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While the world used to be seen as an object or a process, the world today is perceived as a eld of relation. Consequently, Vilém Flusser believes society is experienced as a web of relationships. Nevertheless, he maintains that we are actually witnessing a mass-depoliticization rather than seeing the possibilities offered by intersubjective dialogue, altruism, and political responsibility for one another. To explain this surprising contradiction, Flusser claims the problem lies “in the model of field that supports our notion of ‘field’” (Post-History, 2013, p. 152), because in this “dynamic, complex model” (ibid.) relationships ramify through knots of familial and social relationships. Social categories, such as family or people, as knots of relations that form and deform, are experienced as a social game – as a black box with input and output that can be cybernetically manipulated – which has the tendency to disappear entropically.

According to the “eld model” from which the mythical and historical dimensions of society have been removed, the feeling that, increasingly, relationships are becoming looser and looser results in this putative freedom being accompanied by a feeling of loneliness. Thus the small minority that notices that freedom is lacking, replaces the fidelity of the mythical universe with responsible commitment as a ludic strategy. As the eld model is not the only model to capture our being-in-the-world, Flusser describes a further one: he assumes that we are capable of recognizing other possibilities, and of preparing ourselves to grasp the changes within ourselves that happen when we encounter others. Flusser believes that an ars amatoria – subterraneously linked to the ars moriendi – can make us open to those changes brought about by uncommon encounters with others.

Original article by José Eugenio Menezes

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intersubjectivity.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/05 17:47 (external edit)