Photography/Flusser: Photographs are not the photographer's attempt to get a picture of the world, but rather attempts to get an impression of concepts the photographer has regarding a picture.
Pre-alphabetic images are supposed to mean the world and technical images are supposed to mean texts, which mean images, which mean the world.
Definition techincal image/Flusser: should mean texts, which mean images, which mean the world.
The photographer stands behind the writer, who stands behind the drawer who stands behind the world. To draw, you have to distance yourself from the world, etc.
I 181 ff
Photography/Flusser: Historically, photographs are the oldest technical images. The gestures of the operator are determined primarily by the search for a suitable location.
It is a four-dimensional space time question: the shine of the woman's teeth, but also objective factors such as the quality of the film. It has nothing to do with the distinction between "subjective" and "objective".
The photographer does not only look for the function of the scene to be depicted and the imaging apparatus, but also the function of the future recipient.
Unlike the video camera, the device does not allow "fluid" searching. The search is quantized, the structure of the photographic world is quantized.
Photography/Flusser: The techno-imagination works arithmetically with photos.
There is no point in trying to distinguish between the operator and the apparatus, both are in a complex movement. The decisions made in this respect are neither "human" nor "mechanical". Freedom for the photographer means deciding in function of the apparatus.
An apparatus is not a tool because it does not move to change the world, and in this sense it does not do any work. There is no point in revolutions against apparatuses because they are not production means.
The photographer faces such considerations without understanding, unhistorically. For him, freedom is a question of functioning. Unlike the blacksmith, he is not a worker but a functionary.
This does not mean that the photographer would not change the world. Only you cannot call that work. He acts: he asks his wife to raise her arm, to smile. These actions are motivated differently than work:
Definition Work/Flusser: is called changing the world because it is not what it should be.
The photographer is not interested in how the world should be, but in how photography should be.
He changes the world in function of the symbol he creates. The photographer changes the world to photograph it, i.e. to "explain" it.
If one wants to define "truth" as a meeting of the observed and observation, photography is "true", not if it depicts an unaltered world, but if it depicts the changes that the photographer has made in the world and in the apparatus.
The photographer's motif is neither ethical nor epistemological. What does the photographer do in his search?
He is looking for a point of view from which someone else can see the world as he sees it himself. The photographer does not want to "make beautiful pictures" (like the painter) he wants to have someone there who sees with his eyes.
The apparatus is equipped with a mirror. In this mirror, the photographer sees what the image would look like if he pressed the shutter release button in a given moment. These mirror images are projects, future designs and simultaneously visions of the past. The sum is all sorts of photographed objects.
Above all, however, such mirror images are not images of scenes but of points of view. They can be called images of concepts of images. On the basis of such technical images supplied by apparatus, the photographer decides to press the shutter release button. That is what makes photographs "beautiful": that they are reflexive and speculative, and that they are extraordinarily "abstract" symbols representing concepts._____________Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Kommunikologie Mannheim 1996