07 October 2006


It is worthwhile to compare Deleuze's conception of matter with that proposed by Badiou.
...a flexible or elastic body still has cohering parts that form a fold, such 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 folds or separated into bending movements, each one determined by the consistent or conspiring surroundings... A fold is always folded within a fold, like a cavern in a cavern. The unit of matter, the smallest element of the labrynth, is the fold, not the point which is never a part, but a simple extremity of the 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 over again.' Folds of winds, of waters, of fire and earth, and 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 an 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. (The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque, 6)


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