Denken neu denken mit Vilém Flusser
Flusser suggests synthetic images may free us from the tyranny of linear thinking, whilst calling upon us to engage actively in the new ‘Einbildungskraft’ or techno-imagination. The innovative dimension of this new form of synthesizing information might be the transcending, overcoming or undermining of dualistic patterns of thought. ‘Dedicated to synthesis of contrasts’ (1949) Flusser not only translated between cultural poles but strove for a ‘method of cognition [...] with aesthetic qualities’, ‘which extends beyond philosophy’ (1951). His poetically composed philosophy transcends the traditional opposition of art and philosophy. Yet, as ‘every technical revolution induces a new mankind which again designs a new technique’ (1991), the challenge facing us is more than merely thinking and acting in new technical ways, we must deliberately co-design. Thus, the transformation at hand may be discussed as a shift away from the dominance of thinking in dichotomies, indicating an interrelational understanding of the (re)programming of our environments and of ourselves in dialogue.
Da soggetti a progetti. L'abbandono dell'Humanismus in Vilém Flusser
By focusing on two of Flusser’s last writings, this essay tries to address the question of the relationship between Flusserian thought and the tradition of humanism. Moving towards a form of intersubjectivity based on dialogue and mutual responsibility, Flusser succeeded in breaking the bonds that bind the contemporary subject to modernity’s unbearable burden. He described the meaning of a contemporary becoming human in a very distinctive way. Indeed, the trajectory drawn by Flusser is not entirely superimposable on the actual vernacular of post-humanism and I believe that its deepening could open us up to more responsible ways to deal with technological development and “post-humanist technologies”.
X: The Gesture of Essaying
Drawing upon Flusser’s sketch of “being-in-the-skin”, this essay explores the significance of the dialogical form of chiasmus for Flusser’s conception of gesture, arguing for an understanding of his “gesture of writing”, as a gesture of essaying, wherein a “poetic subject” is manifested – one who is born to understanding, gestated, in the process of conversing in-between, where “meaning” is organised through rhythm. The essay itself sets up this argument through a gesture of essaying, placing Flusser into conversation with a broader discourse on writing and gesture.