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O inóspito: uma pequena arqueologia do conceito de espaço no pensamentode Vilém Flusser

The article proposes an archeology of the concept of space in Vílem Flusser’s thinking. To do so, it reflects on the inhospitable, which refers to space and spatiality. In its Latin etymology, the word comes from hospitalitas, and carries the meaning “condition of the outlandish”, the traveler, the enemy, the nomad. Thus, we think about the inhospitable as a quality of space that houses the hostile, subjecting us to the condition of foreigners who feel the hostility in the space we inhabit. For Flusser, humanity has gone through three major catastrophes, all related to the concept of space. The first is the hominization, a result of the abandonment of the treetops by an animal that came to terms with the ground, making itself more vulnerable to predators. The second is the civilizing process, which ocurred ten thousand years ago, when nomadic man sits and stays earthbound; space is limited and increasingly filled up with others, the guests, who are at heart, hostile. It is the problem of the other. After those ten thousand years of a sedentary lifestyle, our home became so inhospitable that we went back to being nomads; we are confronted by the inhospitable “within ourselves”, subsequently, inaugurating the third catastrophe.

O inóspito (PDF 178.01 KB)

Die Freiheit des Fremden. Reflexionen zur Halt- und Bodenlosigkeit. Eine Skizze

Flusser’s philosophical autobiography, Bodenlos, reflects upon the existential meanings of being groundless–that is, to have lost everything, materially, spiritually, and conceptually. Bodenlos contrasts with the more theoretical concept of Haltlosigkeit–the human condition of uncertainty–, in which the foreign and the concrete are constitutive of all “groundless” existence. In spite of the more theoretical claim of Haltlosigkeit, the term bodenlos refers to the ambiguity of all situations of a human existence in crisis. Rather than the Heideggarian “heroic” act of deciding and of an autonomous selfdetermination, this Bodenlosigkeit is, moreover, a feeling of lost ground, of being displaced that builds up the concrete, actual, and new situation. This also informs Flusser’s understanding of freedom and liberty, an understanding which is not simply based on autonomous free will and self-awareness or on certain reactive behaviour. Rather, it is – as bodenlos – the in-between both of these existential possibilities and theoretical positions. This is what the independence of the migrant, the liberty of the traveller, the freedom of the foreign itself could mean: the highly precarious movement of the inbetween.  

Freiheit des Fremden (PDF 312.51 KB)

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