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Für eine Philosophie der Fotografie

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  238 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Media philosopher Vilém Flusser proposed a revolutionary new way of thinking about photography. 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 li
Paperback, 77 pages
Published 1989 by European Photography (first published January 1st 1983)
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Brief. Fascinating. According to Flusser, we’re caught, it seems, in a Kafkaesque condition of non-freedom, swallowed up so to speak by our apparatuses. 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...more
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... it's one of a number of intriguing conceptual turns taken by Flusser.

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...more
Char Tan
Flusser's anti-quote bravado and originality is refreshing,vexing, and at times changes how you see everything.

Ana Pereira
Este ensaio serviu-me de incentivo para uma reflexão crítica sobre a Imagem, mais especificamente sobre a Fotografia. Interessa-me sobretudo tratar da problemática da imagem fotográfica enquanto expressão do pensamento, tentando perceber a intenção do Fotógrafo.

É um livro muito peculiar, o autor tem conceitos próprios que me causaram alguma estranheza, porque não é convencional, tem um discurso particular, fácil de ler mas não justificativo e de certa forma, provocador. Depois de descodificar os...more
Jul 27, 2007 Al rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: literates & art-literates
Hello. 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? 10?) of years back; but really, this seems a very lovely translation and is a very well-couched bit of theory, because it's a great read.

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...more
Taco Hidde Bakker
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!
I learned that a philosophy book can have hardly any references to other works of philosophy, be totally cracked in a manner that wins, contain no images while being all about images, be fun to read with a couple glasses of white swill, and extend its arms to consciousness with the sensitive insistence of an evil kitty.
Tiago Vitória
Fascinating way of thinking but sometimes it can be too hermetic for the reader. No question about the philosophical side of this book, some chapters put you on a situation of pure thinking and questioning the real photography value aswel as the problems raised by the democratization of photography in our society.

Mar 10, 2008 Matthew rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: photographer artists
very interesting read. very short, very dense. but most interestingly, it treats photography as an industrial/post-industrial human condition and way of seeing the world at large. It also, as the title implies, does not try to be the end-all-be-all on photography.
Rodrigo Maltez Novaes
This book is not about photography - it is a political manifesto about freedom in a programmed world.
Loved it. Flusser's ability to get into my brain and poke at it never ceases to amaze me.
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Vilém Flusser was a philosopher born in Czechoslovakia. He lived for a long period in Brazil and later in France, and his works are written in several different languages.
His early work was marked by discussion of the thought of Martin Heidegger, and by the influence of existentialism and phenomenology. Phenomenology would play a major role in the transition to the later phase of his work, in whic...more
More about Vilém Flusser...
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“Both those taking snaps and documentary photographers, however, have not understood 'information.' What they produce are camera memories, not information, and the better they do it, the more they prove the victory of the camera over the human being.” 11 likes
“The task of a philosophy of photography is to reflect upon this possibility of freedom - and thus its significance - in a world dominated by apparatuses; to reflect upon the way in which, despite everything, it is possible for human beings to give significance to their lives in the face of the chance necessity of death. Such a philosophy is necessary because it is the only form of revolution left open to us.” 6 likes
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