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Post-History

2013
Author:

Vilém Flusser
Translated by Rodrigo Maltez Novaes
Distributed for Univocal Publishing

Post-History

Thinking possibilities for freedom in a programmed world

In Post-History, Vilém Flusser asks the essential question: Is there any room left for freedom in a programmed world? Written as a series of lectures to be delivered at universities in Brazil, Israel, and France, this first English translation of Post-History brings to an anglophone readership Flusser’s first critique of apparatus as the aesthetic, ethical, and epistemological model of present times.

Is there any room left for freedom in a programmed world? This is the essential question that Vilém Flusser asks in Post-History. Written as a series of lectures to be delivered at universities in Brazil, Israel, and France, it was subsequently developed as a book and published for the first time in Brazil in 1983. This first English translation of Post-History brings to an anglophone readership Flusser’s first critique of apparatus as the aesthetic, ethical, and epistemological model of present times.

In his main argument, Flusser suggests that our times may be characterized by the term “program,” much in the same way that the seventeenth century is loosely characterized by the term “nature,” the eighteenth by “reason,” and the nineteenth by “progress.” In suggesting this shift in worldview, he then poses a provocative question: If I function within a predictable programmed reality, can I rebel and how can I do it? The answer comes swiftly: Only malfunctioning programs and apparatus allow for freedom.

Throughout the twenty essays of Post-History, Flusser reminds us that any future theory of political resistance must consider this shift in worldview, together with the horrors that Western society has brought into realization because of it. Only then may we start to talk again about freedom.

Post-History

Vilém Flusser (1920–1991) is increasingly recognized as one of the most influential thinkers of digital and global culture.

Rodrigo Maltez Novaes is a translator and research fellow at the Vilém Flusser Archive.

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