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From God’s Death and Nothingness to the Re-Creation of the World: Vilém Flusser’s Intertextual Games

The essay deals with several motifs of Vilém Flusser’s philosophy focusing on the notion of nothingness – ontological horizon, conversation and establishment of being. The essay attempts to reconstruct the fundamentals of Flusser’s theory of being, based on an analysis of his fragmentary statements, which form a coherent whole grounded in a utopian vision of information society influenced by Aristotle, Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Ingarden, Sartre and Levinas. Flusser’s writings are intertexts full of more or less concealed allusions, transformations, and polemics, as well as of congenial convergences with texts and ideas of other authors.

Re-Creation of the World (PDF 272.78 KB)

Postmodern Nomadism and the Beginnings of a Global Village

This paper comments on Vilém Flusser’s essay on new nomadism as an epochal change. The author takes a slightly critical viewpoint of Flusser’s definition of nomadism as a practice of archaic as well as of mediacentred life nowadays and discusses the rather traditional sedentary form Flusser adopts for his composition. The author bases his critique upon questions such as: is it really the Information Revolution and not the Industrial Revolution that leads to the end of the Neolithic Age? Is it only a virtual nomadism that came about in 1990 or does the epochal change concern also physical “nomadic” movement? In discussing Flusser’s essay the author points out the differences of meaning evident in Flusser’s original German text and the English translation. This leads to different possible interpretations of Flussers essay. The author closes by discussing the concepts of the idiot and the nomad. He clarifies how these concepts are relevant in a post-modern society and presents the possibility that the wisdom of idiocy is a survival strategy.

Postmodern Nomadism (PDF 198.33 KB)

Die zweite Unschuld: Heilsgeschichtliche und eschatologische Perspektiven im Werk Vilém Flussers und Marshall McLuhans

This paper deals with the possible relevance of eschatological and messianic perspectives in Vilém Flusser’s and Marshall McLuhan’s media theories. Both authors postulate a first stage from which media evolution sets out and a last stage to be reached with the development of new media such as television, film, and photography. McLuhan describes the global village as the result of a process of totalizing re-tribalization: it returns us to a ‘second orality’ under the auspices of the integrating forces of tactility. Flusser, on the other hand, conceives of the telematic society of the future as an attempt at synthesizing Jewish and Greek traditions: it reaches back to a previous unity by moving beyond it.

Zweite Unschuld (PDF 428.33 KB)

Vilém Flusser e a Terceira Catástrofe do Homem ou as Dores do Espaço, a Fotografia e o Vento

Vilém Flusser’s contribution to modern Media Theory might have found a possible synthesis in his text “Nomadic Reflections” presented in one of the ‘Kornhaus-Seminare’ organized by Harry Pross, on the subject of Euronomadism. Flusser presents a division of the history of humankind into three great catastrophes: humanization, civilization and a third catastrophe, still nameless. This last one that is occurring now will turn humankind back to nomadism. Wind, the desert, granules and emptiness become again decisive categories for the communicative behavior of humankind, already perceivable through photography and technical images. Things and their materiality lose in value, non-things and their immateriality gain in value.

A Terceira Catástrofe (PDF 122.39 KB)

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