Saturday, 5 February 2011
sextodecimo / 16mo
That is what Leibniz explains as an extraordinary piece of writing: a flexible or an elastic body still has cohering parts that form a fold, such as that they are not separated into parts of parts but are rather divided to infinity in smaller and smaller folds that always retain a certain cohesion. Thus a continuous labyrinth is not a line dissolving into independent points, as flowing sand might dissolve into grains, but resembles a sheet of paper divided into infinite folds or separated into bending movements, each one determined by the consistent or conspiring surroundings. "The division of the continuous must not be taken as of sand dividing into grains, but as that of a sheet of paper or of a tunic in folds, in such a way that an infinite number of folds can be produced, some smaller than others, but without the body ever dissolving into points or minima." A fold is always folded within a fold, like a cavern in a cavern. The unit of matter, the smallest element of the labyrinth, is the fold, not the point which is never a part, but a simple extremity of line. That is why parts of matter are masses or aggregates, as a correlative to elastic compressive force. Unfolding is thus not the contrary of folding, but follows the fold up to the following fold. Particles are 'turned into folds', that a 'contrary effort changes over and again.' Folds of winds, of waters, of fire and of earth, and the subterranean folds of veins of ore in a mine. In a system of complex interactions, the solid pleats of 'natural geography' refer to the effect first of fire, and then of waters and winds on the earth; and the veins of metal in mines resemble the curves of conical forms, sometimes ending in a circle or ellipse, sometimes stretching into a hyperbola or a parabola. The model for the sciences of matter is the 'origami' as the Japanese philosopher might say, or the art of folding paper.
Deleuze / Pleats of Matter / Leibniz & the Baroque
4 folds / 16 leaves / 32 pages