Abstract

This essay reviews two recent English translations, as well as one new introduction, to the work of Vilèm Flusser; a transnational continental philosopher of communication. Born into a Jewish family, Flusser fled Czechoslovakia in 1939, living and writing in Brazil and France, until his death in 1991. A critic of Marshal McLuhan, Flusser developed a history of communication explaining the transformation of prehistoric images into printed texts and, most recently, into electronic technical images. As a media activist Flusser advocated an open telematic society, while warning of a future without writing and historical consciousness. This review criticizes Flusser for black-boxing media into “apparatuses,” but it commends Flusser for giving primacy to user experiences, for seeking to avoid technological determinism, and for merging computer history with media history.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1097-3729
Print ISSN
0040-165X
Pages
pp. 913-917
Launched on MUSE
2012-11-20
Open Access
No
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