Vilém Flusser

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Edith and Vilém Flusser with their sons Victor and Mischa, São Paulo, airport, 1969 or 1970.
Born May 12, 1920(1920-05-12)
Prague, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic)
Died November 27, 1991(1991-11-27) (aged 71)
near Prague, Czechoslovakia

Vilém Flusser (1920–91) was a media philosopher and writer born in Prague. He held Brazilian citizenship and wrote most of his work in German and Brazilian Portuguese.

Flusser's work notably elaborates a theory of communication, theorising the epochal shift from what he termed "linear thinking" (based on writing) toward a new form of multidimensional, visual thinking embodied by digital culture. For him, these new modes and technologies of communication make possible a society (the "telematic" society) in which dialogue between people becomes the supreme value. Flusser draws from Martin Buber, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Thomas Kuhn, among others.

In 1939, Flusser emigrated together with his future wife Edith Barth from Nazi occupied Prague via London to São Paulo (1941). Later they lived in Rio de Janeiro (1950-72), Meran, Italy (1972-75), south of France (1975-81) and Robion, Provence (from 1981). [1]


  • "Television Image and Political Space in the Light of the Romanian Revolution". Lecture, Budapest, 7 April 1990, 24 min.
  • "On technical images, chance, consciousness and the individual". Interview by Miklós Peternák in Munich, 17 October 1991, 38 min.
  • "On religion, memory and synthetic image". Interview by László Beke and Miklós Peternák in Budapest, 7 April 1990, 13 min.
  • "On writing, complexity and the technical revolutions". Interview by Miklós Peternák in Osnabrück, European Media Art Festival, September 1988, 10 min.

From We Shall Survive in the Memories of Others, eds. C3 Budapest and Vilém-Flusser-Archiv Berlin, 2010, 87 min. DVD in 7 languages, video recordings of lectures and interviews from 1988-1991. Full credits.

