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Flusser’s Moral Theory – Philosophy as Melancholy

~Flusser is a moral philosopher worthy of careful study and criticism. This paper is my attempt to critically investigate this crucial, moral, aspect of his writings. To focus attention on the significance of his moral theory, I shall compare Flusser with Hegel, a comparison that is not accidental as both philosophers tried to explain “evil” in dialectical terms by elaborating on myths derived from the Book of Genesis. Hegel discusses the issue in his version of the Story of the Fall of Man and Flusser does so in his interpretation of the Story of Creation. The contribution of both is obviously important, but I think Flusser’s narrative can achieve what Hegel set out as his aim but failed to accomplish. Flusser’s understanding of evil reflects on and fosters the exercise of a particular moral virtue, namely, modesty. There is little doubt that, for Flusser, the moral individual lives a heroic life. Is Flusser providing “the cure” to evil? There is no way of knowing it in advance. In the last analysis, this is a matter for each reader to decide.

Moral Theory (PDF 333.5 KB)

Dialogues Between Flusser and Young Media Artists: A Conversation with Mario Ramiro

This article focuses upon Flusser’s interest in the work of young media artists, largely based on the recollections of Mario Ramiro, a São Paulo artist who holds a master’s degree from the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne. Ramiro talks about how he met Flusser in São Paulo in the late 1970s and was immediately taken by the philosopher’s ideas and style, which for him were that of an artist. He acknowledges Flusser’s influence and support for his career throughout the 1980s.

Dialogues (PDF 190.38 KB)

Medialita a problémy zprostředkování / Denkbare Hintergründe

~The subject takes part in and constructs what it perceives, shifting, thus, the presuppositions, that
is, the ‚pre-formats‘ of this construction into the background, out of reach of that which is
manifesting itself. In fact, within the framework of its own construction, the subject does not
dispose of any possibilities of transferring other heterogeneous settings into a unique target
format upon which the world of objects is constructed. In order to achieve this the subject needs
a determinate interactive interface, i. e., mediation. Access to mediation, that is, to the interfaces
combining the different settings, to complexity and to the real, helps us to understand the
differences that become accessible to us. Furthermore, access helps us to reach an adequate
understanding of the role of the subject in the world, a world in which the subject is not only
mechanically constructed but, above all, mediated accordingly.

Medialita (PDF 118.51 KB)
Denkbare Hintergründe (PDF 114.29 KB)

The Camera That Ate Itself

This text starts from Flusser’s description of the camera as an ‘apparatus’. Working with John Hilliard’s series of photographs A Camera Recording Its Own Condition (7 apertures, 10 speeds, 2 mirrors) a number of developments of the idea of the apparatus are made. The text discusses medial will to power, Marxist theories of the machinic, and conceptual art’s exploration of the materiality of informational systems. It draws upon reflexivity in Flusser’s formulation of the apparatus, in cybernetics, and in Foucault’s Nietzschean theories of knowledge.

Camera (PDF 299.96 KB)

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