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Workshop led by Metaflux Lab: Claudia Becker and Rodrigo Maltez Novaes

Flusser image

In Dialogue with the Vilém Flusser Archive, VRC, DJCAD, held at DCA Meeting Room

In Dialogue with the Vilém Flusser Archive

15 and 16 May 2013

Interdisciplinary exchange project between Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (University of Dundee), Stills Gallery Edinburgh and the Vilém Flusser Archive (University of the Arts Berlin).

In his theory, media philosopher Vilém Flusser anticipated the changes in codes and structures of communication through technical ‘apparatuses’ and analysed how they would affect politics and ethics as well as design and aesthetics. In the centre of the project is his notion of the ‘technical image’ elaborated in his ‘philosophy of photography.’ From his claim that the technical image has the ability to compete with language, he derives the theory that thinking becomes pictorial while at the same time human perception undergoes a major shift. Flusser urged that it is vital to engage with the technical image and to formulate a criticism of the apparatus that generates such images in order to be able to understand the implied shifts in perception and thinking.

The project In Dialogue with the Flusser Archive comprises a presentation in Edinburgh and a one-day workshop in Dundee, which take place in the context of two exhibitions:

Migration Stories: Valentina Bonizzi at the National Portrait Gallery of Scotland (23 February to 22 September 2013) and

Second Sight at Stills Gallery (27 April – 21 July 2013), Edinburgh.

The In Dialogue with the Flusser Archive events have been organised by Dr. Cornelia Sollfrank and made possible through funding from the Goethe-Institut Glasgow.

16 May 2013, Thursday, 10.00am

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

Workshop led by Metaflux Lab (Claudia Becker and Rodrigo Maltez Novaes).

Location/// Dundee Contemporary Arts, meeting room.

The workshop will be based on a format developed by the MetafluxLab: The Flusserian Philosophical Flux (FPF). The FPF is a dialogical exploration of contemporary philosophical concepts inspired by the work of Vilém Flusser. After a basic introduction to the thinking of Vilém Flusser, the participants will have the opportunity to read and discuss specific texts by Flusser according to the needs of their own research. A focus will be on Flusser’s most influential concepts, the ‘technical image’ and the ‘apparatus,’ which he developed throughout the 1980s and which form the basis for his communications theory. Readings will include Philosophy of Photography and The Freedom of the Migrant (further suggestions are welcome). One of the primary aims of the FPF is to challenge the traditional knowledge delivery format by exploring modes of joint knowledge production.

Moderated by Dr. Cornelia Sollfrank.

15 May 2013, Wednesday, 6.00pm

Stills Gallery, Scotland’s Centre for Photography, Edinburgh.

Claudia Becker and Rodrigo Maltez Novaes will give an introduction to the thinking of Vilém Flusser and the Vilém Flusser Archive. They will also present the recently published translation of Flusser’s Post-History.

Chaired by Valentina Bonizzi.

Further information: Contact:

Abstract of Post-History:

“Is there any room left for freedom in a programmed world? This is the essential question that Vilém Flusser continually asks in Post-History. Written initially 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, the first English translation of Post-History, finally 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 17th century is loosely characterized by the term ‘nature’, the 18th by ‘reason’ and the 19th 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. Only a malfunctioning functionary can hope for freedom. The essence of freedom is unpredictability. But once co-opted and objectified by apparatus and their programs, all that is left for us is a life of bored contentment within the nauseating paradise of a predictable eternal return of the same.
Throughout the twenty essays of Post-History, Flusser reminds us, in his distinct essayistic style, that any future theory of political resistance must take this shift in worldview into consideration, 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, translated by Rodrigo Maltez Novaes.

Paperback, 170 pages, Letterpress Cover, ISBN 9781937561093

Further information:

Claudia Becker is the scientific supervisor of the Vilém Flusser Archive at the University of Arts Berlin and the Co-editor of the International Flusser Lectures.

Rodrigo Maltez Novaes is a Brazilian/British visual artist, Doctoral candidate at the European Graduate School (EGS) in Saas-Fee and Research Fellow at the Vilém Flusser Archive at University of Arts Berlin.

Valentina Bonizzi is an Italian visual artist and an AHRC PhD candidate at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. Her work explores the transformational experience of displacement, researching European Migration and the role of the technical image.

Dr Cornelia Sollfrank is an artist and researcher lecturing at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. In her interdisciplinary work she explores the changing notion of art under networked conditions.

The events are FREE.

Advance booking is required.

To book a place on the event at Stills Gallery please go to:

For the workshop in Dundee: call 01382-909900 or in person at the DCA reception desk.

Further information:

Funded by the Goethe-Institut Glasgow and Research Committee of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee.