Do You Think Historically or Act Magically?


Here is my short Web project inspired both by Tina Laporta’s Net artwork distance as a visual model and Vilem Flusser’s book Toward a Philosophy of Photography for the theoritical aspect. I really like Flusser’s writings as they make me react a lot when I read them. I believe it is quite bold to write a theory without citing any sources 🙂 I found especially funny the radical dichotomy he makes in between the image and the text. According to Flusser, this dichotomy reflects on our relation to the world that is either historical or magical. So I decided to work on that aspect for my survey-like* project. I thought of the stereotypes related to the image/text dichotomy, that supposedly repercute on our perceptions, along with our relation with the technologies of the virtual. I wandered in the on-line virtual world Second Life and took pictures of places and situations that I found relevant for that matter. I manipulated them and converted them in black and white because of Flusser’s theory of black and white images :

Since black and white situations are theoretical, they cannot be found in the manifest world. Black/white photographs, on the other hand, are found nearly every-where: they are images of concepts contained in a theory of optics, and they owetheir origin to such a theory. (Vilem Flusser)

I don’t really believe in the dichotomy text=historical vs image=magical, that is why I am « gently » mocking it with questions that rime. But I really found Flusser’s ideas to be highly pertinent and fascinating. I believe a theory does need some excessive scissions and provocative ideas in order to reveal something interesting!

The Netsurfer always has two choices that will determine, at the end, if he either thinks historically or acts magically. Hint : if you want to see all of the webpages of the project, only choose the first answer.

Thank you Tom Z. for showing me how to make a Webpage!

*I also had in mind this webproject by Claude Closky entitled « Do you want love or lust? »

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