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What interests Vilém Flusser particularly about artworks are their communicative qualities, and to a lesser extent their aesthetic ones. His study of art is motivated by what he calls communicology. Artworks are objects informed by artists in order to inform viewers. Artworks are discursive media. Their messages can be received only one-sidedly and are, moreover, difficult to understand. Art is no longer equal to the task of explaining and producing reality. This role has been taken over by the mass media and technologically reproduced cultural goods. For art to become important again, artists will have to occupy both mass media channels of communication and the apparatuses of communication. In order to achieve this, artists must be present and apparent throughout the apparatuses, both large and small. They cannot become functionaries of the apparatuses, but they have to understand how they function and redesign them from the inside out. They should not comply with the programs, they must rewrite the programs; they should not describe the conditions, but change them.

But this alone will not suffice. The world has become too complex for that, and the volume of information too enormous. So artists have to cooperate, not only with one another, but also with people from other professions: philosophers, mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers, and last but not least with Flusser himself, who became increasingly interested in artistic practices and involved in art projects. Organized in dialogic, nonhierarchical collaborations, these interdisciplinary projects and “constellations” produce new and surprising information, and hence represent a counterprogram to the predetermined programs of apparatuses: the artistic position is diametrically opposed to a position rooted in the apparatus. And Flusser was convinced that the primary responsibility of art is to express the essentially human in a world determined by apparatuses.

Original article by Marcel René Marburger in Flusseriana

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artwork.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/05 17:47 by