Plasticities Sciences Arts


What is Plasticity ?



1.   Plasticity is a  property  inherent to the matter.

2.   It is observed at all levels of organization, describing at the same time a property of system and its own dynamics.

3.   It is observed in and by a brain which thinks in a world whose evolutionary dynamics is fundamentally plastic, i.e. whose total behaviour is not rigid and passive, but on the contrary flexible, coherent and highly interactive.

4.   It is not purely descriptive but has a raised predictive value of the dynamic behaviour of non-living or alive systems and of the meaning which we give to these systems. In other words, it is a founding property and not only a systemic or an emergent one (and in this direction, it is necessary to speak of metaplasticity).

5.   Metaplasticity explores the genesis of natural processes. It should not be comparable at some holistic or vitalistic sight of the world which would wrongly mix isolated elements to serve a little digestible soup adding all the parts. To the contrary, it is a question of rigorously describing the unit in its diversity, the truth in its relativity, and reality as a process in which I (the actor) builds myself here and now.

6.   It takes into account the events in their entirety: i.e. that it is not unaware of their generic or ontological contents, but that it does not seek them. Man is naturally registered there in an undivided reality that he structures and of which he is structured.

7.   It is opposed to the functions of linearization and insulation. The PLASTICIANS deny any fracture of reality without seeing a manifestation of the whole.

8.   Plasticity seeks the principles of coherence, the decompartmentalization of disciplines and the defragmentation of knowledge. It is thus clearly a transdisciplinary approach where art, the third element & science find a privileged means of expression.

9.   The plastic attitude implies a constant adjustement of architectures.

10.It recommends an opened, pragmatic attitude without a school mindset.


The specificity of Plasticity

What distinguishes formally plasticity from the properties of elasticity, flexibility or malleability of the bodies is that it is not a simple property of a system or an emergent property of these systems (inert or alive) but:

1. That it can translates a passive phenomenon as much as active process of transformation in which the events evolve while co-significating mutually, in other words are structured as much as structuring (e.g.: single phenotypic expression, etc.);

2. That it implies a reciprocity between ascending and downward systems inside the same system: (e.g. neuroplasticity, morphogenesis, phylogenesis) or of interacting systems: (e.g. art/science, subject/object, brain/mind...);

3. That it has a universal capacity of tying or articulating the fundamental pairs such as the pairs form vs matter, formed vs unformed (questioning first the form & the emergence of the form), form vs object, form vs subject, etc...

4. That it obeys a transverse logic by creating complexes (e.g. ETP: space-time-plasticity, DUP: determined-Undetermined-Plasticity, AEP: alter-ego-plasticity, NMP: neural-mental-plasticity) where plasticity plays the part of catalytic interface;

5. That these complexes define or register a plastic process rather than translate a structure, an operation or an isolated function whose single property is to become the content of what it represent or of what happens to it  (ex. NMP) and to be able to trans-form;

6. That plasticity acts directly at the anchorage point of dimensions or irreducible expressions by including the subject in the plasticity of the world (psychic sphere, art, otherness, intersubjectivity);

7. That when plasticity is addressed to whole systems of values, particularly regarding the interactions of the subject with the world, it becomes metaplasticity.




© M-W Debono / Copyright 2005 & 2006 - All wrights reserved




- To avoid the drift of aesthetic sense.

- To Decline the plastic code of life.

- To support the interactivity of the systems of codes.

- To establish an ontological crossroad between disciplines.


Plasticity on the Net       




Classical Approaches



General definition: Encyclopedia

Plastic Arts: "Beyond the time" -  Didi-Huberman 

Plastic Arts: CNAP

Plasticity of Materials

Cellular Plasticity

Cerebral Plasticity

Cognitive Plasticity (psychobiology);

Plasticity and  Cognition II

Human Plasticity (Philosophy – pic de la Mirandole)

Plasticity, Semiotics & New Technologies





New Concepts 


- Plasticity & Epistemology : Marc-Williams DEBONO : L’ère des Plasticiens ;  Le Concept de Plasticité 

- Plasticity & Philosophy : Catherine MALABOU: « L'avenir de Hegel  »