Why we need the notion of rhuthmos today

Pascal Michon
Article publié le 6 juin 2024
Pour citer cet article : Pascal Michon , « Why we need the notion of rhuthmos today  », Rhuthmos, 6 juin 2024 [en ligne]. https://www.rhuthmos.eu/spip.php?article3045

 

This paper was presented as Keynote lecture at the University of Latvia in Riga on May 16, 2024, during the Conference « Transformed Humanity in Search for Stability : Rhythms in Philosophy, Nature, Art » organized by Ineta Kivle.

 

 

Abstract : Over the past twenty years, rhythmanalysis has been reborn from its ashes and has enjoyed quite remarkable international success. However, this success should not hide certain fragility and some limits due to its excessive dependence on the metric definition of rhythm conceived as “ordering of movement,” kinèseos taxis. In this talk, I would like to present a concept that could help overcome these difficulties. For some time now, we have witnessed the growing diffusion, in cultural studies, in cinematographic studies, in certain social sciences such as sociology, geography and urban planning, even in certain natural sciences such as ethology, of a new notion of rhythm, often presented in its original Greek form : rhuthmos or “manner of flowing.” Today this notion is still largely “minoritarian” in the quantitative sense, but it is also so in the critical sense established by Deleuze & Guattari : it constitutes a dynamic force which calls into question the dominant pattern of thought and its overvaluation of order and rational numbers.

 

 

The presentation that I am about to give is part of two new trends emerging within the human and social sciences : rhythmanalysis and rhythmology. Both seek to respond to the extremely profound changes that we saw occurring during the 1990s and 2000s. To put it simply, both aim to account for the transformation of the world brought about by the end of the Cold War, the economic globalization, the fourth industrial revolution, the generalization of digital tools, the multiplication, extension and intersection of chains of interaction. It is this new complexity and the surprisingly fluid, but no less jostling, aspect of the new world born from these mutations, which today calls for the introduction of the notions of rhythm and more particularly of rhuthmos.

 

Rhythmanalysis is already quite widespread, particularly in the Anglo-Saxon world and northern Europe, where over the last fifteen years it has experienced spectacular progress, particularly in disciplines such as geography, urban planning, sociology, cultural studies, and the performing arts. Rhythmology has remained more confidential, although it has made notable progress on the European continent, thanks to theoretical research in different disciplines : philosophy and poetics, but also history, sociology, anthropology.

 

We can generally distinguish them by saying that rhythmanalysis seeks to describe, understand and, possibly, critique the various phenomena it is interested in ; while rhythmology seeks, for its part, to ensure : 1. the quality of the tools used by rhythmanalysis, by confronting them with their already two-thousand-five-hundred-year-old history but also by comparing their uses in present scientific practices ; 2. to explain the ethical, political and artistic issues of their current renewal. Both have a critical scope, but rhythmanalysis is more descriptive and analytical, while rhythmology is more theoretical and synthetic. They therefore complement each other, because no rhythmanalysis can develop without precise knowledge of the tools available, but no rhythmology can, for its part, progress without knowing the past and present uses which have been developed in the different scientific disciplines.

 Quick genealogy of the metric conception of rhythm

Let me first very quickly present the most widespread conception of rhythm today. This conception was inaugurated by Plato. Plato was the first philosopher who gave the notion of rhuthmos the meaning of métron, i.e. a succession of strong and weak beats distributed according to durations with arithmetic relationships, a succession which he found in dance, singing and even poetry. This concept quickly established itself in the West and still dominates today.

 

For more than 2000 years, it was medicine that first spread the metric model. Quite quickly, Greek doctors from Alexandria (Herophilus – ca. 325-255 BC) used it to measure the pulse and make it a diagnostic instrument. Following a very long history, this type of usage has become so widespread that it explains why the term “rhythmology” is very often used today to designate a specialty of cardiology dedicated to the management of heart rhythm abnormalities.

 

Between the 3rd and 6th centuries AD, the métron penetrated Neo-Platonic cosmology and then Christianity with Saint Augustine and Boethius. These lay the foundations of a completely “metric” vision of God, man and the cosmos he created, a vision which dominated Western culture throughout the Middle Ages, with echoes until the 19th century, as in Hegel’s philosophy of history.

 

Alongside these two channels, the metric model has of course passed into the practices and theories of literature and music. It is found throughout Antiquity and then again, after an eclipse, at the end of the Middle Ages, when arithmetic dividing models were once again used to stabilize the polyphonies of the ars nova and frame the new poetic forms written in the common language. Extremely powerful in the arts during the modern period, the metric model began to be questioned from the mid-19th Century in poetry and the mid-20th Century in music.

