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Allegories and metaphors of animality run through Vilém Flusser’s entire oeuvre. He uses them in a dual perspective: On the one hand, they decentralize human beings from the ontological hierarchy which makes them the center of the universe, and on the other hand, they represent the possibility of a dialogue with radically different entities that enables human beings to reinvent themselves constantly. For example, Flusser uses an interesting set of poetic images to describe what he understands by contrasting the technological models of bundling and of networking. In other words, mass communication and digital communication in the telematic society. Many of the images used by Flusser are biological in nature, such as the worm: “I imagine the masses as a giant worm.” (Kommunikologie weiter denken, 2009, p. 195; translated from the German).

The worm processes information which passes through its body and is then excreted. These excretions can, however, be consumed again for the masses do not remember what they have already assimilated (ibid.). Thus the main problem is that the masses do not really process information – which would indeed be impossible in a post-historical era. As Flusser expressed it in a pun: “Where there is no layering [Schichtung] – that is to say, no history [Geschichte] – there can be no processing either.” (ibid., p. 196; translated from the German).

Original article by Erick Felinto in Flusseriana

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worm.txt · Last modified: 2023/03/12 19:44 by steffi_winkler