Archives, Centres



Natural:mente: vários acessos ao significado da natureza, 1979. Download (PT).
Towards A Philosophy of Photography, 1983–. Download (DE, EN, PT, ES, HU, CZ, RU).
Into the Universe of Technical Images, 1985–. Download (HU, CZ, EN).
Bodenlos: Eine philosophische Autobiographie, 1992. Download (DE).
  • Das XX. Jahrhundert. Versuch einer subjektiven Synthese, 1950s, c200 pp. Unpublished. (in German) [2]
  • Língua e realidade, São Paulo: Herder, 1963, 238 pp; São Paulo: Annablume, 2004; 2009, 232 pp. (in Portuguese)
    • Jazyk a skutečnost, trans Karel Palek, Triáda, 2005, 200 pp. Introduction. (in Czech)
  • A história do diabo, São Paulo: Martins, 1965, 216 pp; São Paulo: Annablume, 2010. (in Portuguese)
    • Die Geschichte des Teufels, ed. Andreas Müller-Pohle, Göttingen: European Photography, 1993; 2nd ed., 1996, 200 pp. (in German)
    • Příběh ďábla, trans. Jiří Fiala, Galerie Gema, 1997, 185 pp. (in Czech) [3]
    • The History of the Devil, trans. Rodrigo Maltez Novaes, Univocal, 2014, 220 pp.
  • Da religiosidade: a literatura e o senso de realidade, São Paulo: Conselho estadual de cultura, 1967, 147 pp; São Paulo: Escrituras, 2002. (in Portuguese)
  • La force du quotidien, trans. Jean Mesrie and Barbara Niceall, Paris: Mame, 1973, 146 pp; 1989. Preface by Abraham Moles. (in French). Review.
  • Le monde codifié, Conférence du 3 Mai 1973, Paris: Institut de l'Environment/Centre de Formation Permanente pour les Arts Plastiques, 1974, 48 pp. (in French)
    • O mundo codificado, São Paulo: Cosacnaify, 2007. (in Portuguese)
  • Orthonature/Paranature, Institut Scientifique de recherche paranaturaliste, 1978. (in French)
  • Natural:mente: vários acessos ao significado da natureza, São Paulo: Duas Cidades, 1979, 148 pp; 2011, 164 pp. (in Portuguese)
    • Vogelflüge: Essays zu Natur und Kultur, Munich: Carl Hanser, 2000, 136 pp. (in German)
    • Natural:Mind, trans. Rodrigo Maltez Novaes, Univocal, 2013, 150 pp.
  • Pós-história: vinte istantâneos e um modo de usar, São Paulo: Duas Cidades, 1983, 168 pp. (in Portuguese)
    • Post-History, trans. Rodrigo Maltez Novaes, Univocal, 2011, 170 pp.
  • Für eine Philosophie der Fotografie, European Photography, 1983, 58 pp; 1989; 1997; 2006. (in German)
    • Towards A Philosophy of Photography, ed. Derek Bennett, Göttingen: European Photography, 1984, 62 pp.
    • Filosofia da caixa preta. Ensaios para uma futura filosofia da fotografia, trans. Vilém Flusser, São Paulo: Hucitec, 1985, 92 pp; Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumara, 2002. (in Portuguese)
    • Per una filosofia della fotografia, trans. Chantal Marazia, Torino: Agorà, 1987; Milan: Bruno Mondadori, 2006, 128 pp. (in Italian) Review.
    • For fotografiets filosofi, Horten: Preus Fotomuseum, 1987. (in Norwegian) [4]
    • En filosofi för fotografin, trans. Jan-Erik Lundström, Göteborg: Korpen, 1988, 112 pp. (in Swedish) [5]
    • Hacia una filosofía de la fotografía, trans. Eduardo Molina, 1990. (in Spanish)
    • A fotográfia filozófiája, trans. Panka Veress and István Sebesi, Budapest: Tartóshullám - Belvedere - ELTE BTK, 1990. (in Hungarian)
    • Bir fotoğraf felsefesine doğru, Istanbul: Agac, 1991; Ankara: Med-Campus, 1994; trans. Ihsan Derman, Istanbul: Hayalbaz Kitap, 2009, 97 pp. (in Turkish)
    • 写真の哲学のために : テクノロジーとヴィジュアルカルチャー, trans. Shenzhen Masafumi, Tokyo: Keiso Shobo, 1992; 1999. (in Japanese)
    • Za filosofii fotografie, trans. Božena Koseková and Josef Kosek, 1994; 2nd ed., trans. Božena and Josef Kosek, Prague: Fra, 2013, 104 pp. (in Czech) [6]
    • Taipei: Yuan-Liou, 1994. (in Chinese)
    • Pour une philosophie de la photographie, Paris: Circé, 1996. (in French)
    • Ensaio sobre a fotografia: para uma filosofia da técnica, Lisbon: Relógio d'Água, 1998. (in Portuguese)
