Biomedia and Anthropology of Gestures and Body
The essay is based on two central notions developed by Vilém Flusser: 1) life can be considered as a design project; 2) we are in need of a new anthropology of gestures. It moves from the modern understanding of technology, digital media and its cybernetic regime, to discover biomedia and their ability to invade and conquer bodies, senses and gestures. In the light of this new bio-techno-cultural constellation where media are used to design gestures, old questions about subjectivity, media and communication remain fundamental yet they ought to be reinterpreted.
Der maskierte Mensch: Vom Subjekt zum Projekt in der Stimmung des Orgasmus
This article starts from the assumption that Heidegger’s notion of Geworfenheit (Thrownness) can be overcome through alternative design or projection of human beings. Designing the body has so far received little attention within the research on Vilém Flusser. The essay begins with a discussion of bodily design moving on to an examination of sexual coitus and orgasm. Human re-invention is depicted in terms of sexual design, by assuming, in accordance with Flusser, a kind of sex, which is entirely independent of procreation or of any other biological consideration and exclusively directed towards orgasm as an intersubjective integration with the other person. This is not so much a form of surrender as an attempt at self-oblivion. The article also deals with the victory over death through orgasm, showing Flusser’s theoretical proximity to Wilhelm Reich’s psychoanalysis. The concept of orgasm will also be discussed in view of techno-imaginary charity as a gesture of love, addressing Flusser’s topos of masquerade, along with the possibilities of its overcoming.
Die Briefe zwischen Vilém Flusser und Felix Philipp Ingold, 1981–1990
This article examines the correspondence between Vilém Flusser and Felix Philipp Ingold, a professor of cultural and social history of Russia, besides being a well-known poet, writer, and translator. In this extensive correspondence (1981–1990), both scholars reflect upon and criticize each other’s work, in a very productive manner. Especially Flusser, who was challenged to be more precise about central terms of his cultural philosophy, and media/communication theory. The article gives an overview of the last topics discussed by them. However, because it could not equality examine all concepts in depth, it focus upon the correspondence that helped Flusser clarify his concept of technical/synthetic image – which remains, nevertheless, an ambivalent term.