Please post responses for the Fold here
I understand the hypothesis that matter has parts that form into a fold, that divide infinitely into smaller folds that always retain a certain cohesion. The thesis that the smallest unit of matter is the fold, not the point, seems to be presented as a new thought; although to me it is directly derived from string theory, which was proposed 20 years before this article was written. String theory is a “theory of everything” which says the most elementary particles are one-dimensional oscillating lines (“strings”). The derivation of this article from string theory is emphasized as the article also discusses how color and light in the folds “vibrate”.
The connection to Baroque characteristics seems to me a tenuous reach. The view in the article is there are two “stories” with the soul in the upper, and matter, always on the exterior, on the lower level. When I read that, the Arch of Titus came to mind, built circa 82 AD, where the friezes portray earthly accomplishments, while the underside of the arch depicts the raising of Titus’s soul to the divine. Late in the article, the authors attempt to differentiate Baroque folds from Roman or Oriental folds, saying Roman and Oriental folds are limited; I don’t see their case persuasively made. The whole issue of race and culture seem presented in a biased fashion; also disturbing was discussion of the notion that the German soul was less profound.
This piece is a translation of literature originally written in French language which is a philosopher’s (Deleuze) opinion of another philosopher’s (Leibniz) opinion about the Baroque … this interpretation makes it very easy for the reader to get lost…which I did repeatedly. It would be interesting to read this book in its original language for a clearer understanding.
After reading the first 15 pages, it was clear that a class in Art History definitely would have helped me tread through this piece.
Then on the 16th page came the “aha” moment that the “common” reader was waiting for: the Baroque’s contribution to art in general, Leibniz’s contribution to philosophy… which sums the piece up in layman’s terms.
The most important point for me in the entire piece was, “the problem is not how to finish a fold, but how to continue it, make it go through the roof, take it to infinity…” mentioned in (1. The fold).
Deleuze’s theory (Wikipedia) is that, “there is no one substance, only an always-differentiating process, an origami cosmos, always folding, unfolding, refolding”.
The thought mentioned above “how to finish a fold” is a bit contradictory to Deleuze’s theory as he believes in infinity and infinity is indicated in his theory … as in my opinion substances are infinite and processes are infinite (i.e. folding, unfolding and refolding).
To further elaborate, it is mentioned in (4. Unfold) “certainly not the opposite of the fold, nor its effacement, but the continuation of the extension of its act…”
It is my opinion that he answered his own question by stating “continuation of the extension…” Folding, unfolding and refolding don’t have to be a physical process … they can be a mental process and the unfolding of the mind is where the answer lays … it is infinite
Where do I begin…
First of all, I think we have all come to the conclusion that this is a very difficult read. I read the entire thing twice and I feel that I have only soaked in about 20% of what I am “supposed” to. That 20%, however, that did get through to me was very fascinating. I am not capable of discussing this as a whole, but I will discuss the parts that really caught my interest.
Caravaggio is one of my favorite artists so I was really hoping he would speak more about how folds can be applied when studying Caravaggio’s paintings. It is an interesting point-of-view to say that the small glimmer of light is Caravaggio’s paintings is the fold. I’m not sure if this is the point he is trying to make, but this is what I took out of it: Caravaggio’s paintings are mostly dark with a small amount of light which illuminates a portion of the painting and adds a substantial amount of contrast to the piece. The light and illumination is was is thought of as the beauty or marvel of his pieces, so if that is considered the fold then in other instances, the fold is equally as beautiful and marvelous…if that makes sense. This helped me to understand how greatly indulged Leibniz is with this concept of a fold.
This idea of a fold is definitely too broad and the reading made it even broader. Another part that got me thinking was The Paradigm. In my opinion, it’s very true. Can the definition of a fold be dwindled down to only that of a piece of paper? Absolutely not. What about cloth? our own bodies (how our arms and legs fold into themselves)? Is it still a fold if it is cut? Can color and light, in their own way, be considered a fold? Does a fold have to have a definition or can it be more abstract?
This was very hard to follow, the fold affects materials, mountains, water, paper, fabrics, living tissues, just about everything. The unfold is not opposite of the fold but a continuation of the fold, I liked this concept. I learned from the reading that a fold refers to anything, anything can be folded. You can fold your arms, dough, objects. The different abstract views on the concept of the fold between people was interesting. The fold the interior and the exterior, the high and the low, the unfold, textures and the paradigm all make up the concept of “The Fold” and allow the reader to use their imagination. The idea of the fold is plain and abstract it’s up to the user of the fold to use it how they choose or to see it how they choose.
In the article, ‘The Fold’, we need to take into consideration the difficulty on this reading. The elements of design play a majority part when talking about folds in the world of art. The author expresses the world as being interpreted through many different ways, for example, the body has infinite amount folds that twist and/or weave through a certain time and space, creating movement. Also the author looks to the arts and science for a model of expression in contemporary aesthetics of the folds creating transitions. The qualities of a fold in paper, being more permanent, have a stiff feeling and may be presented bold. This can be much different than a fold in a cloth material, being more expected in smooth transitions, having a comfortable feeling and a wrapping effect of design. Folds; can be compared in many mediums of art, continuation of folds after being unfolded can leave a ‘memory’, and all these qualities can be seen and compared to everyday life. After talking about this topic during class, I thought it was very interesting on the qualities and elements of design when considering the folds interior and exterior aesthetics.
