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.
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.
Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, le podcast comme format de recherche-création
For this special issue of Flusser Studies on Vilém Flusser's relations with France, I would like to propose a research-creation format, which is embodied in a podcast that is part of the Bio Is The New Black series. The podcast is a creation based on reading the Vampyroteuthis Infernalis and research conducted at the Vilém Flusser Archive in Berlin under the supervision of Anita Jóri. Bio Is The New Black is a podcast around design, biology and technology that invites artists, designers, philosophers, scientists and engineers to explore the multiple ethical, critical and creative questions that arise with bio-manufacturing technologies.
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?
From Hegel to Zielinski: An Essay on German Media Philosophy
This article discusses an original media philosophy emerging in the German-language since the 1980s. Its relevant contexts described here include phenomenology, social critical theory (the Frankfurt School), and deconstructionism. The starting point of this paper is Hegel’s romantic vision of culture as language, and the area of meanings conveyed by speech and writing, whereas the conclusion is the vision of culture permeated by digital technologies. The so-called “medial turn” is a new opening for philosophical reflection under the aegis of Medienphilosophie. The presentation of its conceptual framework and analytical style is addressed here by the methodological and philosophical devices of Siegfried Zielinski’s media archeology.
Flusser: um pensador visionário
A visionary thinker is one who thinks for the future and, accordingly, is somehow displaced in his/her own time. This article presents some of the reasons that lead us to consider Flusser as a visionary thinker. The influence of his work, especially in Brazil, is emerging with increasing power. This is a reliable indicator of the thesis concerning his ability to anticipate future issues. There are reasons, detectable nowadays, explaining why at the time Flusser wrote, his work was not understood in its full scope. Some of Flusser’s major conceptual concerns will be discussed as previews of the contemporary cultural scenario.
Dialogues Between Flusser and Young Media Artists: A Conversation with Mario Ramiro
This article focuses upon Flusser’s interest in the work of young media artists, largely based on the recollections of Mario Ramiro, a São Paulo artist who holds a master’s degree from the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne. Ramiro talks about how he met Flusser in São Paulo in the late 1970s and was immediately taken by the philosopher’s ideas and style, which for him were that of an artist. He acknowledges Flusser’s influence and support for his career throughout the 1980s.
Interview avec Fred Forest / Entrevista com Fred Forest
This conversation about Vilém Flusser, between new media art critic Annick Bureaud and media artist Fred Forest, took place in Paris on December 22, 2008. Forest is a pioneer of video, media and network art whose actions and interventions establish pauses and disruptions in the usual flow of communication. His works are frequently critical, often humorous and on occasion insolent. Forest also writes and theorizes his own artistic creations besides maintaining a constant dialogue with philosophers and theorists. Flusser was one of those with whom intellectual exchange was always densely rich, productive and collaborative. In this interview, Forest speaks about some of his video projects developed with Flusser, as well as his news media and public interventions in the 1973 São Paulo Bienal, for which Flusser served as curator. Bureaud and Forest’s conversation bring to life the energy and more human, intersubjective exchanges that characterized the Forest-Flusser friendship, and which are seminal to both artistic creation and intellectual thought. Bureaud insightfully points out that unfortunately such vivid encounters are rarely found in scholarly research and in the history of art. In the hands of Forest and Flusser though, often overlooked gestures, shared for instance in a seemingly banal conversation on a summer afternoon or on a subway ride in Paris, become fully meaningful.
Postmodern Nomadism and the Beginnings of a Global Village
This paper comments on Vilém Flusser’s essay on new nomadism as an epochal change. The author takes a slightly critical viewpoint of Flusser’s definition of nomadism as a practice of archaic as well as of mediacentred life nowadays and discusses the rather traditional sedentary form Flusser adopts for his composition. The author bases his critique upon questions such as: is it really the Information Revolution and not the Industrial Revolution that leads to the end of the Neolithic Age? Is it only a virtual nomadism that came about in 1990 or does the epochal change concern also physical “nomadic” movement? In discussing Flusser’s essay the author points out the differences of meaning evident in Flusser’s original German text and the English translation. This leads to different possible interpretations of Flussers essay. The author closes by discussing the concepts of the idiot and the nomad. He clarifies how these concepts are relevant in a post-modern society and presents the possibility that the wisdom of idiocy is a survival strategy.
McLuhan, Flusser, and the Mediatic Approach to Mind
The following text aims at reconstructing and comparing two paramount theories of the mind as historical product of the increasing predominance of media. Marshall McLuhan and Vilém Flusser both develop a theory of media, setting out, however, from very different points of departure. McLuhan tends to stress media in general, whereas Flusser insists on the importance of the predominant codes of communication. In spite of this, their theories show striking similarities. The deeper coincidence between McLuhan and Flusser lies in conceiving of existence and consciousness as formed or determined by the media. Another salient similarity can be detected in the definition of three great ages of human history, brought about by significant transformations in communication.