Les Rendez-vous manqués. Flusser, la France et la photographie
Flusser was based in France for the last sixteen years of his life. He spoke reasonably good French, but he published very little in France, either books or articles, gave few conferences or lectures, and never became part of French intellectual circles. While some of it may be due to his modest knowledge of French and to his living in a small southern village far away from Paris, the main reason is probably that he was an outsider, not a member of academia and not a thinker who could nicely fit in the “French Theory” dogma. Even after his death he did not attract much interest in French intellectual circles until recently. This essay analyzes this “missed encounter” principally from the viewpoint of photography; it notes however that interest in his concepts has been growing in France for several years, goes on to suggest ways to cultivate and extend this trend.
Flusser hören – lesen – studieren. Der "Flusser-Hypertext" – von der Nachgeschichte zur Vorgeschichte
On March 2, 1989, Vilém Flusser gave a lecture at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis. At the time, the Institue was part of the former Research Centre Karlsruhe, located in Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, and today it is part of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology—KIT. The topic of the lecture was “Writing for Publishing” and fitted well into the research project under study at that time: Electronic Publishing. In a subsequent project on Electronic Books, we took this lecture as the basis of a hypertext offering users three modes of getting acquainted with Flusser’s ideas: Listening to his recorded speech, reading the transcript, and studying in detail his arguments by following the links into an extended system of explanations, ordered in three layers “beneath” the text. There is a publication (in German) that describes this hypertext and two other prototypes (Böhle et al. 1997). The author goes back to the old files and tries to unfold the obvious and hidden rational of this prototype. At the end, he dares to dream of a science fiction in which Vilém Flusser is a member of the research project, therefore exploring (and suffering) with colleagues, new writing and reading technologies. What kind of Flusserian philosophy would have emerged then?