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  • Author: Jacqueline Bellon x
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Figure, Ground and the Notion of Equilibria in the Work of Gilbert Simondon and Gestalt theory

Summary

Based on Clausius’ phrasing of a “transformational content” and the resulting 2nd law of thermodynamics, I demonstrated that Gilbert Simondon’s On the Mode of Existence of Technical Objects is historically situated at the threshold of understanding open systems thermodynamics and the related concepts of balance. Furthermore, I showed that Gestalt theory, as represented by Wolfgang Köhler, at least reproduced, if not partially anticipated or even prepared this development of 20th century thinking. Finally, I gave some short examples of how Simondon applied the figure/ground distinction to human perception, memory, and a general theory of becoming and I introduced his proposal to analyse “the grounds” just as thoroughly as the laws of figuration.

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