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The Online/Offline Distinction Will Dissolve

This paper argues that the internet typifies an ongoing restructuring of the social understanding of space and time, with regard to telecommunication, which grounds the offline/online distinction. Bernard Stiegler’s foundational concept of technics (re)frames the humanity-technology relationship as that which constitutes time via externalization of memory. This reframing initiates an investigation into how new age internet technologies recalibrate these spatiotemporal relations. Concepts such as ‘hybrid space’ go to show how space as a physical phenomenon begins to accord to digital programming, as seen with the case of locationally aware cell phones that organize and inform one’s approach to space. In Flusser’s notion of ‘technical image’ the linear historical time is supplanted by circular time. The last part of the paper is dedicated to Romeo Alquati’s notion of ‘valorizing information’ as a measurable economic exchange between human and machine that is objectified in the commodity.

Vilém Flusser et Abraham Moles: le fond et la forme d’une « affinité combative »

The central role that Abraham Moles played in Vilém Flusser's thought during the first years after his return to Europe in 1972 is indisputable. Certain personal coincidences are striking: they were born in the same year 1920, and they died six months apart (respectively in November 1991 and in May 1992). From a theoretical point of view, the affinities between the two friends are also remarkable: if the interest in the phenomenon of cybernetics connected them, it is the aesthetics of communication open to phenomenology that allowed them a fruitful exchange.
But there is a third element, more formal and less known: their paradoxical Jewishness. The reference to the Golem myth, which appears as the background of their cybernetic thoughts, seems to refer to the Judaic substratum that animated their method of study involving heated discussions.
Thus, after some biographical data, these three elements provide the general outline of the article: the cybernetic approach, the phenomenological method, and the Talmudic practice. The goal is to show how the relationship between Vilém Flusser and Abraham Moles shows that, beyond intellectual gestures, in which they sought, in a perpetual effort, to regroup (the law of “elective affinities”), real “combative affinities” remain, resisting the entropy of the world and eternal oblivion.

Moles (PDF 402.8 KB)

Flusser-Quellen. Teil I: Vorwort des Vilém Flusser Archivs, Oktober 2017

Flusser-Quellen (Flusser-Sources) is a comprehensive list of all of Vilém Flusser’s texts published between 1960 and 2002. It includes essays, book chapters, books CDs in seven different languages. It also contains a list of all interviews and videos directly related to his person and his work. Flusser-Quellen was developed by Klaus Sander in collaboration with the Vilém Flusser Archive and Andreas Müller-Pohle’s European Photography. The original plan was to publish this material as a volume of Müller-Pohle’s Editions of Flusser, together with a CD-ROM version. The material can be accessed here: http://s3.amazonaws.com/arena-attachments/1485097/d85714e287d539db39da46f0e5198b20.pdf?1512484296

Vorwort (PDF 316.59 KB)

Flusser, music and me

Flusser (PDF 205.11 KB)

O sete teso / O medo do Demo

O sete teso (M4A 10.59 MB)
O medo do demo (MP3 9.21 MB)

Os Fundamentos Científicos da Comunicação. Uma crítica flusseriana a comunicólogos cearenses e seus desdobramentos

Little is known on Flusser´s activities after his return to Europe from Brazil in 1972 and before the end of the seventies – settling first in Italy, then in France. It is fairly unknown, for instance, that he wrote reviews of Brazilian books about media and communications in order to evaluate and indicate them or not for publication in France. Three of those books are A Comunicação do Grotesco, by Muniz Sodré; Sociedade de massa (Comunicação e Literatura), by Luiz Beltrão; and Fundamentos Científicos da Comunicação, by various authors. Since Flusser hardly makes reference to this activity in his works, those reviews are of special interest because they present him as a connoisseur of communication theory, including cybernetics, in critical dialogue with contemporary Brazilian and international theory. The reviews analyzed here also provide information about the reception and the history of communication sciences in this period.

Fundamentos (PDF 307.67 KB)

Pensamento Poético e Pensamento Calculante: o Dilema da Cibernética e do Humanismo em Vilém Flusser

This paper discusses the complex and contradictory status of cybernetics in Flusser’s thought. These contradictions are, to a large extent, intrinsic to the cybernetic paradigm, as demonstrated by authors such as Katherine Hayles and Céline Lafontaine. The strange combination between the humanistic point of view and cybernetics’ destruction of the humanistic subject, already present in Norbert Wiener, engenders a permanent and creative tension within Flusser’s work. The article argues that it is this creative tension that allows Flusser to establish a dialogue with radically new models of subjectivity, while at the same time remaining faithful to what – according to him – characterizes the apex of human experience: freedom and the willingness to engage in a playful relationship with the surrounding environment.

Pensamento poético (PDF 254.74 KB)

Masks and Dances: Cybernetics and Systems Theory in Relation to Flusser's Concepts of the Subject and Society

This paper undertakes a close reading of Flusser’s tropes of “the mask” and “dances” to compare similarities between Fluss er’s formulation of the self and society and corresponding concepts in contemporary systems theory. Major concepts from cybernetics and systems theory such as feedback mechanisms, system and environment, and reciprocal development are illustrated through p assages from Laszlo, Maturana and Varela, and Luhmann and compared with Flusser, with the aim of demonstrating what is “cybernetic” in Flusser’s thought. Consideration is also given to the relationship between Flusser’s work and that of other contemporary social theorists who adopt systems theoretical approaches, such as Foucault , Deleuze, and Guattari.

Masks and Dances (PDF 144.03 KB)