Already from his early writings, Vilém Flusser’s
interest in both theoretical and analytical practices
was apparent. In Da Religiosidade [On Religiousness]
(1967) and Língua e Realidade [Language
and Reality] (1963), as well as in The History of
the Devil (2014; Portuguese original 1965) he addresses
the close connection between practice
and language, between poetry and creation. His
transition from this phenomenological stage to a
greater engagement with phenomena connected
with technology leads him to interrogate the laboratory.
It is no longer language, but images as
technical images which undergo a transformation
within time and space. Flusser’s own synthetic and
erratic writing, seemingly fragmented and without
unity, is “laboratory writing.” In this context, this
expression has a double meaning: experimentation
with writing and the results achieved when moving
from language (as the sense of reality) to technology
(as a code for technical images).
Another level of meaning of the word laboratory for Flusser concerns the transition from the dialectics of the private and the public to instances in which the two categories are mixed. This means that there is no longer public or private space, but only a programmed telematic world. The postindustrial city (or laboratory city) is a “nonplace” of programmed, virtual games. The postindustrial city, or city of artists, will be the laboratory city and the city of experimentation. In this laboratory, Platonism is reversed, because it is no longer the philosophers who experiment, but the artists.
Original article by Victor Silva Echeto and Rodrigo Browne Sartori