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Posted in games

Flusser, “Games”

In this essay, Flusser compresses into very few pages his broad concept of games, encompassing almost any kind of exchange between human beings that involves conventions, rules, and a reason to engage, that is, a…

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Posted in Apparatus functionary

I am a functionary

I am a functionary.  The phrase sounds like an admission or confession.   But Flusser’s writing keeps drawing us – or at least me – back in, rewarding repeated readings, never feeling “finished” because both writer and…

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Posted in Apparatus Flusser photography

Automated Memory

“Apparatus” is Flusser’s unavoidably cumbersome term for the mesh between humans and devices, an interface so familiar we rarely notice. When the enmeshed devices also mesh with one other, the resulting structures shape — channel…

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Posted in family history writing

Educated

I finished reading Educated yesterday, Tara Westover’s memoir of her survivalist Mormon upbringing and subsequent separation from it. By her account, the separation was achieved by means of formal education.  Only once in the book does…

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Posted in games play

Play and Games

In German, the two words are the same, or at least have the same root. “Spiel” is a game, and “spielen” is the verb — roughly “to spiel.” They’re two different words in English, “game”…

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Posted in Bateson language play

This is Play

This is the title of an article (Stephen Nachmanovitch, New Literary History, Vol. 40, No. 1, Winter, 2009), pp. 1-24.) about play in general, but specifically about Gregory Bateson’s theoretical approach to it – involving studies…

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Posted in family language

Cultural Minimum

There are many thoughtful and suggestive definitions of “culture,” but I can’t remember any thoughts about the minimum. What is necessary and/or sufficient about a given set of circumstances for it to be rightly called…

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Posted in family history language writing

Family Lexicon

Before I learned of Ginzburg’s book, I used the phrase “family lexicon”(incorrectly, I think in retrospect) as the domain name for a website of family photographs. The project crashed and burned for the best of…

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Posted in Flusser habit writing

The Rhythm of Writing

“His [Flusser’s] writing method evolved in the era of the portable manual typewriter, and he never changed it thereafter, despite the explosion of information technology through which he was to live and about which he…

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Posted in Flusser on Photography phenomenology photography

Flusser on Photography

This essay, “Out of Language: Photography as Translation” has been accepted for publication in the Routledge Companion to Photography Theory, only it isn’t clear when the volume will be in print. One of the editors thought it would be OK to share it…

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