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.
Reflexion. Henry Lewis: X-Räume / Reflexion. Henry Lewis: X-spaces / Henry Lewis, X-Spaces
In 1990, “European Photography” published a text by Vilém Flusser on the work of the photographer Henry Lewis: „Henry Lewis: X-Spaces (41/11, 1990: 46-47). In this essay, Flusser discusses the impossibility to experience space with the eyes. We can only reach as far as the surface of objects, he writes, but radiography penetrates beyond the surface into space. Flusser contends that Henry Lewis is not interested in finding out what is behind the surface, but in making the experience of space visible. He is making pictures of the third dimension.
Towards no body – traces of Flusser’s psychology
Pivotal in Vilém Flusser’s language philosophy and fundamental for his media theory are his reflections on psychology. Rooted in his first unpublished work Das 20. Jahrhundert [The 20th Century] unfolding in Language and Reality and summarized in The History of the Devil Flusser’s thoughts on psychology meander from his early writings to his late articles. In the two articles “Wahrnehmung” [Perception] (1990) and “Das Universum der Technik als Spiegel und/oder als Verschleierung menschlicher Absicht” [The Universe of Technology as Mirror and/or Concealment of the Intention of Man] (1987), both published in the journal “Praktische Psychologie”, Flusser connects the linguistic ontology of perception to the psychological aspect of (digital) information. In Language and Reality Flusser says: “data are being compiled and compared in order to be computed. We are a generation of accountants who are in the process of becoming a line of computers” (2018:9). Flusser categorizes Western languages as fusional, logically organized and translatable. Through science and philosophy, they have the potential to be transformed into an universal, abstract, artificial language (2018: 37-39). In his article, Eckhard Geitz connects the psychological dots in Flusser’s thinking – from his early philosophical writings to his information philosophy and the call for a new anthropology in his late texts.