Between Images and Texts: Vilém Flusser at the Intersection of Art and the Post-Historic Crisis

Debora Pazetto, Rachel Cecília de Oliveira


Vilém Flusser argues that human beings are active parts in a socio-historic fabric made of images, texts, numbers, spoken languages and other symbolic codes shared intersubjectively. Flusser constantly refers to three basic communication codes: written texts, traditional images directly produced by humans, and technical images produced by the mediation of apparatus. Technical images are the focus of his attention because of their critical complexity, which points to the relation with the image-text that structures them. This establishes a recurrent reception scenario in which their “textual” aspect is neglected, leading to a direct association between technical images, like videos or photographs, and reality. Since they are not perceived as symbolic codes, but as mechanical manifestations of reality, observers do not focus on the work of deciphering them. This paper points to the possibility that forms of experimentation-and-deciphering that are more common in the field of arts could work as a model to overcome this communicational crisis of post-history.


Article received: April 21, 2021; Article accepted: June 23, 2021; Published online: October 15, 2021; Original scholarly article

How to cite this article: Pazetto, Debora & de Oliveira, Rachel Cecília. "Between Images and Texts: Vilém Flusser at the Intersection of Art and the Post-Historic Crisis." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 26 (October 2021): 71-79. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i26.471


technical image; philosophy of language; post-history; art; communication; art criticism.

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