A wad of crumpled paper is the form in which ANIMATAZINE presents itself to you, the readers.
"The origamist knows that every living thing has a shell. That the carapace, the bark, the epidermis preserve and preciously contain life. That this shell, never smooth, made of folds, delimits the present and the future, the here and the there. That scars and wrinkles cannot be confused.
The origamist deciphers our beautifully folded planet. Parallel folds: the wrinkles on the neck and forehead reflect the reality of the past. Converging folds: between the eyebrows, around the eyes, around the mouth, testify to our unique identity.
The origamist reads, without judging, the imprints of time, personality, character, social behaviour. Whether assaults or signatures, life leaves its stigmata: evidence of the esteem it has shown us. These marks write the history of the folds of the heart, the memory of our sorrows and joys. The folds are the writing of the genesis of the world."
Jean-Claude Correia, paper-folding artist, founder of the Mouvement français des plieurs de papier.
Nature is origamist.
In nature, the phenomenon of the fold is omnipresent: in organic matter (plants, animals, insects, protein structure, RNA, DNA...) and in inorganic matter (minerals, geological conformations, the deep texture of the universe).
Folds are everywhere around us, and if we do not recognise them as such at first sight, it is only due to a lack of attention to them.
From a semantic point of view, considering only European languages, there is a group of at least five hundred words and expressions that derive from the word pleat: to explain, explanation, unpleat; simple: which has no pleats; complicated, with several pleats; double, triple, multiple: all words that derive from the same common Latin root plicare, which originates in Sanskrit with the sense of mixing, connecting, interweaving, uniting.
The phenomenon of folding and unfolding is at the origin and heart of life itself: the fold is a trace, but also an action.
In it is condensed the genesis and the result, the fold is the movement without which there is nothing.
Humans are also subject to this principle.
From the moment of fertilisation, an unfolding process takes place.
Embryogenesis identifies three membranes imbricated in each other, three sheets that, as they unfold and develop, will give shape to our body: the first will form the skin, the outer boundary; the second, located in the centre, will form the organs and muscles; the third, more internal, will give shape to the skeleton.
A process that technically allows us to be called triblastic bilaterian tetrapods, i.e. animals with four 'legs', with an axis of symmetry, made up of three membranes (embryonic leaflets).
At a certain point in life, the folding phase begins: we start to shrink, we are folded.
This is reflected, for example, in our facial wrinkles: our history is inscribed there.
To listen to Vincent Floderer, paper-folding artist and founder of the Centre for International Research on Modelling through Folding (CRIMP), is to enter a world where art, nature and science dance together in a continuous cross-reference of cues and meanings, sharpening our view of the organic nature of the structures that shape life around and within us.
His creations are wonders of folded paper that follow the course of natural forms.
It is by observing his works, his modelling process, that the desire to lean into the concept of origami, in its most spontaneous form, was born.
A paper crumpled bullet: what could be more banal?
A folded paper, it would seem ready to be thrown into a wastebasket, but instead, when observed with a different gaze, it becomes the bearer of a set of signs that make it unique. A trace to be deciphered, a mixture of movement and memory.
It is a question of looking.
We do not see the folds until we realise that they are everywhere.
Then, we never stop discovering them.
One of the most surprising aspects to be observed of the art of folding paper, from its ancient origins to the present day, is how it has developed by adhering to the spirit of the places and times it has traversed, embodying and revealing from time to time possibilities and aspects hitherto silent but in nuce.
As if the unfolding of this art, over time, has followed the same lines of force and tension, the same underlying compositional rules that allow infinite forms to arise simply by placing one fold after another on a sheet of paper.
The art of paper folding originated in China in the 1st century A.D. at the same time as paper was invented; it spread throughout the eastern and then western worlds via the silk route; it reached Japan around the 5th century, where, in contact with Zen Shintoism, it developed into a ritual form.
