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 being persuaded, taught, in a…

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Posted in Apparatus Flusser functionary photography

Out of Language: Photographing as Translating

My essay for The Routledge Companion to Photography Theory traces Flusser’s engagement with photography–or more exactly, of his concern with the human-device mesh he called the apparatus.  The idea of photography as an alternative to language seems to have appeared…

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Posted in Flusser Flusser on Photography photography

Photographic Translation

My contribution to the forthcoming Routledge Companion to Photography Theory has the working title “Out of Language: Photographing as Translating”.  The essay emphasizes Flusser’s conviction about communication making worlds–generating meaning–by various means, e.g. drawing, speech, writing–and photographs .  He particularly emphasised…

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Posted in Flusser translation

True Translation

Translation was such an integral part of Flusser’s writing practice that it seems intrusive to translate again, or to translate what he did not.  He was not in any way reassuring about the issue either:  “…I believe that the only ‘true’…

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Posted in Flusser habit ritual

Flusser and Habits

Flusser uses the word “habit” [Gewohnheit] almost exclusively to mean something that is not conscious, something that in fact obscures or inhibits conscious reflection.  He frequently referred to habits as “veils,” obscuring possibilities of thinking freshly.  He also described the…

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Posted in Flusser phenomenology translation

Does Writing Have a Future? (Flusser’s book)

Flusser’s voice sounds plaintive in this book.  His own attachment to writing seems to intensify as he describes a contemporary weakening, thinning of  “historical consciousness,” that consciousness that writing created and always sustained. For in the context of “new media” —…

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Posted in fiction Flusser photography

Plausible Fictions

Suppose photographing is, in fact, an act of projecting, rather than “capturing”  extant meaning.   Rather than records, then, photographs present possibilities, sometimes in tremendously persuasive detail.  Photographs are what comes of using our tools to reach into an inherently meaningless…

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Posted in fiction Flusser photography

Is fiction “theory”? is “theory” fiction?

Suppose Flusser is “wrong” about most things.  He could only be wrong in the sense of someone working within a scientific model–probably a rather narrow one at that, someone who expects to predict something, or a lot of things, accurately. …

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Posted in art fiction Flusser

Flusser the Writer

Flusser is usually described as a philosopher.   By “trade,” he was  a critic — of language, photography, film, art,  design, and social practice.  He was also a teacher and someone who wrote critically about education.  Neswald (Elizabeth Neswald, Medien-Theologie, Das…

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Posted in art creativity Flusser

Flusser on Art

Art is one of the terms that Flusser seems to use very differently in different contexts.  In Kommunikologie (The Theory of Communication – not available in English), he refers to “the ridiculous isolation of an ‘avant garde’. In Does Writing…

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