art 1a walter benjamin

art 1a walter benjamin - Art was originally produced for...

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Winter 1/14/08 Art 1a Walter Benjamin: “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” Walter Benjamin claims that “a work of art has always been reproducible” through apprentices, masters themselves, and third parties. Mass reproduction begun with the Greeks through founding and stamping bronzes, terra cottas, and coins, next came woodcut graphic art. Then in the Middle Ages, engraving and etching were introduced, followed by lithography in the beginning of the nineteenth century, and shortly after that photography revolutionized mechanical reproduction. Benjamin complains that mechanical reproduction strips the work of art of its aura, the concept of the work existing in one specific place at one time, along with its authenticity, history of ownership and signs of physical wear.
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Unformatted text preview: Art was originally produced for cult purposes, the private expression of magic or religion. Reproduction in modern times has taken art further and further away from its cult traditions, placing concentration on political function rather than ritual, exhibition value rather than cult value. The invention of film photography perfectly represents the current state of human perception of art that mechanical reproduction has produced; the presence of the camera not only eliminates the untainted aura of the work through editing and camera angles, but also causes a distant gap between the actor and the viewers, turning each member the audience into a critic that forms an opinion corrupted by the general reactions of the masses rather than a personal connection....
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course ARTST 1A taught by Professor Tachian during the Spring '07 term at UCSB.

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