A positividade da negação: o exílio de Flusser no Brasil
This text contextualizes Vilém Flusser’s exile in Brazil during the turbulent period of the civil-military uprising of the 1960s, both historiographically and philosophically. It focuses upon the Flusserian network and the discussions of his intellectual constellation. Flusser’s philosophical thoughts are examined through earlier writings including the books History of the Devil and Phenomenology of the Brazilian, in addition to essays published in newspapers, and to his personal correspondence. Interdiscoursive relations are further examined in reference to the writings of Ernesto Grassi and Ernst Jünger. Although Grassi and Jünger arrived in Brazil under different circumstances, they nevertheless introduced concepts that were somehow compatible with Flusser’s narrative of Brazilian history. Special attention is drawn to Flusser’s notion of “progress” and “history” in relation to the Cold War period.
Flusser, music and me
O sete teso / O medo do Demo
“To make music with visionary power”. On the Relationship of Music and Mathematics in Vilém Flusser’s Work
This essay deals with the relationship of mathematics and music in Vilém Flusser’s work, an aspect that has not received the attention it deserves. Related issues are the complex dialectics of sound, number, image and word as well as the relationship of hearing and seeing. The essay focuses on two texts written 22 years apart but closely connected to each other: The History of the Devil (1963) and Into the Universe of Technical Images (1985). This makes it possible to illustrate the inner coherence of the whole oeuvre and the persistence with which Flusser kept returning to the same central issues of his thinking and writing. In the context of the issue discussed here, this leads to an all-encompassing synthesis of several diverging aspects. In the new computerized technical images mathematics and music, the West and the East, art and science merge, the senses and the codes come together, the eye, the ear and the fingertips, the visual, the acoustic and the tactile converge and fuse creating a new unheard of and unseen multilingual, multi-mediatic and multi-discursive unity.
“O Ser que nega”
The article develops the Flusserian metaphor of the mirror as a being who denies, by relating it to the short stories of Machado de Assis and Guimarães Rosa, which have “The Mirror” as their title. The mirror of these three writers, just as their fiction or their philosophical fiction, denies reality to propose an alternative reality. The article also shows how the thinking of Vilém Flusser is connected with the fiction of God built by civilization, with the God of fiction as He appears in literature.
„Mit Schere und Klebstoff“: Überlegungen zur filmischen Techno-Imagination bei Vilém Flusser
This essay explores Flusser’s theoretical texts on the cinema and the concept of cinematic technical imagination. Flusser wrote about the cinema at two specific moments in his career, in the mid 1960ies and the late 1970ies. Altogether, however, this corpus amounts only to a handful of texts, very little indeed if compared to Flusser’s extremely prolific output on the philosophy of photography and the creative works of single photographers. In his analysis Flusser draws a radical distinction between film making and the structure of movie theaters, that is, between production and distribution. The cinema not only is far from having realized all its creative potential as a medium, the very way films are consumed thwarts the revolutionary force hidden within the medium. To really appreciate its force fully one would have to study the cinematic technical imagination and its ability to create a radically new vision of the world.
Fotografieren als phänomenologische Tätigkeit. Zur Husserl-Rezeption bei Flusser
Vilém Flusser not only defines his theoretical work as phenomenology, he considers the act of photography itself a phenomenological act. For this reason this contribution seeks to answer the question how much Flusser’s conception of phenomenology owes to Edmund Husserl and in what ways he has transformed Husserl’s own philosophical tenets. The main idea of this essay is that Flusser has reduced Husserl’s phenomenology to the concept of phenomenography. Nowhere in Flusser, in fact, can we trace any mention of Husserl’s idea of phenomenology as an aprioristic science of essentials. On the basis of this reduced understanding of phenomenology as a cultural science, however, Flusser discovers a remarkable structural affinity between philosophy and photography.
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.
Fred Forest / Media, gestures and society. Dialogues between Vilém Flusser and Fred Forest
Mídia, gestos e sociedade. Diálogos entre Vilém Flusser
The present article proposes a dialogue between Vilém Flusser’s media theory, especially focusing upon his books Filosofia da Caixa Preta (1983) and Les Gestes (1999), and the artistic projects developed by the French multimedia artist Fred Forest. Each in his own way acted towards the creation of a critical and reflective spirit about the world seen as a “black box.”