Eleven Theses for An Initial degree of Roughness: Transubstantiation, Materiality and Art

Paganellli, Mattia and Worrallo, Dane. 2015. Eleven Theses for An Initial degree of Roughness: Transubstantiation, Materiality and Art. Zetesis: The International Journal for Fine Art, Philosophy and the Wild Sciences, 2(1), pp. 121-127. ISSN 2059-2582 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

We are uncomfortable with the renewed attention that ontology pays to the absolute. Most importantly, we feel that a straightforward resurrection of substance is not capable or competent to engage with the multiple and simultaneous resonances of the present.

The Eleven Theses for an Initial Degree of Roughness put forward instead that processes of knowledge as much as ethical or aesthetic choices operate in a radically material regime; a network generated by fractals and complexity. This demands an entirely new move in order to break away from the traditional binary framework gone before, including its “post,” “neo,” or “speculative” variations. Listening to the echo of Marx’s “Theses on Feuerbach” - which is to remember that all human activity and the material conditions of that activity are sensuous - the theses propose abandoning reductionism, as the essence of ontology, and indicate tools to engage with the un-rescindable determination of givenness (roughness) via a temporal turn, starting both thinking and practice from the complex rather than the simple.

In fact, we seek to turn logic inside out and take the crisis of foundations of the past century as an opportunity, a possible opening in an otherwise closed universality. Abandoning any external observer position, these theses indicate non-linearity, fractal iterations, emergence, initude, and superposition as some of the key dimensions necessary to inhabit this initial roughness ruled by “undecidability” and “incompleteness.” Thus offering a new logic that can elude objectivity and enable both the artist and the thinker to engage with aesthetic as a surface generated by complexity, rather than a preliminary step on the linear path leading to Being.

Item Type:



emergence, time, materiality, undecidability, epistemology

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Apr 2024 12:27

Last Modified:

12 Apr 2024 12:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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