 

Since we are talking about art, it should be noted that a somewhat particular use appeared in architecture just before our era. Vitruvius then used the metric notion of rhythm to account for the harmony or lack of harmony of a building. Here it was no longer a question of measuring a movement over time but of founding a spatial aesthetic. However, as in the arts of time, Vitruvius based this new aesthetic on rational arithmetic relationships between the various parts of a construction. Metric was therefore now applied to space.

 

Once we become aware of these various channels of diffusion, we better understand why the metric scheme has become dominant during the 19th and 20th centuries, a period during which, in addition to the domains it had already conquered, it eventually entered psychology, economics and even the social sciences. Its history explains why when we talk about rhythm, today, people, most of the time, think about metrics and numeration, and this sometimes even extends to rhythmanalytic studies, which however want to be critical in relation to the phenomena they want to account for.

 Issues with metric dominance

To make things clear, let us explain a crucial point : the use of the metric model is not in itself a problem when it remains purely methodological. Medicine and many sciences, whether human, social or natural, need to measure the evolution of phenomena over time and, to do so, metrically divide the durations in question. Even in the arts, whether in music, in dance, in cinema, or in many other artistic practices, artists often need precise temporal markers to organize the flow of their performance or their representation, even if it means playing with these markers and to vary the actual performance around them.

 

But a certain number of problems begin to appear as soon as we believe that the concept of métron is more than a methodological notion, historically situated and limited in its scope, and that it represents an ahistorical, universal idea, anchored in the very temporal being of things, and therefore sufficient to describe, even standardize, all phenomena.

 

– The first problem, that this belief raises, is due to the extremely narrow nature of the metric definition of rhythm which reduces observed phenomena or artistic forms under construction to extremely poor formal and numerical skeletons, quite incapable of accounting for their complexity.

 

Let us take first the example of the artistic practices. From the mid-19th Century, writers and especially poets began to want to free themselves from the metric models that had become customary from the 17th Century. In France, these models, whether the decasyllable or the alexandrine with its 12 syllables and its caesura in the middle, seemed increasingly artificial and distant from the needs of the poets. Metric forms began to be felt by them, as Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) explained, as incapable of “adapting to the lyrical movements of the soul, to the undulations of reverie, to the jolts of consciousness”, movements, undulations and jolts born, in the 19th Century, he said in an extremely enlightening manner, “from frequenting enormous cities” and “from the intersection of their innumerable relationships” (Dedication of the Little Poems in Prose, 1869). This rejection of metrics then continued to gain momentum in the second half of the Century with the introduction of “free verse” by Jules Laforgue (1860-1887), the experiments of Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891) and the syntactic work of Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898). At the same time, we observe similar movements in the United States with Walt Whitman (1819-1892), who began using “free verse” in 1856 in his long-running collection Leaves of Grass, and in England with Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889), who introduced “sprung rhythm” into his prosody as a means of escaping what he called “running rhythm”.

 

Let us take, now, some examples from the natural science. Since the first half of the 20th Century, thanks to electroencephalographic measurements, neuroscience has been able to begin to understand how the brain works. It spotted different wave trains which reflected its activity. But this metric basis is far from being able to account for all observable phenomena. It even becomes an obstacle when it comes to understanding the fluid organizations of billions of interactions between populations of billions of neurons. Like those in the “enormous cities” born in the 19th Century, these flows of interactions are not reducible to metric forms.

 

– A second problem appears when we begin to think, in an essentialist way, that what is only a tool for observation or organization exists in the reality of the things we observe or organize. From there, the methodological point of view very quickly transforms into a normative point of view which is most often, ethically and politically, very questionable.

 

This is the case, of course, in certain social sciences. Among economists, for example, when it appeared in the middle of the 19th Century that the economy did not develop in a regular manner but following more or less periodic cycles, with the social consequences that we know, Karl Marx (1818-1883) used this argument to fuel his critique of capitalism. The response from liberal economists is very instructive. After a moment of hesitation in the face of these disturbing phenomena, they began to argue that these “rhythms” were entirely “natural” and that the damage caused by the recurring seizures was part, nolens volens, of the “breathing” or the “life” of the economy. Introducing a Neo-Darwinist model (that, actually, was not very consistent with the original), they affirmed that these crises caused the weakest companies to die, caused unemployment and poverty, of course, but that this benefited the strongest which would be able to develop and hire workers again. These crises were therefore an integral part of the profound “rhythms” which marked economic development. For Marx, since economic rhythms were social and historical, it was legitimate to intervene. For liberals, these rhythms were – and still are today – natural and therefore it was necessary, on the contrary, to let them happen. Behind this last conception of rhythm, there were therefore, as we see, very concrete and very political implications. This metric vision, which still dominates today in economics, is clearly an idealist, naturalistic and liberal vision, which pushes us to conceive reality as rational and therefore to promote “laisser faire, laisser passer” and neoliberalism.

