Phil Gochenour holds a PhD in comparative literature from Emory University. He is the translator of the Flusser essay “The City as Wave - Trough in the Image Flood,” and has authored essays on distributed communities and sytems theory as applied to online co mmunities and in the work of Thomas Pynchon. He was recently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Digital Media Studies at the University of Virginia, and currently is VP of Content Development for Totalmass, Inc
Articles of Phillip Gochenour
Masks and Dances: Cybernetics and Systems Theory in Relation to Flusser's Concepts of the Subject and Society
This paper undertakes a close reading of Flusser’s tropes of “the mask” and “dances” to compare similarities between Fluss er’s formulation of the self and society and corresponding concepts in contemporary systems theory. Major concepts from cybernetics and systems theory such as feedback mechanisms, system and environment, and reciprocal development are illustrated through p assages from Laszlo, Maturana and Varela, and Luhmann and compared with Flusser, with the aim of demonstrating what is “cybernetic” in Flusser’s thought. Consideration is also given to the relationship between Flusser’s work and that of other contemporary social theorists who adopt systems theoretical approaches, such as Foucault , Deleuze, and Guattari.