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Slouching Towards the Abyss

Design theory is a somewhat new sub-discipline in which Flusser’s legacy remains largely unnoticed or perhaps overlooked. This is especially disappointing since his theoretical musings on design and applied theory are of extreme relevance to design scholars and practitioners alike. Flusser’s ability to perceive theoretical vistas of our material surroundings add an interesting layer to his overall perception of the human condition. What’s more, his tendency to navigate between etymology, socio-cultural aspects and everyday phenomena represents an almost exact definition of contemporary design. In this paper we tackle two major issues. Firstly, Flusser’s ability to cut back and forth between languages as a means to discuss various types of subject-matter, which we term the “linguistic chameleon” ability. Secondly the unique trait of sleep - its inability to “be designed”, leaving each of us to fend for ourselves, navigating the night’s terrors. The two issues are bound together, or perhaps navigated through, in discussion on Hebrew which, despite its frugality, is arguably the most suitable language to tackle the physiological (and psychological) process of sleep.

Abyss (PDF 639.32 KB)

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 I offer two translations of unpublished manuscripts, “La creation scientifique et artistique” (“Scientific and artistic creativity”) and “Wissenschaft, Weisheit (und Judentum)” (“Science, Wisdom (and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.

Philosophy of Science (PDF 363.59 KB)

O misterioso Romy Fink, personagem de “Bodenlos”

Romy Fink (1912-1972) was a lawyer, an art dealer and an English mystic who lived in Brazil. Flusser understood Fink’s life as expressing the moral and existential values of Judaism.

Fink (PDF 410.21 KB)