This essay introduces the seminal work of the Czech media theorist Vilém Flusser (1920–91) for an English-speaking public, such as Für eine Philosophie der Fotografie (Towards a Philosophy of Photography, 1983) and Ins Universum der technischen Bilder (Into the Universe of Technical Images, 1985). This work is of crucial importance for all critical theory on media, because Flusser both continues the Marxist tradition of German media theory (in particular of Siegfried Kracauer, Bertolt Brecht, and Walter Benjamin) and upgrades that legacy to contemporary media conditions in the footsteps of Marshall McLuhan. Besides elaborating on Flusser's media criticism, however, the essay also considers his original oeuvre in the context of reassessing Cold War culture twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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