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Übersetzung, Wissen und Kultur in der freudschen Psychoanalyse und im Werk Vilém Flussers

This article aims to present Sigmund Freud and Vilém Flusser not only as two thinkers with biographical similarities, but mainly as two intellectuals of converging ideas. Both developed a critical analysis of the human unease (Unbehagen) mediated by the symbolic, and both, each in his own way, tried to find solutions to deal with this unease using language as an instrument. Both saw in translation an important instrument to overcome cultural boundaries.

Verso una teoria dei gesti

In his work “Gesten. Versuch einer Phänomenologie,” Flusser investigates the concept of gestures. Starting from a first definition of gestures, which explores the “causality” of movements, Flusser then discusses the meaning of the concept “gesture” in the broader context of culture as a symbolic expression. In this essay, we discuss Flusser’s view on gestures by studying them with respect to their function and meaning in communicative processes, both obvious and hidden. From a semiotic point of view, we analyse Flusser’s thoughts on the function and the properties of gestures and provide a definition of “gesture”, which reflects its cultural, symbolic, and significant aspects. Particular emphasis is given to the role of gestures in communicative processes and their imbedding in the cultural environment.

Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: l’alterità capovolta

The Vampyroteuthis Infernalis is a text that defies labels by layering scientific, philosophical, and anthropological perspectives. We should read it “lengthwise” in order to share the vision of this brilliant metaphorical story and post-human fairy tale. Flusser eradicates points of view that are rusty, ancient and anthropocentric. In this, he sheds a beam of light not only on the ideas but also on the method, and the point of view. Throughout the book, the literary device turns out to be a kind of powerful “antivirus” against the rhetoric and the morals of our “a priori”. The Vampyroteuthis emerges where we dive: it is the dark side, the sleep of reason and the monster of dreams; it is the common unconscious, the fear of the unknown, the repression of drives; it is what is submerged by science and religion; it is the black, the different, the other; it is what we would like to suppress in ourselves, but actually, if this emergence is slow and conscious, the subsequent integration will be healthy and productive. It will be the utopia of new humans who look out and see themselves.

L’alterità capovolta (PDF 171.37 KB)

Flusser in Robion

Robion, a small town in the Provence of southeastern France, was the second exile of Vilém Flusser and his wife. They lived there from the early 70s until his death in the early 90s, and after living for a long period in the city of São Paulo. This new but well known cultural landscape attracted a lot of philosophers, writers and artist and represented for Flusser a so called anti-Brazil, some kind of paradise in a strait opposition to the “desert” landscapes of Brazil. Here he found a prosperous landscape where several points of his thinking where connected in natural and cultural ways.

Robion (PDF 394.92 KB)

Mensch oder Landschaft – was war zuerst da? Antworten aus Vilém Flussers Vogelflüge

The essay is dedicated to the relationship of nature and culture. Landscapes are formed by natural and cultural influences. Cultural influences include two components: the changes on the land made by men and the changing ideas about landscape. Landscapes are concepts; therefore they cannot exist without men. Flusser explores this theme by describing his visit to the French Jura Mountains. He outlines how, first animals and later men used the Ofenpass, a pathway in the Alps. Separated river valleys were transformed from natural areas to landscapes, which can be regarded as men’s homes.

Mensch oder Landschaft (PDF 194.06 KB)