Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Summary 4

Walter Benjamin's 1936 essay, "Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" is about the affects of mechanical reproduction on art. This means an art object can be viewed where it is actually not physically present. Benjamin says that this causes the actual object to lose the aura it once had. Benjamin talks at length about the role of film and photography in this.

Reading this now is quite strange considering that mechanical reproduction seems like the only way most people see anything. I do relate to his idea of a work losing its aura once it is reproduced, it definitely can't compare to seeing in person.

1. Does mechanical reproduction make artwork lose its aura?
2. How would a current essay on this topic be different?
3. Is this something artists should care about now?

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