“The twenty-first century would be the century of complexity!” This is how Stephen Hawking answered the question about science of the coming century in January 2000. The award of the Nobel Prize for Physics 2021 to three physicists [K. Hasselmann – S. Manabe – G. Parisi] who have contributed significantly to complexity research seems to confirm the prediction. Indeed, complexity as a research object and at the same time as a research perspective plays a prominent role in many sciences and disciplines today, in addition to physics, for example, also in climate science, sociology and economics, strategy innovation, urbanism, management and so on. This fact allows us to speak of a (scientific) “revolution of complex systems”.

Network analysis and network modelling become nowadays an increasing development in every field of complexity research. They are largely used in social sciences (Sociology, Economy, History, Archeology, Geography, Management, Linguistics, Psychology etc.). They plays also a prominent rule in hard sciences (like Mathematics (Graph Theory), Biology, Neurosciences, Physics and Information Theory. They are also even more used in interdisciplinary approached oriented to understand and model complex systems like in Climatology, Eco-Systems Theory, Migrations theory. Since ten years, a scientific project aim to integrate the skills and the methods of such rising and increasing approach in order to define a network science. Others aim to speak and think of a “new paradigm” and to build the complementarity of network analysis with other perspectives (notably in social sciences). Network analysis is the study of relational systems. It focuses on the observation of relationships between entities and the system formed by these relationships. These entities (nodes) can be individuals, organisations, objects, places, texts, events, websites, neurons… or even combinations of different types of entities at several levels. Relationships can be interpersonal links (kinship, friendship, collaboration…), citations, co-presences, air links, hyperlinks, neural connections, etc. The system formed by these entities and their relationships constitutes the network. The precise study of its structure (dense, segmented, scattered, hierarchical, modular, etc.) is crucial for many questions posed in different scientific disciplines and research fields, and lends itself particularly well to interdisciplinary approaches. It allows us to go beyond the static and morphological approach that thinks in terms of groups, bodies and affiliations. It is not opposed to it but offers a complementary, often more dynamic point of view. Network analysis can be at the heart of a research approach, but it can also be only one part of it, alongside other qualitative or quantitative approaches.

In the “COMPLEXITY AND NETWORKS” Conference will be presented and discussed the contribution of network analysis in relation in different disciplines of complexity science, showing their commonalities and specificities, based on empirical research and epistemological reflection.

During the international conference, researchers from both the mathematical and natural sciences and the humanities will present their work and approaches to network modelling

All these initiatives are open, on the basis of a genuinely interdisciplinary philosophy, to doctoral students as well as to teacher-researchers from various backgrounds.

Keynote speakers: Caroline Angelraux (CNRS), Ginestra Bianconi (Queen Mary University London); Silvia Caianiello (INSERM) David Chavalarias (CNRS – Institut des systèmes complexes de Paris); Gabriele Gramelsberger, Josè Fernando Mendes (Aveiro University); Franck Varenne (Université de Rouen); Stephan Hartmann (LMU München);

Organisation :

Fausto Fraisopi (Professor at he University of Freiburg i.B. and Multiannual Research Fellow at Iméra),

Contacts : faustofraisopi@gmail.com
Place : Iméra, Institut d’études avancées, Maison des astronomes, 2 place Le Verrier, 13004 Marseille http://imera.univ-amu.fr/

Past conferences

The thinking of the image

From September 18 to 20, 2023, Fausto Fraisopi, professor at the University of Friborg and multiannual reseaarch fellow at Iméra, is organizing an international conference entitled “The thinking of the image: interdisciplinary approaches to imagery and imagination”. This conference is part of the cycle complexity, networks and interdisciplinarity of knowledge.

What shall we call an “image”? Is it that from which knowledge proceeds or that which anticipates knowledge? Is image something only able to be recognised as object of thinking or it shows per se, in its polysemy and equivocal constitution, a deep, still unexplored generative form of thinking? 

From the point of view of the understanding of the digital age, where we entered in, to a strong consideration of the new frontiers of science, knowledge, and philosophy and from here up to societal and cultural dimensions, the thinking of the image still remain an enigma.

