"Design, Machine, Technology, Ars and Art" – Vilém Flusser’s Philosophy of Design (Seminar)

Dr. Anita Jóri
“Design, Machine, Technology, Ars and Art” – Vilém Flusser’s Philosophy of Design

Seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Wednesday, 10-14 h, 7 dates: 25.4., 9.5., 23.5., 6.6., 20.6., 4.7., 18.7.2018, Grunewaldstr. 2-5, room 208 (Vilém-Flusser-Archiv)

The Czech philosopher Vilém Flusser (1920-1991) is well known for his media theoretical concepts, but less known for his thoughts on design. For him, everyday objects around us determine our world and the way we live in it; therefore, these existential effects have to be considered in the design process.

On the one hand, the participants of the seminar will examine why Flusser thinks that “everything depends on design” and design is “the basis of all culture” (Flusser, About the Word Design). On the other hand, they will also learn about Flusser's critical thoughts on the subject. For example, he raises awareness about the crisis of moral responsibility that occurs during design processes: What if a group of anonymous designers produce a “post-industrial helicopter-pilot complex” (Flusser, The Ethics of Industrial Design?) in order to allow the pilot to shoot his target simply by blinking? Who is responsible for taking a life? The designer, the industry, the system, or the interwoven network of these relationships? Where is then the “creativity” in this process? Such Flusserian questions are again relevant in the era of drone warfare. Moreover, we will also take a closer look at the relevance of Flusser's theories in design fiction as a speculative approach towards knowledge generation. The participants are asked to read different texts for each seminar session and to hold presentations.

Leistungsanforderungen für den unbenoteten Studium-Generale-Schein: regular and active attendance, the participants are asked to read different texts for each seminar session and to hold presentations.

Focus: Orientieren, Lesen

Anita Jóri is a research assistant at the Vilém Flusser Archive, Berlin University of the Arts (since October 1, 2016). In 2010 she finished her master studies in history, pedagogy and applied linguistics at Eötvös Loránd University (Budapest, HU). In 2017, she finished her PhD thesis “The discourse community of electronic dance music”. During her studies she received different scholarships in Prague, Vilnius, and Berlin. Earlier as a research assistant at the University of Pécs (HU) and Macromedia University of Applied Sciences (Berlin), Anita Jóri took part in different research projects. Moreover, she was a lecturer in media studies (2013–16) of the study programme “Communication in Social and Economic Contexts” at the Berlin University of the Arts. She gained her first work experience at the Vilém Flusser Archive as a scholarship holder of “Erasmus+” (2011/2012), later as a project coordinator of the "Vilém Flusser Residency Program for Artistic Research" in cooperation with "transmediale“, festival for art and digital culture (Berlin). As a linguist, she is interested in Flusser’s early works on language and language philosophy, in particular his structural (intercultural) analysis of languages and language families.