Small Data Photography. Mit weniger Daten mehr erfahren
Everybody is snapshooting, everywhere. Flusser’s statement in his Toward a Philosophy of Photography from 1983 is even more significant forty years later in our brave new world of smartphone pictures. Is it possible to overcome the abundant redundancy of digital colour photography by using the same device, a mobile phone? In her experiments against the apparatus Vera Schwamborn developed what she calls „Small Data Photography“ as an answer. It is amazing that 480 x 640 pixel image on a small Nokia mobile can result in irritating and informative photographs opening a path to regain the world around us by small data. Flusser tried to combine aesthetics and technology as a way to bring back sensual experience into our abstract environment of calculus and computation. Together with Karl Gerstner he developed ideas of a colour code parallel to the all-embracing number codes of our time. Small Data photos also offer a reconciliation. They disclose a world of images that lie before the text and beyond the number.
Vilém Flusser et Abraham Moles: le fond et la forme d’une « affinité combative »
The central role that Abraham Moles played in Vilém Flusser's thought during the first years after his return to Europe in 1972 is indisputable. Certain personal coincidences are striking: they were born in the same year 1920, and they died six months apart (respectively in November 1991 and in May 1992). From a theoretical point of view, the affinities between the two friends are also remarkable: if the interest in the phenomenon of cybernetics connected them, it is the aesthetics of communication open to phenomenology that allowed them a fruitful exchange.
But there is a third element, more formal and less known: their paradoxical Jewishness. The reference to the Golem myth, which appears as the background of their cybernetic thoughts, seems to refer to the Judaic substratum that animated their method of study involving heated discussions.
Thus, after some biographical data, these three elements provide the general outline of the article: the cybernetic approach, the phenomenological method, and the Talmudic practice. The goal is to show how the relationship between Vilém Flusser and Abraham Moles shows that, beyond intellectual gestures, in which they sought, in a perpetual effort, to regroup (the law of “elective affinities”), real “combative affinities” remain, resisting the entropy of the world and eternal oblivion.
McLuhan’s Pedagogical Art
This essay argues that Marshall McLuhan’s most important ideas on the media are to be found in the early writings of the 1940s and 1950s. McLuhan’s work did not provide policy makers with concrete recommendations, nor did he leave communication scholars with a theory of the media; but he developed new methodological ‘probes’ for thinking through the effects of a variety of media on environments and bodies in the newly mediated context of North America in the post-WWII period. His approach to media technology was aesthetic, interdisciplinary, transnational, phenomenological and driven by a commitment to pedagogy. His work was prophetic in terms of recognizing that electronic media would transform experiences of space and time, and the interrelation between global and local cultures.