    • Thessaloniki: University Studio Press, 1998. (in Greek)
    • Seoul: Communication Books, 1999. (in Korean)
    • Za filozofiju fotografije, trans. Tijana Tubić, Belgrade: Kulturni Centar Beograda, 1999; 2005, 80 pp. (in Serbian)
    • Towards A Philosophy of Photography, trans. Anthony Mathews, London: Reaktion Books, 2000.
    • Una filosofía de la fotografía, Madrid: Síntesis, 2001, 192 pp. (in Spanish) [7]
    • Za edna filosofia na fotografiata, Plovdiv: Horizonti, 2002. (in Bulgarian)
    • Pentru o filosofie a fotografie, Bucharest: Idea Design & Print, 2003. (in Romanian)
    • Za edna filosofia na fotografira, Moscow, 2002. (in Russian)
    • Ku filozofii fotografii, trans. Jacek Maniecki, Katowice: Akademia Sztuk Pieknych w Katowicach, 2004. (in Polish)
    • Filozofija Fotografije, Zagreb: Scarabeus, 2007. (in Croatian)
    • Een filosofie van de fotografie, Utrecht: Uitgeverij Ijzer, 2007. (in Dutch)
    • Za filosofiyu fotografii [За философию фотографии], trans. G. Khaydarova, St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg State University, 2008, 146 pp. (in Russian)
    • K filozofiji fotografije, Ljubljana: ZSKZ, 2010. (in Slovenian)
  • Ins Universum der technischen Bilder, Göttingen: European Photography, 1985; 1992; 1996. (in German)
    • A technikai képek univerzuma felé, trans. József Maleczki, 2001; revised trans. Dalma Török, 2011. (in Hungarian)
    • Do universa technických obrazů, trans. Jiří Fiala, Prague: OSVU, 2002, 162 pp. (in Czech)
    • O universo das imagens tecnicas. Elogio da superficialidade, São Paulo: Annablume, 2010. (in Portuguese)
    • Into the Universe of Technical Images, trans. Nancy Ann Roth, University of Minnesota Press, 2011, 224 pp
    • Hacia el universo de las imagenes technicas, Mexico City: Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 2011. (in Spanish)
  • Die Schrift, Göttingen: Immatrix Publications, 1987, as a book and on 2 floppy disks; repr. as Die Schrift. Hat Schreiben Zukunft?, Göttingen: European Photography, 2002. (in German)
    • Az írás. Van-e jövője az írásnak?, trans. J.A. Tillmann and Lídia Jósvai, Balassi Kiadó - BAE Tartóshullám - Intermedia, 1997. (in Hungarian)
    • Seoul: Imprima Korea Agency, 1998. (in Korean)
    • A Escrita. Ha futuro para a escrita?, São Paulo: Annablume, 2010. (in Portuguese)
    • Does Writing Have a Future?, trans. Nancy Ann Roth, University of Minnesota Press, 2011, 208 pp.
  • with Louis Bec, Vampyroteuthis infernalis. Eine Abhandlung samt Befund des Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste, Göttingen: Immatrix Publications, 1987, 65 pp; Göttingen: European Photography, 2002. (in German)
    • Vampyroteuthis infernalis, São Paulo: Annablume, 2011. (in Portuguese)
    • Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, trans. Rodrigo Maltez Novaes, New York: Atropos, 2011, 160 pp. Foreword by Abraham A. Moles.
    • Vampyroteuthis Infernalis: A Treatise, with a Report by the Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste, University of Minnesota Press, 2012, 112 pp.
  • Krise der Linearität, ed. G.J. Lischka, Bern: Benteli, 1988, 43 pp. (in German). Lecture delivered on 20 March 1988 at Kunstmuseum Bern.
  • Angenommen. Eine Szenenfolge, Göttingen: Immatrix Publications, 1989; Göttingen: European Photography, 2000. (in German)
  • with Jean Baudrillard and Hannes Böhringer, Philosophien der neuen Technologien, Berlin: Merve, 135 pp, 1989. (in German)
  • Bodenlos: Eine philosophische Autobiographie, Bensheim and Düsseldorf: Bollmann, 1992, 295 pp; Frankfurt am Main: Fischer, 1999. (in German)
    • Bezedno: filosofická autobiografie, Prague: Hynek, 1998, 225 pp. (in Czech)
    • Bodenlos: Uma autobiografia filosofica, São Paulo: Annablume, 2010. (in Portuguese)

