Art is the master paradox of the Flusserian pluriverse, appearing here and there under certain conditions, distributed when pinpointable, removed from the world even as it operates at the level of the everyday, volatile yet often achieving concrete form, acheiropoetic yet sometimes automatizable. As such, it is neither a branch of learning per se nor a set of objects of whatever sort, but rather the name given to a range of perpetually morphing methods and models, ratios and calibrations, distinct from, and irreducible to, matters of skill, design, performance, aesthetics, culture, magic, or creativity. Entailing potent combinations of intention, error, and chance, art, above all, accomplishes its work as a mode of antideterminism and means of liberation; first from Nature, that is to say, from biology, whose durability is superior to that of the superbiological; and, second and more importantly, from human designs and programs, which create new possibilities in some domains even as they destroy them in others, catalyzing an explosion of boredom among those whose lives are determined by them.
Art’s true register remains surprise, whether delight or horror, the result of unpredictability if not a radical reversibility allowing for the generation of multidirectional mirror images, at whose interfaces take place information and exchange and thus intersubjectivity. Art attempts to create “models for living in a world where things like Auschwitz and Hiroshima make a mockery of meaning” (On the Importance of Art for Survival, p. 12) even as it is pulled in the direction of brutality and senselessness. It can be said to constitute the site of a fateful battle between fidelity, a form of remaining true to what is real, and novelty, a kind of sexualized futurism. Its crystallized forms point to its origins and are imbued with value. Indeed, art’s capacity to intensify, magnify, and vivify amounts in and of itself to the most valuable attribute of value. As something that can be captured, accumulated, stored, and transmitted, it is a critically important form of memory, perhaps even an antidote to new forms of totalitarianism largely unrecognizable as such.