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Thoughts in “To Imagine,” Into the Universe of Technical Images (Electronic Mediations) by Vilem Flusser

Visual Essay in YALE PAPRIKA!

An Image for The Present
Volume 4, Issue 07


“Each image must be part of a chain of images, for if it were not in a tradition, it would not be decipherable. Of course, this doesn’t necessarily always work. THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS TO “PUBLISH”: TO PUT A SUBJECTIVE OBSERVATION INTO THE SYMBOLS OF A SOCIAL CODE. OF COURSE, IT DOESN’T NECESSARILY WORK. The means of projecting this subjectivity is at risk. The way we encounter images, the machines that facilitate observations, the arena in which observations are received … We define our tools, our tools define us, it’s banal by now. Instead, we’re interested in changing the social codes. “We live in a world where instead of trying to replace the masters who exploit us, we seek to become them in small and meaningless ways.” (Jack Halberstam, Vertiginous Capital Or, The Master’s Toolkit, in Every sentence changes the meaning of its words. Media machines feed off of our desire to publish images, and we live to feed the machine. It should have occurred to us earlier that the point is to not only make new images, but also to make new machines.”