Catherine Malabou (Kingston University, London)
James Weaver (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA)
Stephane Douady (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris)
Samo Tomšič (Humboldt University, Berlin)
Arezki Boudaoud (École normale Supérieure, Lyon)
Martine Ben Amar (Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris)
Vincent Bontems (Laboratoire des Recherches sur les Sciences de la Matière, Paris)
Patirica Ribault (Humboldt University, Berlin)
Rivka Elbaum (Hebrew University, Jeruesalem)
Wolfgang Schäffner (Humboldt University, Berlin)
Call For Papers
The conference “The Fold”, taking place at Paris, 20-21 September, 2016, aims to bring together two different disciplines:
Mechanics and morphogenesis of (bio)-materials on the one hand and Philosophy on the other hand, in order to explore the
interconnections and the possible influences that these two disciplines might have on each other while approaching the related subjects
On the one hand, self-folding materials, such as leaves, seedpods and skin of drying peas – but also the brain, which has as a folded structure – are abundant in nature. Self-folding is usually caused by mechanical instabilities or growth processes, which impose conditions on the shape of the material. Folding therefore appears as a form of adaption to growth processes: during the process of morphogenesis, the surface must adapt both to changing environmental conditions as well as changing inner conditions.
On the other hand, several Philosophers (Derrida, Deleuze, Heidegger) take the fold as a paradigm for a continuing state of change, which opposes to be symbolized. If one considers the DNA as a metaphor for a code of four letters, then implementing this metaphor is an act of symbolization, by claiming that every aspect of the growth of the matter can be reduced to the interrelations between these symbols. Deleuze argues that matter cannot be reduced to a representation via a set of letters, as this would be a form of reductionism, ignoring the complexity of the folded, growing form. Against that conception, one might suggest that if matter is indeed inherently codified, than this code always has a variety of meanings: i.e. the code itself might be responsible for several operations, in several structural levels. Hence, the code itself, one might say, is “folded”: the code dynamically operates in several levels in the material itself.
The metaphoric understanding of the folded code is reflected through the folded structure of the matter itself and vice versa.
Although it might seem that these two disciplines are quite apart from each other, we aim to show that both of them deal with the same object but with a different set of tools, with the hope that the mutual exchange of ideas would lead also to breakthroughs in both disciplines.
We seek therefore to host an interdisciplinary event bringing together a variety of scholars – from philosophy and the humanities on the one side and from the natural sciences on the other side. We welcome propositions for 20-minute presentations, and also propositions for the poster session.
Please send a 500-word abstract (for a 20-min presentation) or a 300-word abstract (for the poster-session), including a title and a brief bio-bibliography, in either Word or PDF format to the email firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for submission is June 8, 2016.
Peter Fratzl (MPI of Colloids and Interfaces, Potsdam)
Michael Friedman (Humboldt University, Berlin)
Benoît Roman (ESPCI, Paris)
Dominique Peysson (EnsAD, Paris)