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Vilém Flussers Bild-Theorie. Zur Philosophie des technischen Bildes ausgehend von der Fotografie

Towards a Philosophy of Photography presents all aspects of Flusser’s theory of technical images as well as the images’ ambivalence and paradoxes: the relation of writing and image from a historical and a post-historical perspective, the definition of technical images as images of concepts and as products of the (here: photographic) apparatus. The starting point of this approach to the photographic image is meta-theoretical: Flusser’s philosophical method oscillates between ‘telling stories’, a philosophical argumentation in the tradition of phenomenology, language philosophy and structuralism, a specific use of metaphors – and often together with Flusser’s own reflections of his ‘stories’, of ‘method’ and ‘metaphors’. This article explores Flusser’s philosophy as a field of intertwined ‘layers’ of argumentation that overlap in Flusser’s search for a new philosophy, corresponding with the new kind of images he proposes: a new philosophy in or through images. From this perspective, the shift from writing to image is accomplished by a shift from meta-theory to a ‘dia’ philosophy (Dieter Mersch), referring to the ‘metaphorological’ dimension of Flusser’s texts and his ‘gestures’.

Bild-Theorie (PDF 358.3 KB)

Bazin, Flusser y la Estética de la fotografia / Bazin, Flusser and the Aesthetics of Photography

Both the film theoretician Bazin and the philosopher of photography Flusser follow a well-known tradition according to which aesthetic experience belongs in the realm of the extraordinary. In this way, that which makes a photograph an aesthetic object is its link to the extraordinary. Nevertheless, Flusser deals with photography within the frame of a general theory concerning technical images. Such images have, according to him, a quantitative structure. Consequently, the extraordinary character of photography would vary in a quantitative way. Furthermore, again according to Flusser, there is a reversal of meaning taking place within the realm of technical images: the technical image is existentially meaningful in itself, not because of what it represents. So, in the case of photography the meaning vector does not point to the world but to the image itself: the image is real, not its object. Of course, this idea implies a complete break with Bazin’s ontology of the photographic image. According to Bazin the image and its object share the same nature, the way a fingerprint does. Photographs, furthermore, awaken our admiration for the object, and are mostly used only for that.

Estética (PDF 189.55 KB)
Aesthetics (PDF 213.6 KB)

Über Fotografie schreiben. Vilém Flusser, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida

The paper explores how concepts of writing (“Schrift” or “écriture”), photography (as a “technical image”) and ideology are related in the works of Vilém Flusser, Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. A comparison of these three authors reveals both fundamental parallels and significant differences, depending on the interest, scope and line of the various argumentations, which are to be investigated.

Über Fotografie (PDF 174.03 KB)

O vídeo como representação da vida: por prisioneiros do Carandiru

This article is based on the 2006 Masters Thesis by the author, presented to the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais to obtain the Masters Degree in Social Communication. It analyzes the consequences of the production of technical images for the knowledge of daily life, understood as "life-world," a concept developed by Schütz and Luckmann. Although Flusser argues that technical images possess the potential to transform knowledge (epistemology) as well as models of behavior (ethics) and experience (aesthetics) in daily life, technical images are analyzed here from the epistemological point of view. The analysis of spatial, temporal and social arrangements made by Schütz's approach to social science allows the identification of immutable aspects of existence. These aspects are then applied to the life-world construed intersubjectively by the prisoners of the Carandiru’s prison in São Paulo, as well as described in images and utterings made by two prisoners, during one night in a prison cell.