Collected Writings, Lectures and Interviews

Gesten. Versuch einer Phänomenologie, 1991–. Download (DE, ES).
Dinge und Undinge: phänomenologische Skizzen, 1993–. Download (DE, HU).
Zwiegespräche: Interviews 1967-1991, 1996. Download (DE).
Writings, 2002. Download (EN).
  • Nachgeschichten. Essays, Vorträge, Glossen, ed. Volker Rapsch, Düsseldorf: Bollmann, 1990. (in German)
  • Gesten. Versuch einer Phänomenologie, Bensheim and Düsseldorf: Bollmann, 1991, 274 pp; Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch, 1994, 239 pp.
    • Los gestos. Fenomenología y comunicación, trans. Claudio Gancho, Barcelona: Herder, 1994, 210 pp. (in Spanish)
    • Les gestes, HC, 1999. (in French)
    • three selected texts, trans. Jiří Fiala, in Revolver Revue 56 (2004). (in Czech)
  • Virtuelle Räume: Simultane Welten, ed. Sabine Kraft, Special issue of ARCH+: Zeitschrift für Architektur und Städtebau 111 (1992). (in German) [8]
  • Vilém Flusser: ein Gespräch, ed. Klaus Nüchtern, Göttingen, 1992. (in German)
  • Ende der Geschichte, ende der Stadt?, Vienna: Picus, 1992. (in German)
  • Vom Stand der Dinge. eine kleine Philosophie des Design, ed. Fabian Wurm, Göttingen: Steidl, 1993. (in German)
    • The Shape of Things: A Philosophy of Design, trans. Anthony Mathews, London: Reaktion Books, 1999.
    • Petite philosophie du design, Paris: Circe, 2002. (in French)
    • Filosofía del diseño, trans. Pablo Marinas, Madrid: Síntesis, 2002, 171 pp. (in Spanish) [9]
    • Filosofia del design, Milan: Bruno Mondadori, 2003. (in Italian)
    • Tokyo: Kajima Institute, 2009. (in Japanese)
    • Tvar věcí. Filosofie designu, Prague: Fra, forthcoming. (in Czech)
  • Schriften, eds. Stefan Bollmann and Edith Flusser, Bensheim and Düsseldorf: Bollmann. (in German)
    • Bd 1. Lob der Oberflächlichkeit. Für eine Phänomenologie der Medien, 1993, 335 pp; 1995.
    • Bd 2. Nachgeschichte. Eine korrigierte Geschichtsschreibung, 1993; Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch, 1997, 336 pp.
    • Bd 3. Vom Subjekt zum Projekt. Menschwerdung, 1994, 288 pp; Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch, 1998.
      • サブジェクトからプロジェクトへ, trans. Junichi Murakami, Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1996. (in Japanese)
    • Bd 4. Kommunikologie, 1994; Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch, 1998; 2007. Contents.
      • "Umbruch der menschlichen Beziehungen" (manuscript), 174 pp.
      • テクノコードの誕生, trans. Junichi Murakami, Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press, 1997. (in Japanese)
      • Komunikológia, Bratislava: Mediálny inštitút, 2001. (in Slovak)
    • Bd 5. Brasilien oder die Suche nach dem neuen Menschen. Für eine Phänomenologie der Unterentwicklung, 1994, 336 pp.
  • Dinge und Undinge: phänomenologische Skizzen, Munich and Vienna: Carl Hanser, 1993, 150 pp. (in German)
    • Choses et non-choses: esquisses phenomenologiques, Nimes: Jacqueline Chambon, 1996. (in French)
    • Az ágy, trans. Zoltán Sebők, Budapest: Kijárat Kiadó, 1996. (in Hungarian)
  • Von der Freiheit des Migranten. Einsprüche gegen den Nationalismus, Bensheim: Bollmann, 1994; Berlin: Philo, 2000. (in German)
    • The Freedom of the Migrant: Objections to Nationalism, Springfield: University of Illinois Press, 2003, 136 pp; 2013, 136 pp.
  • Die Revolutionen der Bilder: der Flusser-Reader zu Kommunikation, Medien, und Design, ed. Stefan Bollmann, Mannheim: Bollmann, 1995. (in German)
  • Jude sein. Essays, Briefe, Fiktionen, eds. Stefan Bollmann and Edith Flusser, Mannheim: Bollmann, 1995, 189 pp; new ed., Berlin and Vienna, 2001. (in German)
  • Der Flusser-Reader: Zu Kommunikation, Medien und Design: Die Revolution der Bilder, Mannheim: Bollmann, 1995; 2nd ed., 1996, 236 pp. (in German)
  • Zwiegespräche: Interviews 1967-1991, ed. Klaus Sander, Göttingen: European Photography, 1996, 255 pp. (in German)
  • Moc obrazu: Výbor filosofických textů z 80. a 90. let, trans. Jiří Fiala and Jana Maixnerová, Special Issue of Výtvarné umění 3-4 (1996). (in Czech) [10]
  • Medienkultur, ed. Stefan Bollmann, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Taschenbuch, 2nd ed., 1997, 240 pp; 2008. (in German) [11]
  • Standpunkte. Texte zur Fotografie, ed. Andreas Müller-Pohle, Göttingen: European Photography, 1998, 255 pp. (in German)
  • Fenomenologia do Brasileiro. Em Busca de um Novo Homem, ed. Gustavo Bernardo, Rio de Janeiro: Eduerj, 1998. (in Portuguese)
  • Ficções filosóficas, eds. Milton Vargas and Maria Lília Leão, São Paulo: EDUSP, 1998. (in Portuguese)
  • Von der Freiheit des Migranten. Einsprüche Gegen den Nationalismus, Berlin and Vienna, 2000. (in German)
  • A dúvida, ed. Dilmo Milheiros, Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumará, 1999; São Paulo: Annablume, 2011, 122 pp. (in Portuguese)
  • Briefe an Alex Bloch, eds. Edith Flusser and Klaus Sander, Göttingen: European Photography, 2000. (in German)
  • Writings, trans. Erik Eisel, ed. Andreas Ströhl, University of Minnesota Press, 2002, 229 pp.
  • Flusser’s View on Art: MECAD Online Seminar, Barcelona: MECAD, 2004.
  • La cultura dei media, ed. Andrea Borsari, Milan: Bruno Mondadori, 2004. (in Italian)
  • Vom Zweifel, Göttingen: European Photography, 2006. (in German)
  • O mundo codificado. Por uma filosofia do design e da comunicação, trans. Raquel Abi-Sâmara, São Paulo: Cosacnaify, 2007, 224 pp; 2nd ed., 2010. (in Portuguese)
  • Kommunikologie weiter denken - Vilém Flussers Bochumer Vorlesungen, eds. Silvia M. Wagnermaier and Siegfried Zielinski, Frankfurt am Main, 2009, 320 pp. (in German) [12]

