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From Science to Fiction. Considering Vilém Flusser as an Artist

In Flusser’s biography as well as in his writings one can easily detect an alienation from a, let’s say, traditional and conservative dealing with science in general and the academic world in particular: There is a growing rejection of scientific writing and a growing sympathizing with unacademic essayistic writing. One well known climax of this development is his collaboration with Louis Bec creating the „Vampy“ as they called it – the Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, a work that Abraham Moles called philosophy-fiction. Parallel to this, Flusser’s aim is to replace objects in art exhibitions through communicological processes. Now, being an expert in communication, could that mean allready that he is thinking of himself as the artist of the future? Last not but least, he is talking about alternative realities that could arise from „zero dimension“, from the endpoint of his media chronological model, with the help of artists and, on the other hand, he writes in several letters that he wants to translate theory into practice – maybe as one of the artists who are creating these new and unexpected realities?

One of the most important Brazilian philosophers

This article seeks to introduce Flusser’s Brazilian phase to English-speaking readers. It refers to Abraham Moles, who recognized Vilém Flusser as one of the most important Brazilian philosophers, but it remembers also that probably many Brazilian academic philosophers would not agree with Moles. Flusser’s reception is complicated, for one, because Flusser was a foreigner and outsider-philosopher, and also because, in the sixties, he strongly criticized his Brazilian peers. Vilém Flusser formulated a proposal to confront the apparatus, to confront technicism and to confront Brazilian “developmentism.” His proposal consists of attributing certain values, but via a philosophy ex situ, a philosophy written by an eternal and foreign foreigner.

Brazilian Philosopher (PDF 98.02 KB)

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