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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Esthapeïrisme (infinitesimal art) is a concept first put forward by Isidore Isou in his text "Introduction a l'esthetique imaginaire" (1956).

Recalling the infinitesimals of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, quantities which could not actually exist except conceptually, the Letterists developed the notion of a work of art which, by its very nature, could never be created in reality, but which could nevertheless provide aesthetic rewards by being contemplated intellectually. Also called Art esthapériste ('infinite-aesthetics'). Cf. Conceptual Art. Related to this, and arising out of it, is excoördism, the current incarnation of the Isouian movement, defined as the art of the infinitely large and the infinitely small.

"Inspiré par le calcul infinitésimal de Leibniz et Newton, Isou concevra l’art imaginaire, nommé également art infinitésimal ou esthapéïrisme (néologisme formé par les termes grecs « esth » = esthétique et « apéïros » = innombrable), qu’il théorisera en 1956, dans son Introduction à l’Esthétique Imaginaire ou Mémoire sur la particule infinitésimale." [1]

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