Flusser 2011

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Flusser, Vilem. ‘’Does Writing Have a Future?’’ Trans. Nancy Ann Roth. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011.


writing as in-forming matter/objects – this gesture is against entropy – objects push back toward entropy

inscription as iconoclastic (14), as breaking image of surfaces

“Writing really is a transcoding of thought, a translation from a two-dimensional surface of images into a one-dimensional linear code: out of compact, blurred pictorial codes into clear, distinct written codes; out of the imaginary into the conceptual; out of scenes into processes; out of contexts into texts.” (15)


inscriptions: slow, laborious, monuments

notes: thrown onto passing surfaces, documents

letters codify speech, numbers codify ideas

numbers as illustrations, scientific diagrams as part of art history

numbers taking over because of computers – but man has control of numbers with computers; they don’t represent an outside world but are our world to manipulate

“One writes alphabetically to maintain and extend a level of consciousnessthat is conceptual, superior to images, rather than continually falling back into pictorial thinking, as we did before writing was invented.” (31)

“The alphabet was invented to replace mythical speech with logical speech and so to be able, literally for the first time, to ‘think’.” (32)