Ontogenese wiederholt Phylogenese / Ontogenesis repeats Phylogenesis
“Ontogenesis repeats Phylogenesis” is the first introductory text of Flusser’s last book Menschwerdung (Becoming human) that was not completed because of Flusser’s sudden death in 1991. It was published in 1994 by Stefan Bollmann and Edith Flusser with the collaboration of Klaus Sander in Vom Subjekt zum Projekt /Menschwerdung (From Subject to Project / Becoming Human). Two other unpublished texts from this book project were already published in Flusser Studies 12 (“Pünktlich” and “Was man wollen kann”). In “Ontogenesis repeats Phylogenesis”, Flusser compares the development of the individual to that of the species, presenting his book project as a summa of his whole thinking. It is a text written in maturity, at the end of the second millennium after Christ’s death. Flusser describes himself ironically as the last Mohican who by writing his personal history, is also writing the history of the Mohican tribe, the Jews of Prague, most of whom were annihilated in the Holocaust.
Prognostik über Generalismus: Dingdenken. Dynamik und Wortort in Flussers Jetzt(2010er Jahre)antizipation(1980er Jahre)
This paper presents a reading of Flusser’s From Subject to Project, highlighting three specific aspects: the time-horizon, the immediateness of Flusser’s use of word meanings and the dynamics of moving concepts. Flusser connects the distant past with human characteristics in modern times. He focuses on becoming human and the changes this involves. Human characteristics emerge in this broader horizon and are expressed by a series of specific words. An example: the hand in German, die Hand, is linked to concepts like hand-eln, to act, and die Handlung, the action.