Posted in Apparatus Flusser games play

homo ludens

Flusser is well-known as a “media theorist,” and hardly known at all as a “games theorist.” But games figure often and prominently in his thinking and writing from the time of his earliest publications in…

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Posted in Apparatus art family photography

family projections

Flusser insisted that photographs project possibilities, rather than “capturing” or “recording” or “reproducing” anything.  So all those lovely shots you may have of yourself as a very young child, smiling at the camera–or not — should…

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Posted in Apparatus Flusser photography

Post photography

The resonance of “post-photography” with “post-modernism” can hardly be avoided. There will be an academic conference in Lucerne in November entitled “The Post-photographic Apparatus”. Assuming the term “apparatus” draws, perhaps substantially, on Flusser’s framework, it…

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Posted in Apparatus Flusser games humanities

Humanities now

In a very early essay called “Games,” Flusser announced his intention to characterize “humans” not in terms of differences from animals, but rather differences from their “apparatuses”.  He doesn’t offer any explanation about what prompted the…

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Posted in Apparatus photography

What can’t be photographed

The photographs sent back to earth from Mars have a kind of “signature,” something that both acknowledges the colossal technical achievement of the mission and clearly signals its photographic limits. In particular, many of the…

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Posted in Apparatus creativity Flusser on Photography photography

A Photographer on Mars

Opportunity Rover was a very engaging robot.  It “lived” on Mars for nearly 15 years, gathering and transmitting data back to earth; it “died” or, as NASA put it, completed its mission on 13 February 2019.  In terms…

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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 Apparatus functionary games

Facebook

Apparently this logo isn’t original enough to qualify for any kind of legal protection at all. Anyway, there’s a sobering piece about Facebook in the current New York Review of Books, just a few weeks after…

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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…

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