Tissue paper on cardboard, 2014

In mathematics, a singular point is a point at which a trajectory undergoes a change of inflection (reverse, change of curvature). When we walk, our trajectory presents a singular point when we stop (zero speed), to start again otherwise. In his theory of catastrophes, René Thom calls singular points catastrophic points.

The very type of catastrophe, if you will, is say, a sheet of paper that you fold and at some point catches an angle, right; which remains regular and then suddenly a fold forms there, a fold characterized by a discontinuity. It is this type of phenomenon that I wanted to systematize.

René Thom, Interviews with mathematicians, Jacques Nimier.