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Vilém Flusser philosophizes in the space between things and non-things (Dinge und Undinge, 1993). Things teach us about the world we live in and the modus operandi of our living in it. In immaterial post-history, however, things disappear beneath signs, matter disappears beneath forms, bodies disappear beneath dots. The thing-like is banished to the subworld of surfaces. Emancipated from all physical ills (work, instinct), in the fluid new universe that floats above the old distinction between natural and artificial, the thing-like is detectable only as a vestige of a bygone epoch.

Flusser’s universe of dots is a non-thing, yet it is full of things, by which we are still conditioned (bedingt), which form our individual physiocultural environments. But the mode of existence of things, like that of subjects, has changed. Bottles, razors, telephones, pots, levers, wheels, beds, vehicles, and countries have all become undinglich, “unthing-like” or “unreal”; they no longer count as objects, as material resistance, but solely as information. They detach themselves from the old spatial and temporal order: In the form of a mobile and constantly moving fog, they can no longer feasibly shelter and protect us, but they can also no longer constrain us. Because of their fluidity, they stay with us only briefly; we use them up in no time, create them as trash. In this way, things not only lose their objective individuality but also their meaning for us. Trash and dots are the paradigms of the new non-things around which the postindustrial universe revolves. As such, both are without form, function, or value until they are shaped into new meanings.

Original article by Suzana Alpsancar in Flusseriana

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thing.txt · Last modified: 2023/03/12 17:21 by steffi_winkler