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From Science to Fiction. Considering Vilém Flusser as an Artist

In Flusser’s biography as well as in his writings one can easily detect an alienation from a, let’s say, traditional and conservative dealing with science in general and the academic world in particular: There is a growing rejection of scientific writing and a growing sympathizing with unacademic essayistic writing. One well known climax of this development is his collaboration with Louis Bec creating the „Vampy“ as they called it – the Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, a work that Abraham Moles called philosophy-fiction. Parallel to this, Flusser’s aim is to replace objects in art exhibitions through communicological processes. Now, being an expert in communication, could that mean allready that he is thinking of himself as the artist of the future? Last not but least, he is talking about alternative realities that could arise from „zero dimension“, from the endpoint of his media chronological model, with the help of artists and, on the other hand, he writes in several letters that he wants to translate theory into practice – maybe as one of the artists who are creating these new and unexpected realities?

Vampyroteuthis infernalis. Postscriptum

Vampyroteuthis infernalis is perhaps the most important, certainly the most public, result of Bec’s and Flusser’s collaboration that lasted for more than fifteen years. Bec here presents the starting points of the publication and what the different zoosystemic plates included were supposed to signal. Each one of the abysmal creatures invented by Bec is supposed to mirror a different aspect of Flusser’s thinking.

Postscriptum (PDF 853.8 KB)

Les gestes prolongés. Postface

Bec explores the significance of gestures in Flusser’s work, linking them to Flusser’s writing activity as well as to Flusser himself. Through his gestures, his gesticulating, he moved to move others. The world manifests itself in gestures. New gestures may appear, influencing and changing how we relate to reality. The new gestures of photographing, filming, and videotaping will alter our ways of existence in that they anticipate a new cybernetic form of life.

Les gestes prolongés (PDF 105.36 KB)

3. Vilém Flusser 1920 / 1991

This text tells the story of a long and productive friendship: the first encounters between Flusser and Bec, their ritualized Saturday afternoon conversations, their common interests. It also tells the story of their trip to Prague in 1986. The text ends with a description of Bec’s and Flusser’s most important project – Vampyroteuthis infernalis (1987) – thereby introducing the reader to the following two essays.

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