Informe  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Informe is a concept in the philosophy of Georges Bataille which can be translated in English as formlessness. It plays a role in the late 20th century American art criticism of Yve-Alain Bois and Rosalind E. Krauss.

Georges Bataille introduced the concept in the Critical Dictionary:

"A dictionary would begin as of the moment when it no longer provided the meanings of words but their tasks. In this way formless is not only an adjective having such and such a meaning, but a term serving to declassify, requiring in general that every thing should have a form. What it designates does not, in any sense whatever, possess rights, and everywhere gets crushed like a spider or an earthworm. For academics to be satisfied, it would be necessary, in effect, for the universe to take on a form. The whole of philosophy has no other aim; it is a question of fitting what exists into a frock-coat, a mathematical frock-coat. To affirm on the contrary that the universe resembles nothing at all and is only formless, amounts to saying that the universe is something akin to a spider or a gob of spittle." (tr. Encyclopaedia Acephalica tr. Iain White)

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Informe" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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