 

An analogous problem appears in the natural sciences or in the practices that depend on them. In the Middle Ages and until late in the modern period, most physicians considered the “rhythms of the body”, i.e. essentially the pulsation of the arteries, as directly linked to the “music of the cosmos”, or the regular movements of the stars and the planets. It is true that some physicians already saw the meter as a simple measuring and diagnostic instrument, but they were in the minority and most of them spread the mystical idea that “man’s numbers” had to align with the “numbers of the Cosmos”. Medicine remained under the influence of the Boethian theory of “world music” and astrology.

 Quick genealogy of the rhuthmic conception of rhythm

What I would like to explain this morning is that there have been other conceptions of rhythm in the past, from which rhythmanalysis could advantageously draw inspiration.

 

The oldest of these conceptions is that of the Greek materialist and atomist philosophers who were the first, it seems, to have theoretically used the term rhuthmos. As Benveniste showed, this term is formed from the verb “rhein” which means to flow and the suffix “–thmos” which indicates a modality. It therefore initially signifies the form of something in motion or the modality of a flow. In Democritus and the first materialist philosophers, it thus designates the impermanent forms constituted by the agglutination of atoms in the atomic cascades, as they appear to the eyes of the observer. This acceptation, which is still the one that we find in Lucretius, basically disappeared at the end of the 1st Century BC to reappear towards the end of the 17th and especially in the 18th Century, in Spinoza, Leibniz, Diderot, for example, even if it was under other names.

 

A second non-metric conception of the notion of rhuthmos was inaugurated by Aristotle in the 4th Century BC. With maturity, he detached himself from the rhythmic approach of his master Plato, especially when he became interested in the rhythms of language. By working on the rhetorical techniques of the orators of the City, then on the theater and poetry which were common practices then, he first of all placed the emphasis, as we know, on their effects of “re-presentation” (mimesis), that is to say on the ways in which an author or an actor recreates the things of the world and the actions of men while highlighting their deep structures. It is these ways and their illuminating effects which, he noted, provoke katharsis, i.e. the pleasure of understanding problems and possibly imagining the future. However, neither can be explained simply by successions of long and short syllables, or strong and weak beats. We must consider the totality of the fluid configurations of discourses, that is to say – if we look closely at what is happening – return to the notion of pre-Platonic physical rhuthmos but, this time, applying it to language. By re-founding Poetics on “rhythm”, in this very particular third sense, we can then understand how we create literature, how we use it and what it does to us. We can outline a theory of artistic value which is not a simple theory of aesthetic pleasure. We can even envisage a fairly democratic ethical and political theory very different from the Platonic vision. This conception persisted for a few hundred years until the 1st Century BC, then it completely disappeared. It only re-emerged in the 18th Century with Diderot, Goethe and a few romantics like Hölderlin.

 

I will not hide from you that one of the current difficulties in using the notion of rhuthmos is this double genealogy. If we look at what has happened since the Greeks, we indeed see very few moments where the two rhuthmic traditions – the naturalist and atomist tradition of Democritus and Lucretius, on the one hand, and the anthropological and interactionist tradition of Aristotle and Cicero, on the other hand – coincided. Apart from Aristotle himself, Diderot, Goethe and Nietzsche, these two traditions have mostly remained at a distance from each other, and this was particularly true in the 1960s-1980s, when Serres, Morin, Deleuze & Guattari, who took up the atomistic naturalist tradition, very inconsiderately rejected the contribution of Benveniste, Barthes and Meschonnic, who took up the anthropological and linguistic tradition on their own.

 Rhuthmos in the arts since the middle of the 19th Century

To begin to make you feel how the notion of rhuthmos could constitute a methodological and critical tool much better adapted to our needs than that of métron, I will start from the reflections of artists who, since the middle of the 19th Century, sought to get rid of the latter.

