Posted in aesthetics games play

“What if…?”:

What if we just took the “what if?” state of mind to be playing? I find I really need a definition, and this is both simple and versatile (I can’t be the only one who…

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Posted in aesthetics Flusser rhetoric writing

Reading Flusser

The article “The Protreptic Writer” is now available the special issue of Flusser Studies on the theme Flusser as a writer.  In it,  I try to share my own experience of reading Flusser — an experience of…

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Posted in aesthetics phenomenology translation


It has nothing to do with ostentation and need not be expensive. It has everything to do with inefficiency, wastefulness and impracticality. In this book, Lambert Wiesing sets out to simply describe luxury. Rather than…

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Posted in aesthetics art gesture ritual

Art as Ritual

Flusser felt that the term “art”– in the West — was almost always understood either as “work”–intended to change the world—or as “communication”—intended to share something with another person.  He thought both were wrong. “The…

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Posted in aesthetics


At the September meeting of Telltales (writing group based in Falmouth), I read “Honeywell”, a short piece about the Minneapolis company now gone global.  It was a response to the theme chosen for that session,…

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Posted in aesthetics translation

The Visibility of the Image

I am pleased to be the translator of this, the second edition of Lambert Wiesing’s Die Sichtbarkeit des Bildes.  The book, first published in 1996,  draws on the history of formal aesthetics to present an introduction…

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Posted in aesthetics phenomenology translation


Luxus — Luxury — is the title of Lambert Wiesing’s most recent book, published by Surkamp in August this year.  I’ve translated the introduction, which proposes that that luxury is not a quality inherent in…

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Posted in aesthetics

Photographs and family

Photographs have some effect on “family,” but I seriously doubt whether they actually consolidate or construct it.  The idea comes first, I think, and the photographs shore it up. Whatever elusive idea actually ties any…

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Posted in aesthetics

In Paradiso

Betulanimbusi is one image from the elegant new catalogue of Deborah Baker’s photographs, In Paradiso.  Her exhibition opened in London on Thursday, September 4, at the William Morris Museum.  The catalogue includes my essay, “Is Digital…

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Posted in aesthetics

Is Digital Photography?

Deborah Baker and I once ran the MA Photography course at Falmouth together. It was an occasion to actually talk about photography, and we both valued it. We wondered, for example, whether digital photography, so…

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