By Vilém Flusser
Flusser charts how communique advanced from direct interplay with the area to mediation via a variety of applied sciences. the discovery of writing marked one major shift; the discovery of images marked one other, heralding the present age of the technical photograph. The automation of the processing of technical pictures consists of either promise and risk: the promise of releasing people to play and invent and the hazard for networks of automation to continue independently of humans.
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Extra resources for Into the Universe of Technical Images
The model is a ladder with five rungs. Humanity has climbed this ladder step by step from the concrete toward higher and higher levels of abstraction: a model of cultural history and the alienation of human beings from the concrete. • • • First rung: Animals and “primitive” people are immersed in an animate world, a four-dimensional space-time continuum of animals and primitive peoples. It is the level of concrete experience. Second rung: The kinds of human beings that preceded us (approximately two million to forty thousand years ago) stood as subjects facing an objective situation, a three-dimensional situation comprising graspable objects.
One might speak of a global brain rather than a global village. And in such a structure, no distinction can be made between the pressing of a shutter release of the photographic camera and the start button of a washing machine. Both movements receive and send to the same extent. , the television control panel). For the time being, the freedom to choose therefore contradicts existential freedom. And so for the time being, I cannot become enraptured about the keys on the television or the washing machine (unless I share the rapture of the washing machine user in advertisements for washing machines).
The gesture on which technical images depend is doubly contradictory. First, apparatuses are supposed to generate informative situations automatically. In the face of this contradiction, envisioners try to pit automatic production against the machine’s autonomy, an effort that itself occurs within the automatic apparatus. Technical images result from a gesture that is doubly self-involved, from an intricate opposition and collaboration between the inventor and the manipulator of the apparatus and an opposition and collaboration between an apparatus and a human being.