Der mühsame Auftakt einer publizistischen Karriere: Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert. Versuch einer subjektiven Synthese
This text is a part of my dissertation titled “Vilém Flusser in Brasilien. Eine Anthropophagie des Geistes”. It takes up Rainer Guldin’s reflections on Flusser’s Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert. Versuch einer subjektiven Synthese (cf. Flusser Studies, Nr. 20), a Flusser text which must be regarded as the foundation of his thinking and further writing. Flusser’s epochal title points to historicity. However, Flusser does not pursue an objective approach to history. He undertakes an anthropological introspection of the human being, considering its ‘products’, such as culture, language, philosophy, science, and religion. I draw philosophical and historical connections to two existentialist thinkers: Karl Jaspers and Gustavo Corção, both mentioned as ‘authorities’ by Flusser in a letter to Ernesto Grassi. In the last part of my article, I relate Das Zwanzigste Jahrhundert to Flusser’s famous essay on Brazil: Brasilien oder die Suche nach dem neuen Menschen. There, Flusser is not only influenced by Hegel’s dichotomy of history and non-history, but also by notions from both Grassi’s and Keyserling’s Südamerikanische Meditationen. These ‘traditional’ notions are not uncritically adopted but “anthropophagically” converted into new Brazilian ideas.
FlusserBrasil was a virtual space for the preservation and dissemination of Vilém Flusser’s work. Its major goal was to make his texts available and to promote the publication of his work in Brazil and worldwide. The site has been recently discontinued (February 11, 2024).
Flusser Now: Social Media in Brazil, and Philosophy in Detective Mode
This paper reflects upon Flusser’s legacy in light of Brazil’s current social and economic changes. It examines DIY approaches to technology and the role of social media in challenging the racial and economic segregation that exists in that country. It further reflects upon Flusser’s methodology through the “pop philosophy” of Patti Smith and Avitall Ronell. “Objectivity,” and the point of view of the “object,” is further examined through examples in the arts, in the field of anthropology, and in cinema.
Vilém Flusser in Brazil: Media and the New Human
This study focuses on Vilém Flusser’s seminal essay on the diverse aspects that permeate life in Brazil, Fenomenologia do brasileiro: em busca de um novo homem. Despite the fact that it presents a lucid analysis of Brazilian society, the text still has not been as extensively studied as other important works from the philosopher. Through qualitative content analysis, I stress the role attributed by Flusser to the media in the genesis of a new human. Flusser argued that a new form of sociability (the new human) could result from the peculiarities of Brazilian society, such as a synthesis of diverse influences in the creation of original cultural manifestations, and a unique form of mutual responsibility. And he called attention to the predominance of broadcast media as constitutive of public discourse in that country, due to the high level of illiteracy among the general population until recently. I hope this article contributes to the scholarship on Flusser by providing context to the interpretation of an essay that remains up-to-date and useful for reflection on Brazil’s past, present and future.
O misterioso Romy Fink, personagem de “Bodenlos”
Romy Fink (1912-1972) was a lawyer, an art dealer and an English mystic who lived in Brazil. Flusser understood Fink’s life as expressing the moral and existential values of Judaism.
Flusser, music and me
O sete teso / O medo do Demo
Hyperbolische Tropenlandschaft. Brasilienanschichten von Simão Vasconcelos bis Vilém Flusser
The interpretation of Brazil, mainly from authors of the 20th century, like Euclides da Cunha, Claude Levi-Strauss, and Max Bense, reveal not only some common views about tropical landscapes but also the fact that the experience of the tropics seems to generate extreme positions. These descriptions of Brazilian cities and landscapes often (and we recognize this in the work of Vilém Flusser as well), end up in hyperbolical images: the symbolical (language) when confronted with the diabolical (disorder/stammering), tries to overcome the incomprehensible with hyperbolical descriptions.
Vilém Flusser: Brasil y la búsqueda del sujeto-proyecto
Vilém Flusser’s intellectual and academic development took place during thirty one years he lived in Brazil. This period was especially relevant in the consolidation of his philosophical projects. This essay works on the hypothesis that Flusser’s analysis of the human condition in the post-historic, post-human, and post-modern ages, as well as the phenomenological search of what he named the new kind of human being, has its roots in this Brazilian period. One of the most read and analyzed subjects of the last European period of this author – the transformation of the subject into a project – acquires new meanings if it is considered and approached from the internal logic of the philosophical bond between these two stages or periods.
The Phantasm of the German Migrant Or The Invention of Brazil
This paper undertakes a fresh appraisal of German emigration to Brazil as an important but mainly overlooked component of nineteenth-century German identity construction and nationalism. It analyzes Brazil as a controversial political space of national imagination, colonial fantasy, and intercultural translation and evaluates the German emigrant community in Brazil as an invention that is, until today, a depiction heavily loaded with ideological and racial bias. Drawing on Flusser’s thoughts on “Heimat” and migration, this article outlines an intercultural and interdisciplinary approach that takes into consideration inventions in the German-language context and in the Portuguese-language context as well as the dynamics between languages and cultures.