Since the ancient world,  the philosophical antiquity from Plato to Aristotle has left this question as a legacy. This question has continued to pursue the history of thought: Islamic World and Christianity, Middle and Modern Age. It can be found massively in contemporary philosophy, culture studies, history of art and ideas. The aim of the international conference is, perhaps for the first time, to study and to explore in a genuine interdisciplinary approach the multiversal horizon of human imagery and, in particular its constructive, generative capacity of building a world-meaning. 

The international conference is organised on the behalf of Iméra, the Institute for Adavanced Study of Aix-Marseille University, in collaboration with the LESA, Laboratoire d’Études en Sciences des Arts (EA 3274) and the Research Group on the Transdisciplinary Approaches to the Image and Imaginary: Fausto Fraisopi, Professor at Freiburg University and Multiannual Research Fellow at Iméra, Agnes Callu, Research Director at the CNRS (LAP -Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Politique), Pierre-Antoine Fabre, Research Director at the CNRS (CRH – Centre de recherche historiques – CéSor Centre d’études en sciences sociales du réligieux) and Alexander Schnell, Professor for Philosophy and Director of the Institute for Transcendental Philosophy and Phenomenology).


Monday 18 September, 2 PM

Introduction: Fausto Fraisopi (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg – Iméra)

Sybille KRÄMER (FU Berlin): Dimensions of pictoriality.
The performativity of pictures between operative iconicity and works of art

Chair: Alexander Schnell
1) Agnès CALLU (LAP, EHESS/CNRS): Politics & emotional poetics of images
2) Pierre-Antoine CHARDEL (LAP, EHESS/CNRS): Contemporary images, a datalogical creation
3) Maria-Giulia DONDERO (FNRS Liège): Semiotic Approaches to the Meta-Image. From Painting to Big Visual Data

Tuesday 19 September, 9-13 AM

Chair: Pierre-Antoine Fabre
1) Nadia ALI (Aix-Marseille): The Artless Muslim: Ancient & Modern Denials and Affirmations of the Visual
2) Emma AUBIN-BOLTANSKI (EHESS): The body image(s) of a contemporary Maronite mystic in Beirut
3) Jean-Michel DURRAFOUR (AMU): To the modern origins of the ecological conception of the image: the First World War. Photography, painting, poetry.
4) Yili FAN (Charlotte): Filming and Image

Tuesday 19 September, 15-19 AM

THIRD SESSION: FLOATING. The image and its phenomenal vibrations
Chair : Fausto Fraisopi (University Freiburg)
1) Emmanuel ALLOA (Fribourg): Produce an appearance. On the performativity of images
2) Alexander SCHNELL (Wuppertal): Image and reality in Black Mirror
3) Klaus SACHS-HOMBACH (Tübingen): Reality and Pictorial Realism
4) Pierre-Adrien MARCISET (Lausanne -Nice): L’image : terminus a quo ou terminus ad quem ?

Wednesday 20 September, 9-13 AM

FOURTH SESSION: IN-BETWEEN. The image and its polysemy at the frontiers between disciplines
Chair : Agnès Callu (LAP, EHESS/CNRS)
1) Hana GRÜNDLER (Düsseldorf – Florenz): “The Crucible of Imagination”. Art, Aesthetics and Ethics in Russell and Wittgenstein.
2) Medhi AMMI (Université Paris 8): Mathematical images. Towards a data visualization of feelings
3) Jean-Baptiste FOURNIER (Paris): An empty space without an image? Phenomenology of auditory space.
4) Fausto FRAISOPI (Freiburg – Marseille): “[…] for a knowledge in général” [Kant]. On oblivion and coming back of the imaginary in the épistème

Wednesday 20 September 2 PM

ROUND TABLE (Organization of the Research Network)


  • Fausto Fraisopi (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg – Iméra)
  • Agnès Callu (LAP, EHESS/CNRS, UMR 8177)
  • Pierre Antoine Fabre (CéSor, EHESS)
  • Alexander Schnell (Bergische Universität Wuppertal -Institut für Transzendentalphilosophie und Phänomenologie)

Future conferences

View the program

The 2024 programme will soon be updated.