In Vilém Flusser’s work, the wind stands for an innovative, destabilizing principle that ruffles life and mixes it up. The wind is like the desert and the cloud, to which it is related in many ways, a metaphor of the general Bodenlosigkeit [no firm ground] of our present existence. The communication revolution has turned us into nomads. Not only are nation-states crumbling, our four walls are also revealing cracks and holes. Reality and our ego have dissolved into patches of fog floating in the void. For nomads the wind is what the ground is for the sedentary. The settled feel harassed and threatened by the wind. The wind is uncomfortable for them because they cannot catch it; they can perceive it but not understand it. The wind, like clouds, has something ghostly about it. It granulates, crumbles, scatters, and builds up again. It stands for a newly emerging universe, for a nebulous world composed of dots, one that has fundamentally shaken our faith in the solidity of things.
The sedentary creep into their four walls to hide from the wind. Nomads, by contrast, live their lives in the wind. The roaming life path of nomads through desert and steppe is related to the cloud and to the wind. The blowing of the wind and the storm of the media have riddled the walls and roofs of our houses with holes. The intact, stable house in which we, over many generations, have grown accustomed to living has become a ruin due to the communication revolution and its many cables, and the wind of communication blows through it incessantly. New forms of housing are necessary: Whereas the roof of a house is destroyed by wind, the tent blows in the wind like a sail and flies away. The roofs of tents flutter, waving in an undefined zone between immanence and transcendence.
The new wind that has risen up around us like a hurricane has also risen up powerfully inside us – so much so that we experience it as a principle of the world and of our life. The wind has yet another dimension. It is a creative, immaterial principle that runs through all of reality and animates it, the breath of God: pneuma, spiritus, ruach. The Hebrew word ruach means “wind” or “breath.” Translated into the present, it would mean software and immaterial culture.