A cross-disciplinary program


Our cross-disciplinary program, which takes place in the Aix-Marseilles area from 2016 to 2020 and is hosted by various institutions, consists of seminaries, teachings, exhibitions, symposia, and publications.

Our working group is composed, in a balanced manner, of researchers in humanities, in natural sciences, and professional artists alike.

The term “biomorphism” transitorily emerged in the 19th-century anthropology, within the context of the study of the then-called “primitive” artistic forms, before re-emerging in the 1930s within the realm of art criticism. By “biomorphism”, one referred to definite types of art that had in common the fact of relating to life forms of any kind, whether vegetal or animal, microscopic or macroscopic, and, rather than directly depicting sensory images, made use of various kinds of mediation (whether symbolic, abstract, or imaginative).

Our group’s scientific aim is based on an innovative idea: broadening and renewing the notion of biomorphism, by freeing it from its original historical context, in order to make it the focus of a cross-disciplinary reflection likely to appeal to sciences, arts, and philosophy. The ultimate goal is to address current issues at stake in our relationship to living things, by creating the conditions of a new sensitiveness to them. Indeed, we advocate the view that, in order to understand living things and their forms, and the way we should apprehend them way beyond the light of passive perception, it is necessary to develop abstraction, theorization, and imagination. In order to be fully developed, this fruitful idea supposes to provide opportunities for interactions between all fields of investigation relating to living things.

Approches sensibles et conceptuelles des formes du vivant

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