In Search of Images—Visualizing What If?

At the outset of his scenario journey, Vilém Flusser issues a call for action:

Wanted: all those whose imagination enables them to re-code into video images the ideas and concepts presented in this series of scenarios. We invite all who are able to program these images in some way or other to get in touch . . .

YES—please do get in touch! Starting immediately, we invite all interested artists, designers, photographers, videographers, filmmakers, painters, media and comic artists to submit images that “re-code” Flusser’s “ideas and concepts” in any of these scenarios. Dialog with a scenario of your choice, create images that correspond with the scenario’s ideas and embark on what Flusser calls the adventure of the future: “This series, motivated by curiosity, represents an unreasonable endeavor, it is an invitation to an impossible journey.”

Send proposals to You need only include 2–3 sentences or bullet points explaining what idea, concept or scenario you are visualizing, how you wish your image(s) or file(s) to be annotated in the text, and why it’s important. Realizing Flusser’s vision will help to generate knowledge design beyond the linguistic code and possibly move us towards the generation of technical images, another of Flusser’s scenarios of the future. All contributions will be clearly attributed and hosted on the University of Minnesota Press’s Manifold platform.

FlusserVision, a project generated by Greenhouse Studios and integrated with the publication of the book, already initiated some What If? visualizations. Climate change, overpopulation, technology, disastrous politics, nuclear war—these are just some of the themes Flusser imagined and which are captured by the project. But there is also a sense of wonder, playfulness, and mystery. FlusserVision showcases the diverse skill sets and perspectives of its team, ranging from academics to artists and game designers. FlusserVision culminates in a multimedia experience, blending 3D experiences with narrative-driven videos. Now it’s onto the next stage: an interactive, crowdsourced, collaborative reading experience hosted by the University of Minnesota Press on Manifold.