The fold is a model for expression in contemporary aesthetics, the concept of the monad is viewed in terms of folds of space, movement, and time. The fold is the principle that informs the inside and the outside.
Consciousness is the result of matter that has been folded and folded and folded until exteriority has become interiority.
Deleuze begins by insisting that the basic idea of the Baroque is that it is a function, not a trait, namely a function of folding matter in variously intricate ways. It is a vision of life as though it were a Baroque house with two stories, the lower story, with windows, corresponding to the pleats of matter, while the upper, windowless story with folded drapes hanging from the wall, corresponds to the folds of the soul.
The upper chamber of the baroque house is closed in on itself, without window or opening. It ‘contains’ innate ideas, the folds of the soul – or what we might call, following Guattari, the incorporeal aspect of our subjectivity.
In fact on one level the fold is a critique of typical accounts of subjectivity – those that presume a simple interiority and exteriority (appearance and essence, or surface and depth) – for the fold announces that the inside is nothing more than a fold of the outside.
I found this reading to be somewhat difficult to understand and almost preachy, maybe a manifesto for fibers. The writer really gets down into the microscopic, “a xxxxx within a xxxxxx” seemed to be kind of a pattern to follow. I mean folds within folds really never took a deeper meaning until reading through this, all the meticulous attributes of anything that can fold. It really threw me when the writer went on to talk about the folds of nature, “folds of the winds, of fire and the earth, and the subterranean folds of lodes in the mine.” There’s a lot more to everything around us than meets-the-eye and this article has the potential to be very eye-opening to the right reader. I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate what was written, but I feel like it came across as redundant to someone who is already familiar with folded work or who notices the puzzling little labyrinths of real life. I can definitely appreciate the next level thinking of antiquity with this topic, including references to “The Baroque” or any older existing things. Then there are those six points that are made; The Unfold is probably my favorite of the different types. I really could appreciate the creativity there, elaborating on what it really means to “unfold” in that it is not the opposite of a fold, but another fold all its own.
The article is just so packed with information, spanning across some 15 pages. Overwhelming? Yes. Valuable? Certainly.
I believe that sometimes certain subjects better be explained in simple format, especially if the writer himself is going to be confused by what he is writing.
The author seemed to be pressuring himself into using complex and heavy language format, therefore confusing himself, and the reader.
What I got out of this labyrinth of writing is that the author got folded so many times, that it was hard for him to unfold and explain to us what the message is.
On a more serious note though, what I got from it, is that this is an essay on existence more than it is a commentary on art. Some of the implications of the essay refer to space in terms of the Baroque period, when art was influenced by the counter reformation and patroned by the church, so when he wrote about architecture, it was a religious connotation in the sense that the lower part of the building was the Fold or “Us”, and the upper open heavenly part was the unfold, When our soul rises to meet the gods. which would also refer to the infinite fold.
What I also got was that the unfold is not the unfolding of matter, rather the unraveling, it is not as simple as taking a piece of paper, folding it, then reversing the action, that action is not the unfold, because folding the paper forever changes its structure, so unfolding, or reversing the action, would be the unraveling, for we have created a new form.
The fold can be a reference or a process that applies to everything, from life, art, to architecture, philosophy, and so on. The fold can be space- time itself, and it’s unraveling.
The Baroque is an infinite fold, known to have two levels; the coils of matter and the folds in the soul. A labyrinth is a well-known example with several folds and each level corresponds perfectly. Some people think of the folds as a metaphor or something that doesn’t really exist, while others believe that just because there isn’t always a physical aspect to it, it doesn’t exist. Baroque was made to create drama and add some life to certain things, mostly rounding angles and avoiding straight lines in order to achieve the look of real life. Huyghens developed mathematical physics of Baroque, saying the fluidity of matter, the elasticity of bodies and the spring as mechanism. What Leibniz tries to point out is that even a flexible or elastic body still has coherent parts, which form a fold, meaning they do not separate into parts instead fold and continue. The basic concept is that there are folds rather than stops and different parts. The folds allow an infinite continuation, which is the basic rule or theory. Bringing Baroque into play along with the folds is like adding life to something. The analogy of adding batteries to a robot, giving it life and personality is like adding Baroque to art. The monad is a cell, kind of like the inside of something or the interior. You cannot have an exterior without a proper interior. The Barqoue is practically the work of a fold and how it becomes infinite and never finished. The only time the fold separates is when the exterior and the interior are brought into play. There is a “High” and a “Low” which come in harmony with one another to tell two different stories but exist in the same world or realm. The textures are forces, which relate to matter and the passive forces. The resistance of the material is basically the texture or the physics of the art that consists interesting points in the problem. The paradigm is the search for the perfect model of the fold which proceeds by the way of a choice of matter.
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