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Vilém Flusser, die Dolomiten und das Urvieh oder: Die ästhetische Krankheit Patriotismus

“I had seen photos of Flusser before and imagined him quite differently: much taller and more imposing. But he was short, incredibly agile, with long slim fingers, the whole person was constantly on the move. … He raved about the beauty of Merano … he loved the Italian language and culture and the Tyrolean songs that I sang to him” (Matthias Schönweger). This article by Katharina Hohenstein, which highlights some aspects of Vilém Flusser’s stay in Merano, was published in the fifth issue of the trilingual magazine vissidarte in Merano in December 2009. We thank the publishers for the opportunity to publish it here again (Rainer Guldin).

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)

Kurtis’ “Vandalised“ Photographs: On the Problem of Technical Images in Post-Documentary Photography

Walter Benjamin’s “Work of art in the age of its mechanical reproduction” and Vilém Flusser’s Filosofia da caixa preta have defined photography as a key problem towards developing a philosophy of technology. I’ll discuss their concepts in relation to experimental practices in post-documentary photography which I consider a fertile ground to discuss the similarities and differences underlying different approaches to technology in Flusser and Benjamin.
To contrast Benjamin’s mechanical reproducibility and Vilém Flusser’s technical images, I would like to analyse the processes of regaining an aura by means of a subversion of the photographic technology in contemporary photography. The creative intervention on the photographic camera, the process and results involved in Argentinean photographer Seba Kurtis’ images of contemporary migrants offer an interesting case to discuss these problems.

Kurtis’ Photographs (PDF 505.59 KB)

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.

German Migrant (PDF 153.68 KB)

Die Freiheit des Fremden. Reflexionen zur Halt- und Bodenlosigkeit. Eine Skizze

Flusser’s philosophical autobiography, Bodenlos, reflects upon the existential meanings of being groundless–that is, to have lost everything, materially, spiritually, and conceptually. Bodenlos contrasts with the more theoretical concept of Haltlosigkeit–the human condition of uncertainty–, in which the foreign and the concrete are constitutive of all “groundless” existence. In spite of the more theoretical claim of Haltlosigkeit, the term bodenlos refers to the ambiguity of all situations of a human existence in crisis. Rather than the Heideggarian “heroic” act of deciding and of an autonomous selfdetermination, this Bodenlosigkeit is, moreover, a feeling of lost ground, of being displaced that builds up the concrete, actual, and new situation. This also informs Flusser’s understanding of freedom and liberty, an understanding which is not simply based on autonomous free will and self-awareness or on certain reactive behaviour. Rather, it is – as bodenlos – the in-between both of these existential possibilities and theoretical positions. This is what the independence of the migrant, the liberty of the traveller, the freedom of the foreign itself could mean: the highly precarious movement of the inbetween.  

Freiheit des Fremden (PDF 312.51 KB)

A migração como expansão da realidade e renovação das culturas

The essay is about Vilém Flusser's philosophy of migration and considers the importance of custom, the permanent residence, and the material possessions required for human existence. The different languages, customs, beliefs and geographical regions lead one to understand reality in different ways, all of which influence one's self-expression. In the book, Von der Freiheit des Migranten, Vilém Flusser investigates the phenomenon of migration by way of analyzing applicable philosophical concepts, although he does not ignore some important matters related to politics and the economy.

A migração (PDF 166.81 KB)