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Provocar uma falha no aparelho: arte e contraideologia / Inducing a failure in the apparatus: art and counter-ideology

This paper discusses media art in which the interrupted functioning of devices and systems serve as metaphors. It focuses on short-circuits between the apparatus as a machine, as a system and the apparatus as an ideology. In this analysis, we approach the concepts of apparatus and ideology, failure, and counter-ideology in three on-line artworks exhibited on Verter Platform during the years 2020 and 2021: Ok/Cancel, by Elias Maroso; Inundação, by Fran Favero; Padrões Anômalos, by Cesar Baio. With Vilém Flusser's concept of apparatus in mind, we propose that there is a counter-ideological and counter-hegemonic dimension in valuing the inoperative and interrupted in a society that increasingly imposes a logic of efficiency, productivity and consumption. In an ideal functioning, the apparatus (the media, the system) must be as transparent as possible, transmitting in such a way as to allow the subject to concentrate on the information (as when we look at a photo and believe in it as if we were seeing the thing/event itself). If something interrupts this flow, such as noise, technical failure or accident), the subject's attention turns to the medium, the system itself.

Falha (PDF 340.58 KB)
Failure (PDF 319.95 KB)

The (a)political dimension of school: Vilém Flusser's project with no purpose for education

Drawing on still unpublished texts by Vilém Flusser found in the Vilém Flusser São Paulo Archive, this essay explores the crisis in education described in those texts, and a possible way of resolving it. Underpinning the discussion is the understanding politics the informs these and other selected passages in Flusser's work, calling attention to an aspect of his thought little explored in research about Flusser to date. The essay argues that politics is a fundamental notion in Flusser's communicology, and further, that politics can be interpreted as a way of integrating intersubjectivity, that is, integrating positive results of education into a whole capable of using, rather than being used by the apparatus. However, the victory of education in the face of the apparatus’ project would pass through the conquest of apolitics.  Supporting evidence for these notions was sought in letters from Flusser, exchanged, mainly with his Brazilian friend José Bueno.

Vilém Flusser’s Technical Image: Performative Inspirations

This essay explores the relevance of Vilém Flusser’s work for performance studies, a discipline that is based on philosophy of language, anthropology, as well as on the study of theatrical phenomena and everyday practices. Is there a possible kinship between Flusser’s concept of technical image and the broader category of performance?

Performative Inspiration (PDF 236.56 KB)

Das ’Ende der Politik’ in der Kulturphilosophie Vilém Flussers

In my contribution I try to work out the political implications of Flusserian thought. I show first that the beginning of post-history, which Flusser himself does not date precisely, should be determined from a political point of view - Auschwitz. For Flusser, as well as for the political philosopher Hannah Arendt, Auschwitz presented a breach with the Western tradition. But, opposed to Arendt, Flusser states that the breach of tradition in a sense continues, and the renewal of the political space, considered possible by Arendt, becomes increasingly impossible with the impact of the technical pictures. The forecast of the „death of the politics‟ is explained by Flusser with the fact that a specific political difference, namely that of public and private space, has become fragile because of the communication revolution. To preserve the freedom and dignity of the human being in post-history, the lost balance of dialogue and discourse, according to Flusser, has to be restored and an „installation of the apparatus-totalitarianism‟ has to be prevented. Finally, I close with a short reflection about how Flusser‟s theory of the telematic society can be understood as an answer to the menace of the political in modern society, as it was assumed by Arendt in Vita activa.

Ende der Politik (PDF 256.21 KB)