Entering the Black Box: Flusser and Indian Philosophy
The aim of this paper is to highlight the most important thoughts on Vilém Flusser’s connections to Indian Philosophy. We analyze his works such as The History of the Devil and Vampyroteuthis Infernalis and correspondences with authors such as Dora Ferreira da Silva or Alex Bloch in order to trace back Indian philosophical influences on his writings, with a specific focus on Yoga Philosophy. The topic ebbs and flows in Flusser’s life: at times he praises the Eastern Wisdom, sometimes he opposes it. Therefore, we try to answer the following questions: What was Flusser’s personal approach to Yoga, and how is its influence evidenced in his writings?
Flusser’s Philosophy of Science
Many of Flusser’s books and essays refer to “science”, “epistemology”, and “knowledge”. His ways of conceptualizing these terms, however, remain to be explored in detail. To my knowledge, there is no secondary literature that analyzes “Flusser’s philosophy of science”. In this paper, I begin outlining such a project. I offer two translations of unpublished manuscripts, “La creation scientifique et artistique” (“Scientific and artistic creativity”) and “Wissenschaft, Weisheit (und Judentum)” (“Science, Wisdom (and Jewishness)). Based on an initial and very superficial analysis, I suggest locating Flusser’s concept of science at the center of a triangle of reciprocal relationships between philosophy, art, and religion.
The Dimension of Sound in Flusser
The dimension of sound has long been considered completely missing from Flusser's thought, thus most Flusser research has not dealt with the auditive in his work so far. This article has a two-fold approach to counter this common perception; firstly, by looking at three (German) texts in which Flusser deals with music and sound directly – “Chamber Music”, “The Gesture of Listening To Music” and “Hörigkeit/Hoerapparate”, and secondly by looking at Flusser's key text “Crisis of Linearity” which largely ignores sound. The former tackles these lesser known texts to examine how Flusser actively (though rarely) applied music and sound in his work, whilst the latter uses methods of sound studies to critique the absence of sound in his important media-philosophical thesis. Flusser's writings on music and sound are both striking for the contemporaneity yet problematic for their demoded appearance of concepts such as “pure music”. Insights from contemporary sound studies question the dominance of the visual in Flusser's work and the epistemological consequences this might have.
O vídeo como representação da vida: por prisioneiros do Carandiru
This article is based on the 2006 Masters Thesis by the author, presented to the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais to obtain the Masters Degree in Social Communication. It analyzes the consequences of the production of technical images for the knowledge of daily life, understood as "life-world," a concept developed by Schütz and Luckmann. Although Flusser argues that technical images possess the potential to transform knowledge (epistemology) as well as models of behavior (ethics) and experience (aesthetics) in daily life, technical images are analyzed here from the epistemological point of view. The analysis of spatial, temporal and social arrangements made by Schütz's approach to social science allows the identification of immutable aspects of existence. These aspects are then applied to the life-world construed intersubjectively by the prisoners of the Carandiru’s prison in São Paulo, as well as described in images and utterings made by two prisoners, during one night in a prison cell.