 

When with Baudelaire and then with the Symbolists, with Mallarmé, Hopkins and Whitman, poetry got rid of metrical standards and versification, what did they put in their place ? The “prose poem”, the “free verse”, the Mallarmean syntactic stammering, and the “sprung rhythm”, all these new forms were now no longer organized according to regular successions of meters but like systems of echoes, oppositions, repetitions, silences. Each poem of course unfolded linearly, like any speech, but it had also to be understood, so to speak, perpendicularly. What the poets of this period brought to light is thus fundamental : in any poem, but this is in fact valid for any speech, the listener follows a lexical series organized syntactically but, at the same time, he/she perceives, thanks to his/her hearing capacity, to his/her memory and beyond to his/her entire body, extremely complex prosodic interactions from one verse to all the others or from one part of the text to all the others. Remarkably, the writers of this period, as we see in Mallarmé as well as in Hopkins, abandoned the metaphor of “melody”, which was used until Verlaine and Bergson, to describe this phenomenon, and chose to call it “rhythm”. But this rhythm, we see, was no longer a succession of meters, but a global system of interactions in a fluid medium composed of myriads of elements of all sizes : phonemes, accents, words, syntactic structures, verses, stanzas, text.

 

We find a convergent approach in music in the second half of the 20th Century. When Pierre Boulez (1925-2016) sought in the 1960s to liberate composition as well as performance from the domination of what he called “striated time”, the metered and counted time dominant in music since the ars nova, he introduced the notion of “smooth time”, what he called “uncounted” time. We can, moreover, certainly associate with this Boulezian innovation the work of John Cage (1912-1992) on sound textures and continuities, with whom Boulez had a close epistolary relationship, but also the minimalist music of Terry Riley (1935-), Steve Reich (1936-), Philip Glass (1937-) or more recently John Adams (1947-). Even if their music is based on a very strict repetition of the pulsation, they introduce such a division of sounds that the mass of sound produced now counts more than melody, harmony or rhythm in the classical sense. Likewise, certain musicians from the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM), founded in Paris by Boulez, with whom I had the pleasure of speaking one day, make music from “sound grains” which are typically “populations” of elements caught in interactions.

 

Let us take now a third series of examples. At the start of the 21st Century, we can only be struck by the fact that certain choreographers like Maguy Marin (1951-) in Lyon, or Elise Lerat with the Allogène collective in Nantes, introduce into their choreographies not only numerous non-metric variations, something that was already common since the 20th Century, but also experiments on possible associations, oppositions, and indifferences between the rhythms specific to each of the dancers, one in relation to the others but also by each in relation to the overall rhythm of the piece. Rhythm is then clearly a complex overall set of interactions of dancing bodies. Likewise, we find convergent ametric practices in a video artist like the Canadian Mark Lewis (1958-) and even in a painter like the British Damien Hirst (1965-). While the first eliminates any interruption and any editing in favor of a constant visual flow, the second in his cherry trees series saturates the space with colorful cascades barely separated from each other by the regular intervals between the canvases.

 

Just as the poets and artists of the second half of the 19th and 20th Centuries reacted to the growing metrification of life linked to the complexity of the world by introducing other conceptions of rhythm, the tropism of certain contemporary choreographers, videographers or painters for rhuthmic forms, seems directly linked to the mutation that we have just gone through during the 1990s and 2000s. Everything happens as if the artists, who are today interested in rhythmic themes and in particular in its nonmetric definitions, responded to the demands of an increasingly fluid world, while being increasingly conflicting. By visiting the rhythms of our world, these artists thus set themselves a double task : on the one hand, they seek to bring to light the dispersive forces which weigh ever more heavily on our lives, these forces which diminish us and limit our existences, but on the other hand, they also seek to outline new forms of life, perception and imagination, which could help us overcome these negative dynamics and develop our power to act and exist.

 Rhuthmos in social science since the end of the 20th Century

To complete what I just succinctly outlined and end my presentation, I would like now to present to you a debate that has been ongoing in social science since the end of the 1990s on the nature of the new world into which we have just entered. In order not to exceed the time allotted to me, I am going to simplify once again, I apologize for that, a very tangled situation. Let us say that since the year 2000, at least three major interpretive currents of the ongoing mutation have appeared.

