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…
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…
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…
Thanks for looking at the site. I am currently thinking of my writing in three parts: 1.) papers read or published in an academic context, including those about the writing of Vilem Flusser (1920-1991) 2.) art and photography criticism, and 3.) accounts of small events or situations from experience, pieces I take to be “non-fiction”. There is a more complete list in the c.v. Translation is listed separately.
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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 the 1960s. I’m honoured to be a contributor to a new volume called Understanding Flusser, Understanding Modernism, edited by Aaron Jaffe and published at Routledge, probably 2020. I hope to use the opportunity to locate Flusser in contemporary game studies, in the understanding that his position is likely rest on assumptions very different from those that now prevail (The same difficulty surrounds Flusser’s current reputation in the history and theory of photography.).
Simply by using the phrase homo ludens, for example, which he did with some regularity, Flusser made reference to Johan Huizinga’s book Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture. Written in 1938, it has been translated and reprinted many times since, and at this point counts among the “founding texts” of the comparatively new academic discipline of game studies. Both Huizinga and Flusser take the potential for “play” to be a basic, defining human characteristic. Huizinga argues that humans developed civilisations as a result of their capacity to play; Flusser frames the capacity to play as what separates human beings from their devices.
The image: Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Childrens’ Games, 1560, oil on board, 45 x 63″, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
The publication date for the English edition — my translation — of Lambert Wiesing’s most recent book, A Philosophy of Luxury is 4 July 2019. Please click here for a brief summary of the argument.