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Return to the Fold: An Aesthetics of the Infinitesimal
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Architecture, Critical Studies in Architecture.
2009 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

With this paper I plan to go in search of an aesthetics of the infinitely small that is to be discovered in the creases and pockets, the material pleats and immaterial inflections of Gilles Deleuze’s concept of the fold. I will also follow Michel Serres’s involutions, his narrative envelopments and developments, in insisting that we do not yet know what a fold can do. The aesthetic domain I will frame, perhaps predictably, belongs to the discipline of architecture and contemporary design research being undertaken by way of computation into living systems and how architecture too may one day become life-like. In the past, throughout the 1990’s especially, architects were renowned for their formal explorations of the fold, even though many of the aesthetic results remained reified versions of the fold that obscured the infinitely porous peristaltic movements, whorls and maelstroms, and worlds within worlds, as well as the pliable materiality offered up by this concept. This is not to discount the fascinating architectural forms that sometimes emerged from all this activity. Now the name of Deleuze is rarely heard amongst (post) digital architects who, as Bruno Latour points out, consume theoretical concepts rapaciously: “they eat a theory for breakfast then go and get another one”, Latour provocatively suggests. Certainly, in the milieu of architecture there would appear to be the implicit assumption that the concept of the fold has been exhausted: this is an assumption I plan to counter with this paper. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Gilles Deleuze, the fold, infinitessimal calculus, aesthetics, Architecture, biotechnological paradigm
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion Architecture
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-63558OAI: diva2:491781
Philosophy and the Work of Art - Monash, Australasian Society for Continental Philosophers (ASCP); Monash Univerity, Melbourne, November 29, 30 and December 1 2009

QC 20130919

Available from: 2012-02-07 Created: 2012-01-23 Last updated: 2013-09-19Bibliographically approved

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