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A arte e o vazio da cultura

This essay explores the relation between art and culture by taking into account the profound ambiguity inherent in any artwork. This very ambiguity makes it possible to understand art works as part of a cultural process and as modifiers of this process.

Arte (PDF 194.03 KB)

O belo è elevado, o agradavel é conservador

This essay explores the relation between art and culture by taking into account the profound ambiguity inherent in any artwork. This very ambiguity makes it possible to understand art works as part of a cultural process and as modifiers of this process.

O belo (PDF 193.61 KB)

Golem, Roboter und andere Gebilde. Zu Vilém Flussers Apparatbegriff

This essay attempts a systematic genealogic reconstruction of Flusser’s concept of apparatus from Portuguese texts of the early 1960ies up to the Bochumer Vorlesungen held in the summer of 1991 shortly before Flusser’s death. As with many other instances from Flusser’s work the concept of apparatus is decidedly interdisciplinary in nature, positioning itself on the border of philosophy, sociology, history, literature, the arts, cybernetics and technology. This fundamental ambivalence becomes particularly visible in the use of the German word ‘Apparat’ and its many derivatives, as for instance ‘Verwaltungsapparat’, ‘Fotoapparat’ or ‘Messapparat’, subsuming under the same heading the photographic camera, Kafka’s impenetrable bureaucratic apparatus and the perfectly operating apparatus of Auschwitz. Over the course of many years Flusser combined different textual sources to fashion his view of the apparatus. Many of them stem directly from the history Prague. Apart from Kafka’s novels, Karel Čapeks R.U.R, as well the figure of the Golem as it appears in the legend of Rabbi Löw, would also have to be mentioned. Flusser’s concept of the apparatus is, furthermore, connected to the philosophy of Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger and Giorgio Agamben.

Golem (PDF 389.23 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)

Do Funcionário e de suas implicações

This article deals with job affairs and their socio-historical consequences. We will discuss how workers have been turned into a functionaries after the beginning of post-history by analyzing today’s society from the point of view of the relation between work and functioning. We will also discuss the consequences of the modifications that go with the shift into post-history and their epistemological and socio-cultural implications to provide an analysis of Flusser’s thinking on this matter.

Do Funcionário (PDF 162.09 KB)

One of the most important Brazilian philosophers

This article seeks to introduce Flusser’s Brazilian phase to English-speaking readers. It refers to Abraham Moles, who recognized Vilém Flusser as one of the most important Brazilian philosophers, but it remembers also that probably many Brazilian academic philosophers would not agree with Moles. Flusser’s reception is complicated, for one, because Flusser was a foreigner and outsider-philosopher, and also because, in the sixties, he strongly criticized his Brazilian peers. Vilém Flusser formulated a proposal to confront the apparatus, to confront technicism and to confront Brazilian “developmentism.” His proposal consists of attributing certain values, but via a philosophy ex situ, a philosophy written by an eternal and foreign foreigner.

Brazilian Philosopher (PDF 98.02 KB)

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