Book chapters, Papers, Articles (selection)

  • "Filosofia da linguagem", Ita-Humanidades 2 (1966), pp 133-210. (in Portuguese)
  • "Auf der Suche nach Bedeutung", trans. Edith Flusser with Vera Schwamborn, Tendenzen der aktuellen Philosophie in Brasilien in Selbstbildnissen 27 (1975), São Paulo: Loyola. (in German). Autobiographical essay, written in English and Portuguese in October-November 1969 in São Paulo. See also Bodenlos, 1999.
    • "Em busca do significado", in Stanislaus Ladusãns, Rumos da filosofia atual no Brasil em auto-retratos, São Paulo: Loyola, 1976, pp 493-506. (in Portuguese)
    • "In Search of Meaning (Philosophical Self-portrait)", in Writings, 2002, pp 197-208.
  • "The Photograph as Post-Industrial Object: An Essay on the Ontological Standing of Photographs", Leonardo 19:4 (1986), pp 329-332.
  • "Fernsehbild und politische Sphäre im Lichte der rumänischen Revolution", trans. Almuth Carstens, in Von der Bürokratie zur Telekratie. Rumänien im Fernsehen, ed. Peter Weibel, Berlin: Merve Verlag, 1990, pp 103-114. (in German)
  • "On Memory (Electronic or Otherwise)", Leonardo 23:4 (1990), pp 397-399. Adapted from a presentation at Ars Electronica, 14 September 1988.
  • "Die Stadt als Wellental in der Bilderflut", in Nachgeschichten, 1990. Written in 1988. Repr. in Arch+ 111 (March 1992), pp 58-63 [13]; Die Revolutionen der Bilder, 1995; Medienkultur, 1997, pp 178-179.
  • "Projektion statt Linearität", in Strategien des Scheins. Kunst Computer Medien, eds. Florian Rötzer and Peter Weibel, Munich, 1991, pp 93-95. (in German)
  • "Räume", in außen räume innen räume. Der Wandel des Raumbegriffs im Zeitalter der elektronischen Medien, ed. Heidemarie Seblatnig, Vienna: Universitäts Verlag, 1991, pp 75-83; repr. in Raumtheorie. Grundlagentexte aus Philosophie und Kulturwissenschaften, eds. Jörg Dünne and Stephan Günzel, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2006, pp 274-285. (in German)

