Vol. 41 No. 2 (2021): The body and its surplus

Vilém Flusser and the Body as Surplus in the Telematic Society

Marco Menon
Dipartimento di Civiltà e Forme del Sapere, Università di Pisa
Il corpo e la sua eccedenza, the body and its surplus

Published 2021-12-07


  • Vilém Flusser,
  • utopia,
  • human body,
  • telematics,
  • communication,
  • technical images
  • ...More

How to Cite

Menon, M. (2021). Vilém Flusser and the Body as Surplus in the Telematic Society. Teoria. Rivista Di Filosofia, 41(2), 117–136. https://doi.org/10.4454/teoria.v41i2.136


This contribution aims to offer a perspective on the surplus of the body according to Vilém Flusser (1920-1991). It will explore the thesis according to which the bulk of the human body tends to become a surplus within the context of  “postindustrial  culture”  and  its  informational  apparatuses.  This  surplus  presents an ambiguity. On one hand, the human body is conceived as a suffering  and  annoying  surplus  (as  reduced  to  an  anachronistic  appendage  of  the “fingertips-keyboard” telematic interface). On the other hand, the human body  manifests  a  creative  potential  open  to  biotechnological  practices  with  emancipatory ambitions (the body as a field of possibilities to be realized in view of a full devotion to the dialogical life). In both cases, the importance of the bodily dimension of our experience as human beings is reduced, since our existential interests lie in the production of immaterial information