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Vilém Flusser and His "Languages" – Symposien

Hana Yoo

2020 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of the Czech-Brazilian cultural theorist and philosopher Vilém Flusser (1920–1991). On this occasion, the aim of this two-day conference is to bring emerging and experienced artists and scholars together in order to discuss Flusser’s ideas and concepts on language and his philosophy of language. Flusser is relatively well known for his media theoretical concepts such as the telematic (or network) society or technical images, but less known for his deliberations on the philosophy of language.

Many thinkers also separate two main periods in Flusser’s oeuvre: 1) his early years in Brazil, when he developed his thought on languages; and 2) his later years in Europe, focussing on media and communication theories. Our event sees these phases not as divided stages of Flusser’s work, but instead, as continuous developments and results of his thought as there are important correlations between them. E.g. Flusser’s cybernetic arguments in his famous book Into the Universe of Technical Images (1985) can be traced back to his early work Language and Reality (1963). 
Flusser wrote intensively in four languages: German, Portuguese, English, and French. However, he always rewrote and retranslated his texts from one language into another in order to complete a cultural translation in his own way. His style of writing is considered radically non-academic, essayistic, and artistic. He was a master of short essays that quickly come to the point and sometimes have an unexpected ending. Many scholars see his way of writing and thinking as a specific method of language use (e.g. Guldin 2016, Mozzini 2015) that is often considered as his own artistic practice (Marburger 2016). Therefore, in the title of the conference, we use “languages” to refer to Flusser’s individual way of playing with (and against) the limited tools of languages. 

Therefore, we invited artists and scholars to submit abstracts about their research or artistic work related to the theme of the conference and we selected 20 presentations by artists and scholars from all around the world. 

Moreover, the conference will also include an exhibition.

The full programme will be announced by the end of Februray. 

Locations of the conference: Aula (1st floor) and Vilém Flusser Archive (2nd floor). 

Info

Vilém Flusser Archive
info_ @flusser-archive.org