Flusser arguments : against-flusser / book reviews

paul virilio는 chapter 3 / chapter 4- 물질성, 공간성.
vilem Flusser는 chapter 2 의 후반부에서 자세하게 언급 : into the universe of technical images.

On one side of the great transformation, we have historical society and the culture of writing; on the other, we have a technical image culture and a telematic society. in this account, technical images owe their existence to technical apparatuses, but they cannot be defined without delving into our being-in-the-world and the intersubjective nature of communication.

Technical images arise to grasp the ungraspable and visualize the invisible.
The technical apparatus of digital media thus appears on the horizon as an impending technocultural revolution in thinking and memory.

Flusser argues that writing—and the ‘alphabetic’ paradigm presupposed by the hegemony of written texts as the central means of discourse—is being overtaken by a new regime of ‘codes’ and the concomitant production of images.

Kittler not only disputes Flusser’s absolute distinction between images and writing, but also argues that Flusser invokes a monolithic conception of writing and reading as a linear practice when, in fact, ‘the most widely used books—from the Bible to the telephone directory—are not read in a linear fashion at all’ (p. 37). But this response neither adequately accounts for Kittler’s central point—that print was, at heart, a mathematisation of writing that enabled the transcendence of writing as such—or the larger problem of Flusser’s oversimplification of the practice of reading. Flusser ignores the existence of multiple reading regimes, thereby eliding the differences between the practice of immersive, linear reading with hypertextual reading, which refers to a mode that employs the skimming, scanning and searching of a text in a non-immersive fashion.

one could argue that the essential contemporary shift is not from language to code, but a shift in reading regimes from a linear to a hypertextual paradigm.

Richard Lanham has explicitly made this argument in The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts (1993), For Lanham, proponents of digital media like Marshall McLuhan—and, by extension, Flusser—are actually crypto-rhetoricians, since ‘electronic technology mean[s] the end of literacy and the return of orality’ (p. 202).

the computer certainly isn’t a rejection of Gutenberg, but an escalation of it: everyone in our part of the world learns to read, write, print and design. digital code is not essentially different from writing, but an exponential intensification of the alphabetic mode.

Flusser’s value as a thinker lies not in the systematic unfolding of his logic, but rather in the originality of insights. For this reason, like Walter Benjamin, he is often classified as a ‘speculative’ thinker.



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