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Vilém Flusser's Media Aesthetics : Technical Image and Photography

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2015, 44(), pp.47-79
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : June 30, 2015

Park Sangwoo 1

1중부대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper attempted to make a critical analysis of Vilem Flusser's idea of technical image and photographical image. By doing so, it tried to develop the discussion about the ontology of technical image and to search for a more critical method. The conclusion can be summarized as follows: First, by taking the position of the image maker rather than of the spectator, Flusser stresses more on the production process of technical image than on its reception process. His position on image criticism is very significant because he points out the importance of analysis of image production process, which has been rather neglected in image criticism. Second, Flusser says that the main subject who contributes to producing a technical image is not human being but an apparatus or technology. He indicates that the analysis of an apparatus is a key point in the criticism of technical image, because the trace of an apparatus exists necessarily in all technical images. Third, he insists that to determine the meaning of technical image is not only the production apparatus(camera), but also the diffusion apparatus(media). This is very significant because the factor of the media has been nearly neglected in image criticism. Lastly, Flusser's image theory is concerned not only with image criticism, but also with cultural criticism and criticism on human existence. Although Flusser's image theory has major significance like this, I can't agree his point that technical image refers only to the concept. I think that technical image indicates not only concept but also world, precisely light. Technical image is the result of merging program concepts with light reflected from the world. So the protagonists of technical image are not only the four ones that Flusser refers to ― camera apparatus, human being, media, spectator ― but also the world or reference. Otherwise, we lose all the human history under the visible form of a technical image, photo history, film history, visual communication history, etc. Technical image is the complex space in which operator, apparatus's parameter, spectrum, diffuser and spectator intersect. To criticise this technical image is to be conscious of these five protagonists and to disentangle those mixed relations.

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