Archive for the ‘Vilém Flusser’ Category

Vilém Flusser, Gestures, trans. by Nancy Ann Roth (London: University of Minnesota Press, 2014) ‘Towards a General Theory of Gestures’ pp.161-176 p.162 Gesture can be seen as a kind of movement. What separates gestures defined in this way from other movements is their epistemological overdetermination. When I lift my arm, I can explain the movement […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘Exile and Creativity’ Writings translated by Andreas Ströhl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002) 104-109 [1984] p.104 In exile, everything is unusual. Exile is an ocean of chaotic information. In it the lack of redundancy does not allow the flood of information to be received as meaningful messages. Because it is unusual, exile is unlivable. One […]


To Interact

06Mar13

Flusser, Vilém. ‘To Interact’ Into the Universe of Technical Images trans. by Nancy Ann Roth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) pp.51-60 p.51 Technical images are not mirrors but projectors. They draw up plans on deceptive surfaces, and these plans are meant to become life plans for their recipients. No longer people but rather technical images lie […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘The Codified World’ Writings translated by Andreas Ströhl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002) 35-41 [originally published in 1978] p.35 If we compare our situation with the one that existed before the Second World War, we are impressed by the relative colorlessness of the time before the war. Our environment is filled with color, which, day […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘Photography and History’ Writings translated by Andreas Ströhl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002) 126-131 [originally published in 1989] p.126 We should differentiate between prehistoric, historical, and posthistorical images, and we should consider the photograph to be the first posthistorical image. Prehistoric images are those that were produced before the invention of linear writing. Historical images […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘Line and Surface’ Writings translated by Andreas Ströhl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002) 21-34 [originally published in 1973] p.21 Surfaces are becoming ever more important in our surroundings. For instance, TV screens, posters, the pages of illustrated magazines. Photographs, paintings, carpets, vitreaux, cave paintings surrounded men in the past, but these surfaces did not offer themselves […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘The Future of Writing’ Writings translated by Andreas Ströhl (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002) 63-69 [originally written, 1983-4] p.63 Writing is an important gesture, because it both articulates and produces that state of mind which is called “historical consciousness.” History began with the invention of writing,not for the banal reason often advanced that written texts […]


Poetry

15Dec12

Flusser, Vilem. ‘Poetry’ Does Writing have a Future? translated by Nancy Ann Roth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2011) 71-75 p.71 A distinction is traditionally made between poetry and mimicry (poesis and mimesis). But under the sway of the alphabet, this close connection between thinking and language – poetry – is usually understood as a language game whose […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘Spoken Languages’ Does Writing have a Future? trans. by Nancy Ann Roth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 2011) 63-69 p.63 When programming has set itself free of alphanumeric writing, thought will no longer need to work through a spoken language to become visible. Thought and speech will no longer be fused, as they were […]


Flusser, Vilém. ‘The Gesture of Writing’ 1991 Accessible online here. p.1 To write means, of course, to perform an action by which a material, (for instance chalk, or ink), is put on a surface, (for instance a blackboard or a leaf of paper), to form a specific pattern, (for instance letters). And the tools used […]


Belting, Hans. ‘The Transparency of the Medium’ An Anthropology of Images trans. by Thomas Dunlop (Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2011) 144-168 p.144 The photographic image is usually understood as either an object trouvé. a thing that the camera find in the world, or else as the product of a camera. In other words, a photograph is […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘The Photograph as Post-Industrial Object: An Essay on the Ontological Standing of Photographs’ Leonardo, 19:4, 329-332, 1986 p.329 The Latin term ‘objectum’ and its Greek equivalent ‘problema’ mean ‘thrown against’, which implies that there is something against which the object is thrown: a ‘subject’. As subjects, we face a universe of objects, of problems, […]


To Abstract

06Feb12

Flusser, Vilém. ‘To Abstract’ Into the Universe of Technical Images trans. by Nancy Ann Roth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) 5-10 p.5 Since human beings depend for their lives more on learned and less on genetic information than do other living things, the structure through which information is carried exerts a decisive influence on […]


Warning

06Feb12

Flusser, Vilém. ‘Warning’ Into the Universe of Technical Images trans. by Nancy Ann Roth (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011) 3-4 p.3 Utopia means groundlessness, the absence of a point of reference. We face the immediate future directly, unequivocally, except inasmuch as we cling to those structures generated by utopia itself. That is what has […]


Flusser, Vilém. “The Distribution of Photographs” pp.49-56 in Towards a Philosophy of Photography (London: Reaktion Books, 2005) p.49 Nature as a whole is a system in which information disintegrates progressively according to the second law of thermodynamics. Human beings struggle against this natural entropy not only by receiving information but also storing and passing it on – […]


The photograph

25Oct11

Flusser, Vilem. ‘The Photograph’ Towards a Philosophy of Photography (London: Reaktion Books, 2000) 41-48 p.41-42 There cannot be black-and-white states of things in the world because black-and-white cases are borderline, ‘ideal cases’: black is the total absence of all oscillations contained in light, white is the total presence of all the elements of oscillation. p.42 ‘Black’ and […]


Flusser, Vilem. ‘The Gesture of Photography’ Towards a Philosophy of Photography (London: Reaktion Books, 2000) 33-40 p.33 The acts of resistance on the part of culture, the cultural conditionality of things, can be seem in the act of photography, and this can, in theory, be read off from photographs themselves. In theory, cultural conditions seem, […]


Flusser, Vilém. ‘The Technical Image’ Towards a Philosophy of Photography (London: Reaktion Books, 2000) 14-20 p.14 The technical image is an image produced by apparatuses. As apparatuses themselves are the products of applied scientific texts, in the case of technical images one is dealing with the indirect products of scientific texts. This gives them, historically […]


The Image

27Sep11

Flusser, Vilém. “Image” pp.8-13 in Towards a Philosophy of Photography (London: Reaktion Books, 2005) p.8 Images signify – mainly – something ‘out there’ in space and time that they have to make comprehensible to us as abstractions (as reductions of the four dimensions of space and time to the two surface dimensions). This specific ability […]