive ». We are obliged, they conclude, to invent from the information we have stored, consciously or unconsciously, when we are confronted with new situations in our environment in order to survive. This process is very old and has probably always been part of the homo genus from its earliest roots, evolving into what we understand today as symbolic thinking. This fundamental change in perception was at the origin of the Renaissance of the 15th Century and is still operational today, when we are faced with changes that force us to question the mechanical paradigm of the Renaissance and invent the paradigm of our time. This change has been prefigured by the artistic invention of the last 150 years, and suggests new ways of seeing and understanding our world.


Augustin BERQUE (1942-), a French geographer, is a retired director of studies at EHESS (École des hautes études en sciences sociales, Paris). A member of the Academia europaea and an honorary member of the EAJS (European Association for Japanese Studies), in 2009 he was the first Westerner to receive the Fukuoka Grand Prize for Asian Cultures (福岡アジア文化賞大賞). For his contribution to mesology in the wake of Uexküll’s Umweltlehre and Watsuji’s fûdogaku, he was also awarded the international Cosmos prize in 2018. His books include Thinking through landscape, trans. by A.-M. Feenberg, Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge, 2015 (La Pensée paysagère, 2015; 1st ed. 2008), Écoumène, Introduction à l’étude des milieux humains, Belin 2016; Dryades et ptérodactyles de la Haute Lande. Dessins et légendes, Paris, Editions du Non-Agir, 2021; Mésologie urbaine, Terres Urbaines, 2021; Recouvrance. Retour à la terre et cosmicité en Asie orientale, Bastia, Eoliennes, 2022; Fûdo, le milieu humain by Tetsurô Watsuji, cover and translation, CNRS Ed., 2023. Augustin Berque, whose fascinating seminars on mesology at the EHESS many of us attended, has done us the honour of publishing this previously unpublished text in PLASTIR. It is followed in the appendix by a text in English from a forthcoming collective book edited by Hans Peter Liederbach, which presents the links and contradictions between Fudo and Edo in the Japanese lineage of Watsuji and his ‘onticity’. The author sums up this powerful and demanding text on the ecumene or human milieu in the following terms: « The scales and ladders of the ecumene are the existential operators – the « as » – which make that, ek-sisting off the gangue of their en-soi (S), the raw data of the natural environment (the Umgebung)  are historically predicated as S/P, i.e. perceived and  qualified as something (S as P) by a certain society. This operation, called trajection, produces the qualia which concretely make a milieu (an Umwelt). Analogous to a work of art, this trajection of the environment (S) into a milieu (S/P) is the enactment (ἐνέργεια) of the general power (δύναμις) of S of existing as particular things (S/P). These qualia cannot be reduced to the « how much? » – which quantity, for how much money ? » –  of industrial products. This is why the « reign of quantity » (Guénon), indissociable from modern industriality, jeopardizes the inhabitability of the Earth”.


Lorraine ALEXANDRE is a visual artist and researcher. Doctor of Art and Art Sciences mention plastic arts, her thesis, defended in 2008 was entitled: Persona – The practice of appearances as an act of creation. Specialized in performative photography, she questions the modes of staging and formal reappropriations of the body in all the arts. In 2011, she published her book: The stakes of the portrait in art – Study of the relations model, portraitist, spectator, L’Harmattan Ed., Coll. Champs visuels, Series Théories de l’image / Images de la théorie. She exhibits as an artist and contributes to collective publications regularly. In this essay, she takes us into the intimacy of her artistic work, the questions she asks, the answers she gives, her dreamlike journeys: more than an approach, an initiatory journey to discover: “In 2017, I designed a series of performative photographs integrating drawings and text on the theme of time travel. Taking the bias of assumed dream and fantasy, my series takes a simple, uncluttered and unrealistic form. She asks the question of time travel from her artistic angle. This text analyses the stakes of dreamlike, plastic and narrative values – in the form of an imaginary biography – of such journeys. We will analyze how these staging develop a reflection on our heritage and how we reappropriate it to define our identity through the imagination. Beyond the fictional self-portrait they draw, “Les Voyages dans le temps” (“Time Travel”) invites spectators to extend them by projecting their own imagination. They thus develop a reflection on their relationship to the past and the more or less conscious influence it has on us all. I propose to travel through this series by analyzing time travel as a mode of questioning our identity”. Author Website


Bernard TROUDE is an engineer in industrial architecture and product design, with artistic experience and extensive ongoing technological and technical development (CNAM, Paris). He has a doctorate in art sciences and materials, and in the philosophy of social sciences (Panthéon Sorbonne and René Descartes Paris V). He is currently a researcher in end-of-life sciences and medical ethics in hospitals, working in various fields of neuroscience, physiology and psychology (intuition, perception, understanding). He is a regular speaker at international conferences in England, Italy, Tunisia, Morocco and the USA, and publishes regularly in PLASTIR (PSA Editor), Elsevier-Masson, M@gm@ International (Italy) and TAKTIK (Tunisia).  The author, who has addressed the subject of the relationship between philosophy and mathematics on several occasions in PLASTIR (cf. Plastir59, N°63, N°65) stresses in this new contribution that developing these subjects involves highlighting several dimensions: it involves engaging in theoretical, fundamental ethical, philosophical, sociological, anthropological and above all mathematical scientific reflection. Developing these subjects implies emphasizing several dimensions: it involves engaging in theoretical, fundamental ethical, philosophical, sociological, anthropological and above all mathematical scientific reflection. On the positive side, this understanding, which is admittedly difficult to grasp, does not hinder our understanding: there are undeniably primitive ideas that still leave a few nebulous areas in the reflexivity of our brains. Will we see drafts drawn up for recommendations on good ethical practice? Once again, immateriality dominates the subject of the thing expressed and its space-time. If the examples given are anything to go by, we have to realize that most of the time, isolated letters and detached numbers are going to convey and expose something, and that the terms formed with these signs also have a meaning that we are not necessarily aware of, or not fully aware of. Having passed through the stages of « Cartesian logic » and « grammatical construction », the sociology of research is now ready to assume an « Atticism or rhetoric » stage. It would thus reclaim the trivium of abnegation left behind with its ‘positive’ yet ‘critical’ growth, reflexively renewing in the process its dialectical perspective of disposition surely framed and adapted within the contemporary World of correspondence, information, an accentuated revelation of immateriality appropriate to dedicated figures and numbers and the vagaries of philosophy applied to science and technology.

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