 

The first insisted on the disintegration of the systemic and disciplined world as it had existed in the second half of the 20th Century. Consistent with this observation, this current proposed to abandon any overarching holistic methodology (whether structural or systemic) and to dive directly into the networks that had just formed and the multiple currents of interaction that constituted now the reality of the social world. In his books Globalization : The Human Consequences published in 1998 and Liquid Modernity, published in 2000, the Polish-born sociologist Zygmunt Bauman (1925-2017) thus described a new world from which all social structures and all cultural systems would have been dissolved by the flows of constant and rapid changes : “We would have moved away, he argued, from a ‘heavy’ and ‘solid’, hardware-focused modernity to a ‘light’ and ‘liquid’, software-based modernity.” In other words, “the socially forceful, long enduring and reproductive practices and beliefs”, which were typical of the 20th Century, would have been replaced by indeterminate, labile and impermanent practices and beliefs. This mutation would have “brought profound change to all aspects of the human condition” due to “the new remoteness and un-reachability of global systemic structure coupled with the unstructured and under-defined, fluid state of the immediate setting of life-politics and human togetherness” (cover of the book). Because of this liquefaction of our societies and our lives, not only would the power specific to agents now be seriously challenged, but the very idea of collective political action would become more and more unrealistic. At the very beginning of the 1990s, Anthony Giddens had already compared the new modernity to “a juggernaut” launched at full speed ; Zygmunt Bauman now saw it as “a plane without pilot” [1].

 

A second interpretation of the changes underway since the 1990s was inaugurated by the German sociologist Hartmut Rosa (1965-), in his book Social Acceleration : A New Theory of Modernity published in German in 2005. For Rosa and the authors who followed in his footsteps, it was not possible to simply dive, as Bauman recommended, into the flows that run through today’s world. While recognizing the, if not liquid, at least rapidly changing nature of today’s world, we must maintain an overlooking position that would allow us to have a global view. Certainly, Rosa pointed out, our societies and lives are indeed subject to increasingly rapid transformations, but if we analyze the causes of this “acceleration”, we see that it has its source in a joint acceleration of the transformation of techniques, of the changes in social structures and of the tempo of life (das Tempo des Lebens or das Lebenstempo). The technical acceleration would be propelled by the demands of capitalism and the diffusion of the monetary and financial economy ; the acceleration of social change by the increasing functional differentiation ; the acceleration of the tempo of life by modernity’s promises of emancipation and self-realization.

 

Rosa’s explanation is therefore quite different from that proposed by Bauman, but his conclusion is ultimately quite close to that of his predecessor. The main consequence of this “general acceleration” would indeed be, paradoxically, the “immobilization of life” that we would have observed since the 2000s at the level of individuals as well as that of social systems. On the one hand, singular individuals would no longer determine themselves in relation to projects, the probability of which being realized no longer being assured given the speed of social changes. Willy-nilly, they would have refocused on the present and the short term, intending to keep as many options open as possible by playing on several fields simultaneously. On the other hand, “social systems” would have become autonomous and would escape all control. Their permanent and extremely rapid transformation would have in fact devitalized all great stories of emancipation and rendered ineffective all attempts at political control, whether carried out from below by associations, unions and parties, or from above by governments. In summary, for Rosa, as for Giddens, Bauman and many others, “the time for politics” would be “over”.

 

In the following decade, we saw the emergence of a third form of interpretation of what had just happened. Under the leadership of the British sociologist Margaret Archer (1943-2023), a group of researchers met annually in Switzerland in Lausanne to try to understand the transition from “Modernity” to what they called “the Morphogenetic Society”. Very critical of the theses defended by Bauman, as well as those promoted by Rosa, Archer and the researchers gathered around her proposed to “start from the middle”, to describe in a more precise way the multiple factors and situations concerned, and to reintroduce, ultimately, the possibility of individual action as well as that of collective action. The sociological perspective should not oversimplify the complex reality of the new world, either by plunging complacently into the flows and micro-interactions, or by attempting to overlook them from a holistic viewpoint ; it had, on the contrary, to be located at the very level of the phenomena of structuring/destructuring in progress and, thus, to follow all the possibilities of opposition, of elaboration of the given, of creation of new forms of life, but also, of course, of simple reproduction, of stasis, or even destruction.

