operation - a conversion of a structure into another structure
“The true principle of individuation can neither be sought in what exists before the individuation occurs, nor in what remains after the individuation is accomplished; it is the system of energy that is individuating insofar as it realizes in the individual this internal resonance of the matter taking form and a mediation between orders of magnitude. The principle of individuation is the single way in which the internal resonance of this matter is established taking this form. The principle of individuation is an operation. With the result that a being is itself, different from all the others; it is neither its matter nor its form, but it is the operation by which its matter took form in a certain system of internal resonance. The principle of individuation of brick is not the clay, nor the mold: this heap of clay and this mold will leave other bricks than this one, each one having its own haecceity, but it is the operation by which the clay, at a given time, in an energy system which included the finest details of the mold as the smallest components of this wet dirt took form, under such pressure, thus left again, thus diffused, thus self-actualized: a moment ago when the energy was thoroughly transmitted in all directions from each molecule to all the others, from the clay to the walls and the walls to the clay: the principle of individuation is the operation that carries out an energy exchange between the matter and the form, until the unity leads to a state of equilibrium. One could say that the principle of individuation is the common allagmatic operation of the matter and form through the actualization of potential energy. This energy is energy of a system; it can produce effects in all the points of the system in an equal way, it is available and is communicated. This operation rests on the singularity or the singularities of the concrete here and now; it envelops them and amplifies them” L’individu et sa genese physico-biologique, simondon
...explicitly to the manual creation of a material culture that is extracorporal. Gesture paralleled speech as a form of expression of mind and language. This notion of ges ture is closely linked to a key theoretical and methodological concept, that of the chaine operatoire, or "operational sequence." Leroi-Gourhan makes it clear that apart from humans the behavior of many animals is characterized by such deeply embedded operational sequences. But only with humans do we see these operational sequences take material form and become more-or-Iess permanent constituents of the human environment.
For Leroi-Gourhan such operational sequences constitute the building blocks of technology, indeed of culture. They are culturally or ethnically conditioned and highly structured but through repetition and conditioning at a young age become more-or-Iess subconscious. Whether these operational sequences structure the fabrication of stone tools, the manufacture of personal ornaments, or the creation of painted and engraved underground sanctuaries, they are the focus of analysis. For archaeologists they represent an accessible entry to social organization and cosmology. But these operational sequences often remain unverbalized and unrecognized by those who practice them. That is why Leroi-Gourhan can claim to have recognized basic binary oppositions in the organization/structure of painted caves while explicitly stating that the meaning of specific images remains unknown and probably unknowable.
Because operational sequences are culturally/ethnically derived, they are the fundamental basis for what ethnologists, archaeologists, and art historians recognize as "style":
The technical life of the hunter, and later of the farmer and the artisan, involves a large number of sequences that correspond to the many actions needed for their material survival. These sequences are empir ical, borrowed from a collective tradition that one generation passes down to the next. Their principal trait, for all the unity of their broad out lines and their extension over vast polyethnic territories, is their strongly marked local and individual character. (infra: 253)
It rendered possible the externalization of memory and hence mythological narrative.
Figurative behavior cannot be dissociated from language: It forms part of the same human aptitude, that of reflecting reality in verbal or gestural symbols or in material form as figures.Just as the emergence of language is connected with that of hand tools, figurative representation cannot be separated from the common source from which all making and all rep resentation spring. Therefore we should not be surprised to discover a close parallelism in paleontological development and, in particular, to note a swift and profound change in materials at the moment Homo sa
piens emerges from the last Palaeoanthropian stage. (infra: 363)
The whole of our evolution has been oriented toward placing outside ourselves what in the rest of the animal world is achieved inside by spe cies adaptation. The most striking material fact is certainly the "freeing" of tools, but the fundamental fact is really the freeing of the word and our unique ability to transfer our memory to a social organism outside our selves. (infra: 235)
Leroi-Gourhan// Gesture & Speech