Audio and Video Documentation

  • Schlagworte—Schlagbilder. Ein Gespräch mit Vilém Flusser, Cologne: WDR, 1986, 13 min. Video documentation by Harun Farocki.
  • Die Informationsgesellschaft: Phantom oder Realität?, eds. Thomas Knöfel and Klaus Sander, Cologne: supposé, 1991, 45 min. An audio CD documentation of Flusser’s lecture at the conference CULTEC–Culture and Technology in the Twenty-first Century in Essen on 23 November.
  • Vilém Flussers Fluß, Cologne: 235 Media, 1994, 45 min. A video documentation shot in August 1991 by Michael Bielicky.
  • Heimat und Heimatlosigkeit, Cologne: supposé, 1999. Audio CD.
  • We Shall Survive in the Memories of Others, eds. C3 Budapest and Vilém-Flusser-Archiv Berlin, 2010, 87 min. DVD in 7 languages, video recordings of lectures and interviews from 1988-1991, with a booklet in English. Watch online (all four videos). Contents.

On Flusser

Monographs, Edited books
  • Volker Rapsch (ed.), überflusser: Die Fest-schrift zum 70. von Vilém Flusser, Düsseldorf: Bollmann, 1990. (in German)
  • Elizabeth Neswald, Medien-Theologie: Das Werk Vilém Flussers, Cologne, Weimar, and Vienna: Böhlau, 1998. (in German)
  • International Flusser Lectures, eds. Vilém Flusser Archiv at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and UdK Berlin, Cologne: Walther König, 1999-. (in German)
    • Dietmar Kamper, First International Flusser Lecture. Körper-Abstraktionen. Das anthropologische Viereck von Raum, Fläche, Linie und Punkt, 2000.
    • Timothy Druckrey, Second International Flusser Lecture. Medien, Gedächtnis, Moderne, 2001.
  • Gustavo Bernardo Krause, Ricardo Mendes (eds.), Vilém Flusser no Brasil, Rio de Janeiro: Relume Dumará, 2000. (in Portuguese)
  • Gottfried Jäger (ed.), Fotografie denken. Über Vilém Flussers Philosophie der Medienmoderne, Bielefeld: Kerber, 2001. (in German)
  • Ricardo Mendes, Vilém Flusser: uma história do diabo, São Paulo: Edusp, 2001. (in Portuguese)
  • Nils Röller, Silvia Wagnermaier (eds.), absolute Vilém Flusser, Freiburg, 2003. (in German)
  • Rainer Guldin, Philosophieren zwischen den Sprachen: Vilém Flussers Werk, Munich: Wilhelm Fink, 2005, 386 pp. (in German) [14]
  • Thomas Karlsohn, Passage mellan medier: Vilém Flusser, datorn och skriften, Göteborg: Folkuniversitetets Akademiska Press, 2006, 426 pp. (in Swedish) [15] Review, Review.
  • Gustavo Bernardo, Anke Finger, Rainer Guldin, Vilém Flusser: uma introdução, São Paulo, Brazil: Annablume, 2008, 151 pp. (in Portuguese)
  • Oliver Fahle, Michael Hanke, Andreas Zimmermann (eds.), Technobilder und Kommunikologie. Die Medientheorie Vilém Flussers, Berlin, 2009. (in German)
  • Eva Batlickova, A época brasileira de Vilém Flusser, São Paulo: Annablume, 2010. (in Portuguese)
  • Marcel René Marburger, Flusser und die Kunst, Cologne, 2011. (in German)
  • More.


Conferences with/on Flusser

See also

External links