 

Archer advocated what she called a “morphogenetic” approach i.e. “a framework for explanation that generically examines the sequence < structural/cultural conditioning → social interaction → structural/cultural elaboration or stasis >.” The morphogenetic approach entails 1., she said, “examining the specific ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘whom’ and ‘how’ of particular changes or instances of morphogenesis/morphostasis” ; 2. taking into account “the growing predominance of positive feedback over negative feedback ([i.e. of] morphogenesis over morphostasis)” (p. 2) ; 3. accentuating “relationality, rather than multi-variate analysis ; contestation rather than co-variance ; and malintegration, rather than functional differentiation” (p. 107). This means that we must not only start from the morphogenetic process itself, but that this type of process is reducible neither to chaotic micro-interactions nor to a simple holistic acceleration. Although – but also because – it is the place of strong internal tensions, it follows organized processes and variations which are responsible for its varying morphogenetic power.

 

Due to lack of time, I cannot delve further into this enlightening debate, but at least four lessons can be drawn from it.

 

First, whether the change in our world is thought of under the aegis of liquidity, speed or morphogenesis, it always implies the idea of replacing old notions of stable “structures” and “systems”, with those of “rapid changes”, “mutations” and “flows”. Nowadays all sociologists agree on the particularity of our world which seems to have much less stability and much more fluidity than the old one.

 

Second, however, I think we should join Archer and her colleagues in criticizing the simplism of the liquidity and acceleration paradigms and suggesting replacing them with a more appropriate one. The flows in which we participate are never completely chaotic and devoid of any form, nor reducible to simple and continuous dynamics ; they always have both temporal organization and kinds of inner tension, which make them produce and destroy, destroy and produce, new individual and collective arrangements, which will form the context of subsequent actions.

 

Third, I completely agree with Archer’s critique of Bauman and Rosa’s views that our world would be dominated by dispersive tendencies or a kind of immobilizing acceleration that would only have negative impacts on individual and group actions. We just have to look around us : even if a lot of exhaustion, suffering and injustice still exist, we can also see people empowered by new technologies, by the possibility of creating horizontal networks and acting together at a distance, by the new opportunities of organizing one’s working time, by the political fight for a better organized urban, social, private and family life, etc.

 

However, I think we should go further than Archer. She and her colleagues rightly saw that the quality of our actions, of what we are or, more precisely, of what we become, is defined by the flows of interactions in which we participate, but they did not conceptualize the type of form these flows can take. Obviously, the morphogenetic process is not chaotic, but neither is it metrically organized, as they seem to believe when they talk about its “rhythms” and “cycles”. This is where rhythmanalysis and especially rhythmology come into play. We need new concepts to understand the complex and tense organizations of the flows which constitute the current world, and which are responsible for our individuation and our subjectivation, or our de-individuation and our de-subjectivation. Thanks to the theoretical richness that it inherits from its past, the concept of rhuthmos responds precisely to this requirement.

 

 

*

 

I conclude. Through this short presentation, I hope to have made you feel why rhythmanalysis has enjoyed remarkable success over the last two decades, particularly in Anglo-Saxon countries and northern Europe. It offers a perspective that is perfectly suited to the fluid reality of the new world. At the same time, I think that it must improve its own tools and integrate the results of rhythmological reflections carried out in parallel on the Continent. Taken as it stands, the notion of rhythm is too vague and above all too closely linked to the metrical tradition to be scientifically useful and ethically, politically and artistically effective. It must be transformed, based on the concept of rhuthmos, which could be defined as a tense way of flowing integrating the loops of interactions between populations of elements of very dissimilar natures (in the case of poems), or of elements historically differentiated but of same nature (in the case of human societies), or even of very similar elements (in the case of cerebral flows). As we can see, this concept is adapted as well to the current needs of literary and artistic studies as to those of the social and human sciences, but also to those of the natural sciences. It has the flexibility necessary to support new ways of describing and analyzing phenomena, but also the power to offer critical benchmarks on ethical, political and artistic levels.

 

 Bibliography

 

Archer, Margaret (ed.), 2014. Late Modernity : Trajectories towards Morphogenetic Society, Cham-Heidelberg-New York-London, Springer.

 

Bauman, Zigmunt, 1998. Globalization : The Human Consequences, Cambridge-Oxford, Polity Press-Blackwell Publishers.

 

Bauman, Zigmunt, 2000. Liquid Modernity, Cambridge, Polity Press.

 

Michon, Pascal, 2018-2021. Elements of Rhythmology, 5 Vol. Paris, Rhuthmos.

 

Michon, Pascal, 2022. Problèmes de rythmanalyse, 2 Vol., Paris, Rhuthmos.

 

Rosa, Hartmut, 2013. Social Acceleration : A New Theory of Modernity [2005], New York, Columbia University Press.

 

Notes

[1Z. Bauman, Liquid Modernity, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2000, p. 59.

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