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200 × 120 mm
96 pages
01 Nov 2000

Towards a Philosophy of Photography Vilém Flusser

With an introduction by Hubertus von Amelunxen

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 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.

‘A relatively little-known but significant text.’ – Lindsay Smith, The Years Work in Critical and Cultural Studies

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Vilém Flusser was born in Prague in 1920. After emigrating to Brazil and then to France, he embarked on an influential career as a lecturer and writer on language, design and communication. He died in 1991.

Also available from Reaktion by Vilém Flusser is The Shape of Things: A Philosophy of Design.

Introductory Note

The Image

The Technical Image

The Apparatus

The Gesture of Photography

The Photograph

The Distribution of Photographs

The Reception of Photographs

The Photographic Universe

Why a Philosophy of Photography is Necessary

Lesson of Basic Concepts

Afterword, Hubertus von Amelunxen