The paper, folded into small strips suspended in the wind on which prayers were inscribed by monks in Shinto temples, was a medium for communicating with the divine. In Japanese, Ori means 'to fold', while Kami means 'paper'.
But Kami also means 'divinity', that which stands on high, that which floats, that which remains suspended.
Origami/prayers as bridges to connect to the sacred.
In everyday use, the earliest origami of which there is a trace were packaging for medicine: by unfolding the corner of a paper packet, a small spout was created that allowed the contents of the medicine to be poured into a glass of water.
The remaining square of paper could then be folded to make a crane, a symbol of peace and health, appear.
Origami/medicines as routes to healing.
One of the earliest manuscripts informing us about the art of paper folding tells us that another name for origami was Kan no mado, which in Japanese means: open window for the cold season.
When it is cold and you stay indoors with the windows closed, folding paper opens a window.
Origami/windows as openings to the imagination.
To us in the West, the art of folding has mainly come down to us as an art of 'savoir-faire', a meticulous and delicate pastime that requires an act of transmission: once you have seen someone perform an origami, you can reproduce it, countless times.
In our culture, origami was quickly assimilated into wonder and magic: at the end of the nineteenth century in England and France, jesters presented at fairs and markets colourful accordion-shaped packages of paper, called magic fans, with which they told a story by transforming the folds into different shapes: a rabbit becomes a flower, an umbrella becomes an umbrella, a Chinese hat...
Origami/magics as doors to wonder.
In recent decades, origami is experiencing a new, particularly surprising phase.
From an artistic point of view, there has been a shift from a conception of origami as a purely traditional discipline to origami as a true art form, reaching a very high level of creation thanks to the classification work of the Japanese master Akira Yoshizawa, who has highlighted the main folding techniques in what is defined as a real folding diagrams that with a few marks make it possible to transcribe the stages of realisation of the folds, codes comparable to musical scales that once acquired after a certain amount of practice, allow one to go off the beaten track to depart freely in improvisation and experimentation, creating forms that were previously unthinkable.
One "valley" fold after another, one "mountain" fold after another, everything becomes possible, the only limit is the lack of imagination: the paper melts into unexpected dimensions and you begin to discover something new that comes from your own hands
The solfeggio of origami is an international code that allows the dissemination of patterns and new forms in a universal language.
Origami/music as a leap towards creation.
This codification has given rise to an extraordinary creative impulse.
Folding artists are now recognised worldwide, museums and art galleries welcome their works.
Origami/codes as steps towards knowledge.
"Life, all life, depends on origami," science populariser Ed Yong reveals.
Scientists have now discovered that the very basis of living things, DNA, as well as proteins, are basically assembled through spontaneous origami, the rules of composition of which are now being studied.
Proteins, molecular machines that do all the critical work that keeps us alive, each have a specific shape depending on the task they have to perform.
Their structure is determined by a two-dimensional chain of sequenced amino acids that fold into a specific three-dimensional shape, like origami.
Scientists believe that there must be a specific code that translates the properties of amino acids, such as their size or electrical charge, into a 3D shape.
Deciphering this code is very difficult, but it would not be surprising if the result eventually resembles the folding patterns of the master origami folders, where on a flat sheet of paper we find drawn solid lines and segmented lines, which when folded in the right order, result in an origami beetle, or an origami rhinoceros.
But who could tell, looking at these tracings, these fine fold lines, that the form they contain in nuce could be so extraordinary and unique?
Once again, it is a matter of looking.
The paper bullet of ANIMATAZINE, created by the gentle force of two hands on a flat sheet of paper, has imprinted itself with a memory, a unique imprint.
No two will ever be the same.
Symbolically, metaphorically, we, the editorial staff of ANIMATAZINE, throw this paper bullet to you, our readers.
It will be you, it will be your gaze, that will decipher and give meaning to the hidden form it contains.
P.S.: Issue ONE of ANIMATAZINE will be dedicated to WATER.
The Sanskrit root of the word water, Ak, means 'fold'.