Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Vilém Flusser

An Introduction

2011
Authors:

Anke Finger, Rainer Guldin, and Gustavo Bernardo

Vilém Flusser

The first introduction to a key thinker in twentieth-century media philosophy and cultural theory

A thorough introduction to Vilém Flusser’s thought, this book reveals his engagement with a wide array of disciplines, from posthuman philosophy, media studies, and history to migrant studies, art, and anthropology. This volume shows how Flusser’s media theory works are just one part of a greater mosaic of writings that bring to the fore cultural and cognitive changes in the twenty-first century.

Flusser is one of our lost gems—the other McLuhan, and dare I say the better. A global citizen writing alternately in German, Portuguese, English, or French, Flusser meditated on words and gestures, translation and doubt, cities and images. He was a master of the essay form. I believe he had the ear of both gods and men. In this important book on Flusser we are introduced for the first time in English to perhaps our greatest media philosopher.

Alexander R. Galloway, New York University

Vilém Flusser (1920–1991) has long been known and celebrated in Europe and Brazil primarily as a media theorist. Only recently have other facets of his accomplishments come to light, clearly establishing Flusser as a key thinker.

An accessible and thorough introduction to Flusser’s thought, this book reveals his engagement with a wide array of disciplines, from communication studies, posthuman philosophy, media studies, and history to art and art history, migrant studies, anthropology, and film studies. The first to connect Flusser’s entire oeuvre, this volume shows how his works on media theory are just one part of a greater mosaic of writings that bring to the fore cultural and cognitive changes concerning all of us in the twenty-first century.

A theorist deeply influenced by his experiences as a privileged citizen of Prague, a Jew pursued by the Nazis, a European emigrant, a Brazilian immigrant, and a survivor keenly interested and invested in history and memory, Vilém Flusser was an outsider in a staunchly hierarchical and disciplined academic world.

Vilém Flusser

Anke Finger is associate professor of German studies and comparative literature at the University of Connecticut.

Rainer Guldin is professor of German language and cultural studies at the Università della Svizzera Italiana, Lugano, Switzerland.

Gustavo Bernardo is professor of literary theory at Rio de Janeiro State University (URJ), Brazil.

Vilém Flusser

Flusser is one of our lost gems—the other McLuhan, and dare I say the better. A global citizen writing alternately in German, Portuguese, English, or French, Flusser meditated on words and gestures, translation and doubt, cities and images. He was a master of the essay form. I believe he had the ear of both gods and men. In this important book on Flusser we are introduced for the first time in English to perhaps our greatest media philosopher.

Alexander R. Galloway, New York University

Flusser is one of the world’s most interesting theorists of communication and culture, yet his work is relatively unknown in the English-speaking world. Anke Finger, Rainer Guldin, and Gustavo Bernardo are the most qualified scholars in the world to provide this contextualizing introduction to the complex array of his work.

Douglas Kellner, UCLA

The series of Flusser volumes...provides an unparalled opportunity to jump into the middle of Flusser’s thought as his assembled essays contemplate the unfolding of codes, programs, and reflections in networks of images moving past the sequential trails of history.

Afterimage

At a time when only the softest sciences lay claim to objectivity, Flusser’s radical espousal of doubt and “groundlessness” opens up novel possibilities for thinking beyond traditional borders. As Gustavo Bernardo has suggested, the blurring of philosophy and fiction is perhaps the greatest achievement of his work.

Design Issues

Vilém Flusser

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction: Vilém Flusser’s Atlases
1. Migration, Nomadism, Networks: A Biography
2. On Doubt: The Web of Language
3. Translation and Multilingual Writing
4. Cultural Studies and Phenomenology
5. Communication and Media Theory
6. Science as Fiction, Fiction as Science
7. On Creativity: Blue Dogs with Red Spots and Dialogic Imagination
Notes
Bibliography of Vilém Flusser’s Major Texts

Vilém Flusser

Editor blog: lcldigitalmedia.wordpress.com

-------

UMP blog - New media and old philosophy: What would Vilém Flusser think about e-books?

In an essay titled “The New Imagination” (1990), Vilém Flusser emphasizes the need for a “critique of image criticism” – and he considered letters to be images as well. He writes: “The linear gesture of writing tears the pixels from the image surface, but it then threads these selected points (bits) torn from the images into lines. This threading phase of the linear gesture negates its critical intention, in that it accepts the linear structure uncritically. … If one wants a radical critique of images, one must analyze them.” Images, he insists, must be calculated and explained, not threaded into linearity.

Read the full article.