Zero : The biography of a dangerous idea

May 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

SEIFE, Charles. Zero : The biography of a dangerous idea. Penguin books, 2000.

The Babylonians invented it, the Greeks banned it, the Hindus worshiped it, and the Church used it to fend off heretics. Now it threatens the foundations of modern physics. For centuries the power of zero savored of the demonic; once harnessed, it became the most important tool in mathematics. For zero, infinity’s twin, is not like other numbers. It is both nothing and everything. In Zero, Science Journalist Charles Seife follows this innocent-looking number from its birth as an Eastern philosophical concept to its struggle for acceptance in Europe, its rise and transcendence in the West, and its ever-present threat to modern physics. Here are the legendary thinkers–from Pythagoras to Newton to Heisenberg, from the Kabalists to today’s astrophysicists–who have tried to understand it and whose clashes shook the foundations of philosophy, science, mathematics, and religion. Zero has pitted East against West and faith against reason, and its intransigence persists in the dark core of a black hole and the brilliant flash of the Big Bang. Today, zero lies at the heart of one of the biggest scientific controversies of all time: the quest for a theory of everything.

Eléments d’histoire des mathématiques

May 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

BOURBAKI, Nicolas. Éléments d’histoire des Mathématiques. Paris : Masson, 1984

Nicolas BOURBAKI  est un mathématien imaginaire, sous le nom duquel un groupe de mathématiciens francophones, formé en 1935.

0의 역사

BOURBAKI, Nicolas. trad. John MELDRUM. Elements of the History of Mathematics. Germany : Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York, 1994.

Art after Philosophy

March 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Joseph Kosuth, “Art after Philosophy” In Art after Philosophy and After; Collected writing, 1966-1990. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1991

With the unassisted Ready-made, art changed its focus from the form of the language to what was being said. Which means that it changed the nature of art from a question of morphology to a question of function. This change – one from “appearance” to “conception” – was the beginning of “modern” art and the beginning of conceptual art. All art (after Duchamp) is conceptual (in nature) because art only exists conceptually.

Artists question the nature of art by presenting new propositions as to art’s nature. – p18

As far as art is concerned Van Gogh’s paintings aren’t worth any more than his palette is. (…)  Art “lives” through influencing other art, not by existing as the physical residue of an artist’s ideas. – p19

That the language forms that the artist frames his propositions in are often “private” codes or languages is an inevitable outcome of art’s freedom from morphological constrictions; and it follows from this that one has to be familiar with contemporary art to appreciate it and understand it. – p20

We see now that the axioms of a geometry are simply definitions, and that the theorems of a geometry are simply the logical consequences of these definitions. A geometry is not in itself about physical space; in itself it cannot be said to be “about” anything. But we can use a geometry to reason about physical space. That is to say, once we have given the axioms a physical interpretation, we can proceed to apply the theorems to the objects which satisfy the axioms. Whether a geometry can be applied to the actual physical world or not, is an empirical question which falls outside the scope of geometry itself. There is no sense, therefore, in asking which of the various geometries known to us are false and which are true. Insofar as they are all free from contradiction, they are all true. The proposition which states that a certain application of a geometry is possible is not itself a proposition of that geometry. All that the geometry itself tells us is that if anything can be brought under the definitions, it will also satisfy the theorems. It is therefore a purely logical system, and its propositions are purely analytic propositions. –A. J. Ayer*

        *   Language, Truth, and Logic. New York : Dover Publications, 1952, p. 82.

Here then I propose rests the viability of art. In an age when traditional philosophy is unreal because of its assumptions, art’s ability to exist will depend not only on its not performing a service – as entertainment, visual (or other) experience, or decoration – which is something easily replaced by kitsch culture, and technology, but, rather, it will remain viable by not assuming a philosophical stance; for in art’s unique character is the capacity to remain aloof from philosophical judgments. It is in this context that art shares similarities with logic, mathematics, and, as well, science. But whereas the other endeavors are useful, art is not. Art indeed exists for its own sake. (…) Art is the definition of art.  – p24


isa genzken(1948~ , germany)

December 30, 2010 § Leave a comment

Munster Liedfrauen Kirche Projekt_2007

Mona Isa_2010_vue d'expo chez galerie chantal crousel

Mona Isa IV (Dürer Selbsportrait)_2010



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