Intersubjectivity: media metaphors, play & provocation

6th international Vilém Flusser symposium
& event series

march 15-19 1997 budapest hungary

Thomas Knöfel

Born 1958 in East Berlin.
1974 escaped from the German Democratic Republic and took asylum in West Berlin.
Studied Medicine and worked as a physician. Studied Philosophy and Art History.
Lives and works as a freelance author in Karlsruhe.
Has published numerous essays on Vilém Flusser.

"We are such stuff as dreams are made on..."
The term "virtuality" in the writings of Jean Baudrillard and Vilém Flusser
lecture for the Symposium - abstract

Centered around the term "virtuality" and its various usages, this essay would like to elucidate the theoretical approaches of two so-called "postmodern" philosophers: Jean Baudrillard and Vilém Flusser. Proceeding from Baudrillard’s Perfect Crime, the "assassination of reality and the destruction of illusion," this reality is questioned once more.
If Flusser understands reality as a special case of the virtual – all reality is virtual – and as new, as yet unrealised worlds arise from virtuality, then the real disappears in Baudrillard’s scenario of the virtual and simulacra, owing to the exaggeration of itself, and to the perfection of its reproduction – and with it, any sort of illusion.
While Baudrillard points to the perpetually eluding, the absent, the other, the emptiness behind the fullness of creation in the face of such a disenchanted world that has become indifferent, Flusser concurs with the phenomenological method (of Husserl), and is, in this sense, strictly anti-metaphysical: Just as I can never intentionally have the consciousness of "nothingness," the "totally different" is also consciously constituted.
That one cannot accept given existence and also given reality, however, is beyond doubt, for both of them.

Intersubjectivity: media metaphors, play & provocation
Advisory Committee:
László Beke, director, Műcsarnok;
Wolfgang Meissner, director, Goethe-Institut Budapest;
Matthias Müller-Wieferig, Goethe-Institut Budapest;
Miklós Peternák, chair of the board, C3;
Zoltán Sebôk, theoretician; J.A.Tillmann, theoretician;
Organizers:Suzanne Mészöly, programdirector C3
Ágnes Veronika Kovács , program coordinator C3
Adele Eisenstein, program coordinator C3

See the Goethe-Insitute Budapest website on the Flusser Symposium:

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