A Foray into the Worlds of Imaginary Animals and Humans
This essay places Flusser’s What if? (2022) and his experiments with Louis Bec’s Institut Scientifique de Recherche Paranaturaliste (Scientific Institute of Paranaturalist Research – I.S.R.P.), in conver-sation with Joan Fontcuberta’s Fauna exhibit (1985-89). It understands both Flusser’s and Fontcuberta’s experiments as being line with the modernist obsession with fake sciences, especially the pataphysical work of Alfred Jarry. The essay argues that the strangeness in Flusser’s What if? comes from a particular form of reversing the focus of scientific investigation, forcing readers to look inward to the role of scientific writing, and the scientist, and their role in framing the truths they claim to find.