Vilém Flusser: Into the Universe of Technical Images (1985–) [DE, HU, CZ, EN]

19 October 2011, dusan

Poised between hope and despair for a humanity facing an urgent communication crisis, this work by Vilém Flusser forecasts either the first truly human, infinitely creative society in history or a society of unbearable, oppressive sameness, locked in a pattern it cannot change. First published in German in 1985 and now available in English for the first time, Into the Universe of Technical Images outlines the history of communication technology as a process of increasing abstraction.

Flusser charts how communication evolved from direct interaction with the world to mediation through various technologies. The invention of writing marked one significant shift; the invention of photography marked another, heralding the current age of the technical image. The automation of the processing of technical images carries both promise and threat: the promise of freeing humans to play and invent and the threat for networks of automation to proceed independently of humans.

Originally published in German as Ins Universum der technischen Bilder, European Photography, 1985

Czech edition: Do universa technických obrazů
Translated by Jiří Fiala
Publisher OSVU, 2002
ISBN 8023875698
162 pages

English edition
Translated by Nancy Ann Roth
Introduction by Mark Poster
Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2011
Volume 32 of Electronic Mediations
ISBN 0816670218, 9780816670215
224 pages

Review (Bob Hanke, International Journal of Communication)

Translator (EN)
Publisher (EN)

Ins Universum der technischen Bilder (German, 1985, added on 2016-8-4)
A technikai képek univerzuma felé (Hungarian, trans. József Maleczki, 2001; revised trans. Dalma Török, 2011; HTML, added on 2014-2-14)
Do universa technických obrazů (Czech, Jiří Fiala, 2002, no OCR, added on 2013-4-1)
Into the Universe of Technical Images (English, trans. Nancy Ann Roth, 2011, updated on 2012-7-17)

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