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Title: Finitude, possibility, dimensionality : aesthetics after complexity
Author: Paganelli, Mattia
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 8452
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis proposes a reconceptualisation of aesthetics moving from the irreversibility of emergence as described by the theory of complexity. Existing aesthetic platforms reflect a binary ontology that perpetuates the oppositions of concept and object or discourse and practice, thus projecting aesthetics as a contingent surface. The metaphysical split of material and immaterial is therefore maintained as the ultimate structure of sense and the sensual is still represented as the other of reason. This produces a dichotomy where art is either identified with a medium or a technology or is approached as a hermeneutical exercise that anesthetises its poetic modes of operation, thereby drifting towards visual communication. The thesis turns to complexity theory for an alternative ontological approach that can overcome the need for such metaphysical a priori structures. Indeed, complexity offers forms of coherence that install sense locally and heterogeneously, without the possibility of universalisation. This recasts aesthetics as a cohesive surface or genetic logic, rather than mere phenomenological appearance as the image of an object or the body of a concept. Thus, the thesis exhorts not to seek or think the ultimate, but to dwell in the finite pattern of possibility laid out by the radical irreducibility of the processes of emergence. In this light, the relation of concept and object can be re-thought as a continuum; a rhizomatic pattern of organisation that, however, no longer relies on the transcendental move adopted by Deleuze, or on Heidegger's infamous leap out of metaphysics. In fact, the thesis shows that metaphysics is not the purveyor of dimensions, but is itself a dimension of thought. Hence, the move towards Prigogine, Stengers, Barad, and Golding in order to re-articulate the structure that supports sense as the local interference of continua, or ontological segments, rather than external coordinates. This radical materialism or dimensionality names a regime beyond transcendence and immanence where aesthetics is inseparable from ontology and offers a wholly different way to think and practice art - one best understood as diffraction.
Supervisor: Golding, Johnny ; Kennedy, Steve ; Cheeseman, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: W100 Fine Art