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Flusser Studies 34 – November 2022 / Special Issue: Vilém Flusser on Education

Introduction (PDF 121.91 KB)

Para uma escola do futuro / Pour une école du futur /Für eine Schule der Zukunft

Escola (PDF 226.46 KB)
École (PDF 329.79 KB)
Schule (PDF 304.97 KB)

Communicology and Education. Possibilities for intersubjective experiences of knowledge

This paper positions Vilém Flusser’s pedagogical propositions in relation to his concept of communication, which in turn is based on his diagnosis of the ethical, aesthetic, and epistemological transformations currently being imposed on societies. The study starts from Flusser's understanding that cultural models are going through a crisis.  The core of this crisis lies in uncertainty concerning the consolidation of behaviours, experiences, and knowledge, an uncertainty readily observed in educational structures. Education, a subject not often explored in Flusserian thought, is understood here as ideologically planned communication for social functioning. This understanding is defended here as supporting the construction of more conscious and engaged new knowledge under the crisis conditions Flusser described. Because it resists both objectivation and subjectification of thought, intersubjectivity becomes a goal of education, a potential means of  creating dialogic environments.

Flusser's Take on Media Pedagogy

There is no non-medial perception. However, the apparatus producing techno-images tends to make us believe in something like an immediate perception. It suggests that we do not have to learn to decipher the programs behind those images. There is no possible revolution against this mechanism within the world it has created. We need to learn how to analyze these programs and to use them ourselves. Therefore, we need a pedagogy that is also - but not only - media pedagogy and exceeds the conventional realm of media literacy. Can any kind of pedagogy afford to exclude an aspect of the world as central as mediality? Media pedagogy should not be an addition to pedagogy but rather one of its integral parts. It has to teach a critique of images. We have to learn to distrust our own eyes. And we have to realize the slumbering potential for dialogue in the communication structures. We all have to become programmers. Otherwise society will decompose into factions of producers and recipients. And all of this will have to take place in our schools that otherwise will become obsolete and leave our children without the tools of understanding, criticizing and changing the world. Then, democracy would be no longer tenable.

Media Pedagogy (PDF 192.95 KB)

Manipulating a dead world. Vilém Flusser and the clashes with the (concept of) “objectivity”

The purpose of the article is to consider how the objective view, which has guided our way of conceiving and acting in the world for so long, may be related to the sustainability crisis we are currently experiencing. Our intention is to reflect on the importance of the intersubjectivity proposed by Vilém Flusser in the formation of an ecological outlook that favors a way of being in the world that is better able to deal with the impending crisis. As such, the complex thought proposed by Edgar Morin, the education for autonomy defended by Paulo Freire and the archetypal psychology of James Hillman, in line with Flusser's ideas, offer certain opportunities to think about more intersubjective ways of apprehending and orienting ourselves in the world. This discussion intends to contribute to an evaluation of the way we educate our children and our young people and to suggest a more ecological pedagogy, which is essential for humanity to deal with one of the main challenges of our century.

Communication and education for otherness: photographic expeditions as an exercise in the pedagogy of intersubjectivity

The main purpose of this article is to reflect on how Flusser's thought can contribute to the development of communication and education projects in awareness of otherness. As such, it presents relations between the “pedagogy of intersubjectivity,” designated by Flusser in his first articles and classes in Brazil, and an experiment in anthropo-ecological nature and intersubjective construction: the photographic expeditions with the young people of the collective “Nofotofake” in the Heliopolis favela conducted by Roberta Dabdab.

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.

Poetisches Ent-werfen. Vilém Flussers Bildungsbegriff?

This paper examines Vilém Flusser´s work for its an educational view. The untranslatable German term Bildung will be the point of reference for this paper. Following this approach, the question is how humanity can be humanity, how humanity can conserve or transform the idea of humanity in a culture of digitality. In the first chapter, the terms “critique” and “doubt” are discussed since these serve as a basis for Bildung. In the context of Flusser's thought, critique and doubt even serve as the basis of human beings in general. The ability to criticize one´s society is what constitutes a human. The second chapter then introduces Flusser's ideas of project, a matter of “ent‑werfen” – loosely, “pro-jecting” oneself into society. Flusser is following Heidegger's idea of “ent‑werfen,” which is in turn related to the idea of poesis. Poesis as a project will then be discussed as a means human beings have of changing their society. Poesis means to create the world. The conclusion focuses on the German idea of Bildung with a reference to Flusser. It shows the outstanding relevance of his thinking as well as the special relevance of Flussers works for the concept of Bildung.

Poetisches Ent-werfen (PDF 184.89 KB)

How to teach in the media environment: A reading of a Flusser lesser-known text from 1972

This paper outlines some aspects of Flusser’s concept of teaching as shown in some of his texts about education. It focuses mainly on a paper published in 1972 at the Revista Brasileira de Filosofia, titled ‘How to philosophize in mass culture?’. Grounded on a close reading of the paper, it argues that Flusser addresses three aspects of teaching that remain particularly important to contemporary teaching: (1) he sees culture as a living environment, and challenges the division on ‘high culture’, ‘popular’ and ‘mass culture’; (2) in order to be meaningful to students, teaching should treat mass culture seriously, both as reference and object; (3) teachers should not be afraid to include mass culture in their courses, as it is the source of the student’s main cultural codes. These elements are discussed against the social and media background of Flusser’s article.

Media Environment? (PDF 193.16 KB)

A Torá e a Caixa Preta de Flusser

Is the Torah the “black box” of Vilém Flusser's communicology? And what are the implications of this discovery for the pedagogy of the oppressed in the society of the digital spectacle? Is there Enlightenment in the metaverses? Do we program or are we programmed? This text addresses these issues from texts by Flusser published in the collection “Ser Judeu” (Being Jewish), aligning his ideas with those prominent critics of contemporary technological audiovisuality and highlighting the emancipatory pedagogical potential of his thinking.

A Torá e a Caixa Preta (PDF 208.24 KB)

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