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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Hubertus Von Amelunxen Introduction.
Anthony Mathews Translator. An analysis of the medium in terms of aesthetics, science and politics provided him with new ways of understanding both the cultural crises of the past and the new social forms nascent within them. Flusser showed how the transformation of textual into visual culture from the linearity of history into the two-dimensionality of magic and of industrial into post-industrial society from work into leisure went hand in hand, and how photography allows us to read and interpret these changes with particular clarity.
Get A Copy. Paperback , 94 pages. Published December 1st by Reaktion Books first published January 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Towards a Philosophy of Photography , please sign up.
Be the first to ask a question about Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Mar 22, Jesse rated it liked it. Interesting attempt to build a theoretical framework around photography, sometimes gratifying, but not always successful. The central idea of an "apparatus," tied to mechanical devices, social systems, and "programmed" with every possibility already inherent in the device itself I sensed two major weaknesses in Flusser's framework.
First, he's often rehashing ideas of other thinkers on these topics Heidegger's ideas about Interesting attempt to build a theoretical framework around photography, sometimes gratifying, but not always successful. Heidegger's ideas about technology, or McLuhan's writing about artifacts and extensions of the senses Flusser would have benefited from more thoughtful citation, and more focus.
Second, too many of Flusser's conjectures, in attempting to be clever or provocative, simply miss the mark. His claim that photographic devices i. At times, Flusser's axioms aren't clever or useful enough to justify their leaps of logic. That said, this is a decent starting point for thinking about photography in a postmodern, highly conceptual way.
Oct 16, Rodrigo Novaes rated it it was amazing. This book is not about photography - it is a political manifesto about freedom in a programmed world. May 22, Paula Koneazny rated it it was amazing Shelves: non-fiction , best-reads-of He describes two historical paradigm shifts: the invention of writing, which he situates in the second millennium BCE and the invention of photography in the 19th century.
He states that the first humans were surrounded by their tools; then, as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution, humans began to surround their machines; finally, after th Brief.
He states that the first humans were surrounded by their tools; then, as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution, humans began to surround their machines; finally, after the invention of photography, humans came to reside within their image-making apparatuses, inside the thoroughly programmed and programmable black boxes of their cameras shorthand for all systems that self-program by means of feedback. Flusser depicts information technologies that produce redundant and non-original images, as well as political and economic systems that are themselves apparatuses, as entities that use humans for their own evolution and success rather than vice versa.
Flusser also brings to mind Foucault in the sense that his philosophy allows for only the most elusive and problematic possibility of human agency. Unfortunately, Flusser provides neither a definition of nor specific examples of such experimental photography. Mar 12, Eduardo Deboni rated it it was amazing.
While writing revolutionized humanity and marked the beginning of the historical period, photography, and its new coding and symbolization of the information, make the post-history, with equally revolutionary developments, developers and modifiers of humanity. He has glimpsed the magical ability of a photographic image could destroy the one-dimensional feature, linear, of the texts.
Not only photos but also videos and other electronic media are co-responsible for this post-historical revolution. We have been living witnesses that, in recent years, images have ceased to be mere text illustrations, to become the protagonists of the media.
They submitted the texts to a supplementary or secondary role. This phenomenon enhanced by two important aspects, closely linked to the photo: ease of use and availability of the photographic apparatus and distribution capacity and access to the photographic information. These ideas are explored in great detail in the book that I find extremely interesting to read and think about.
Highly recomended. Feb 27, Mark Broadhead rated it it was ok. What a mess. A 'philosophy' book without references. A multitude of quips, without thought, or little consistency with what he has said before or will say in the next sentence. Is there no good thinking on photography other than Barthes' Camera Lucida? View all 4 comments. Jun 21, Taco Hidde Bakker rated it really liked it.
Texts on photography making you think photography - as system and function of the natural, scientific, and social worlds, rather than as an art or practice. If you want to read about photographers or particular photographs, read others.
If you wish to receive stimulating speculation towards thinking photography as abstract category, Flusser is your thought-feeding-machine. But don't forget to free yourself by playing against machines! Feb 10, Philly Baby rated it it was amazing. Brilliant writing, although admittedly strange: a book about the philosophy of photography that contains no images. Here, Flusser posits photography as a magical act, a lens through which we can examine the current philosophical climate.
More specifically, Flusser is very hung up on the idea of the "apparatus", black box devices developed by humans to change our symbolic understanding of the world.
Behind this seemingly benign concept lurks the melancholic realization that human freedom is direct Brilliant writing, although admittedly strange: a book about the philosophy of photography that contains no images.
Behind this seemingly benign concept lurks the melancholic realization that human freedom is directly in conflict with our inventions - with the advent of the camera signaling the end of our "modern" understanding of the post industrial era and hinting at a fully mechanized future. Written years before the advent of social media, Flusser seems to foresee an all encompassing obsession with an ever emerging world of superfluous digital images and hints at adjacent thoughts posited by bright philosophical minds like Baudrilliard, but through a decidedly more etymological perspective.
Intensely heady, I'll probably have to return to this book a few times. Highly recommend. Interesting analysis of our relationship with and understanding of images in a post-photography historical context. Antikapitalistinis manifestas? So, inspired by friend-traffic on this site I'll begin a temporary but sustained one-per-day or so.
Item one: sorta trendy a certain number 7? Prospective readers will note this is not so much a sustained analysis of photographic practice as a fresh contribution to typically mealymouthed discussions of the relation between writing and image -- plus a the Hello. Prospective readers will note this is not so much a sustained analysis of photographic practice as a fresh contribution to typically mealymouthed discussions of the relation between writing and image -- plus a theory of freedom.
It's also very short: two or three hours of your life. And in fact, I'm thinking it was written in English, although Flusser also wrote [his early] philosophy in Brazilian [ehhm, Portuguese], [his later mostly in German,] I believe French [still checking], and his native language, Czech.
Sorry I don't have that on hand. You'll be saddened to hear Flusser died in car crash on the way home from a lecture.
View 1 comment. Actual rating: 4. Instead, Flusser set out to contribute hypotheses to the discourse of photography. He did mention this in the foreword though, so that was clear from the beginning. Towards a Philosophy of Photography is not solely about photography but about the deconstruction of information—how it's encoded and decoded, the cultural influences and how it is conveyed.
Flusser broke down photography into the image, the ap Actual rating: 4.
Flusser: Towards a Philosophy of Photography
Flusser opens with a bold hypothesis that there have been two fundamental turning points in human culture. The first being the invention of linear writing and the second the invention of technical image making, initially through photography. That photographers are playing a game of operating the camera, but always within the programmed rules of the apparatus. They may set out to take artistic, scientific or political images with the camera is only a means to an end.
Towards a Philosophy of Photography
Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. Flusser's philosophical analysis of photography focuses on the structural changes in civilization brought on by the passage from an industrial, text-based culture to a post-industrial image-based one. Includes lexicon of basic concepts.