Writings (Electronic Mediations)
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Ten years after his death, Vilém Flusser’s reputation as one of Europe’s most original modern philosophers continues to grow. Increasingly influential in Europe and Latin America, the Prague-born intellectual’s thought has until now remained largely unknown in the English-speaking world. His innovative writings theorize—and ultimately embrace—the epochal shift that humanity is undergoing from what he termed "linear thinking" (based on writing) toward a new form of multidimensional, visual thinking embodied by digital culture. For Flusser, these new modes and technologies of communication make possible a society (the "telematic" society) in which dialogue between people becomes the supreme value.The first English-language anthology of Flusser’s work, this volume displays the extraordinary range and subtlety of his intellect. A number of the essays collected here introduce and elaborate his theory of communication, influenced by thinkers as diverse as Martin Buber, Edmund Husserl, and Thomas Kuhn. While taking dystopian, posthuman visions of communication technologies into account, Flusser celebrates their liberatory and humanizing aspects. For Flusser, existence was akin to being thrown into an abyss of absurd experience or "bottomlessness"; becoming human required creating meaning out of this painful event by consciously connecting with others, in part through such technologies. Other essays present Flusser’s thoughts on the future of writing, the revolutionary nature of photography, the relationship between exile and creativity, and his unconventional concept of posthistory. Taken together, these essays confirm Flusser’s importance and prescience within contemporary philosophy.Vilém Flusser (1920–1991) was born in Prague and taught philosophy in Brazil. Andreas Ströhl is director of the film department at the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes in Munich. Erik Eisel works for a software technology company in Southern California.
International Flusser Lecture. Körper-Abstraktionen. Das anthropologische Viereck von Raum, Fläche, Linie und Punkt. Ed. Vilém Flusser Archiv an der Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln. Cologne: Walther König. Knöfel, Thomas. 1994. “Vilém Flusser: Die Geschichte des Teufels.” manuskripte 124: 95–101. ———. 1994. “Vom Überfließen der Schrift zum Fließen der Bilder.” Ästhetik und Kommunikation 84: 93–96. Lovink, Geert. 1993. “Mediatheory Is Here to Go: Ein Kommentar zu Mark Terkessidis.” Symptome
codify sounds to represent ideas, do not allow us to imagine who made the convention where or when. And the gestures of dance, which codify gestures to represent sentiments, seem to spring from an inner necessity rather than from convention. And psychosomatic diseases, which can be shown to codify body symptoms to represent psychological phenomena, certainly were not conventionally established. And the symbology of dreams, which is the code by which the unconscious communicates with the
they are meant to permit action in a world in which man no longer lives immediately but that he faces. Cave paintings are meant to permit hunting of ponies, cathedral windows to permit praying to God, road maps to permit motoring, and statistical projections to permit decision making. One must learn how to decipher those images, one must learn the conventions that give them their meaning, and one may commit mistakes. For instance: it would be a mistake to decipher road maps as if they were cave
code ironically makes the effort possible. The inarticulable is not articulated, the unthinkable is not thought. Instead, something completely, ridiculously different is articulated and thought. In the reader, it brings something unthinkable and inarticulable back to life—as a contradiction. Kafka’s message is a parable similar to the message of the prophets of Israel. In this sense, Kafka is a link in the chain of the Jewish tradition. However, it is an absurd parable. This is precisely why it
magnitude into concrete everyday life. If the church 160 Orders of Magnitude and Humanism 161 had managed to burn the writings of Galileo and the remaining humanists in order to save humanism, the penetration would not have been avoided. For the world has not only expanded into space in order to bend at one of its horizons and to fray into quarks at the other, it has also expanded into time, in order to creep into the big bang on the one hand, and into the quantum leap on the other. It would