The Life of the Image


Bergson noted that the cinematographic image does not really move. It is, then as now, a series of still photographs. The real motion in such images is produced by machinery, which imparts a kinesis, an energy of movement, to the succession of fixed images. Our perception then endows such images with their “life,” insofar as they can be said to possess life. It is an illusion, it is “virtual” both as space and time. The real duration, as generated by the machinery or as lived by the perceiver is part of a broader system of images that includes those still photographs and their succession. Images of images of images, by the time they are processed by our bodies and appear to our mind’s eye as inhibited acts we have not enacted.

How to cite:

Auxier, Randall E. “The Life of the Image.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 1 (2020): 1-6. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0001.


Randall E. Auxier
Department of Communication Studies, Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Communications Building, Mail Code 6605, Carbondale, IL 62901, USA

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