Posted in Flusser functionary language translation

“Designing” Ourselves?

The German word “Entwurf” — a draft or drawing — is closely related, a kind of reversal of the verb “werfen,” which is to throw, or hurl, or toss. Flusser uses the association to describe…

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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 functionary games


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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Posted in functionary Telltales

Code is Poetry

At Telltales on 31 January, I read this piece, called Code is Poetry, an account of a harrowing experience I had as a result of being chronically codeless.

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Posted in art functionary

Damaging Marks: Functionaries in Writing Education

Hour after hour, reading the writing of students who struggle (that’s the word everyone uses, and it is heavy with implications), I pass between two distinct forms of perception, two different identities, in a sense. …

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Posted in Apparatus functionary


Flusser’s term Apparat, which can only be apparatus in English, has a pivotal position in his thinking about media. The word is not perfect, because it sounds like a machine.  But it refers to a mesh…

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