Mechanical reproduction

What they intended and achieved was a relentless destruction of the aura of their creations, which they branded as reproductions with the very means of production. Marx recognized commodities as history-less objects whose value was determined by exchange rather than their actual material form and the labor relations in their production.

In cinematic Mechanical reproduction, particularly in Russia, this change-over has partially become established reality. Its history is more ancient than that of any other art, and its claim to being a living force has significance in every attempt to comprehend the relationship of the masses to art.

The secular cult of beauty, developed during the Renaissance and prevailing for three centuries, clearly showed that ritualistic basis in its decline and the first deep crisis which befell it. It cannot be arrested. There is a tremendous difference between the pictures they Mechanical reproduction.


The camera was the meaning-maker. IV The uniqueness of a work of art is inseparable from its being imbedded in the fabric of tradition.

Since the historical testimony rests on the authenticity, the former, too, is jeopardized by reproduction when substantive duration ceases to matter. The cult of remembrance of loved ones, absent or dead, offers a last refuge for the cult value of the picture.

Mechanical reproduction now the reflected image has become separable, transportable. The sequence of positional views which the editor composes from the material supplied him constitutes the completed film.

It is only now that its impulse becomes discernible: Its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be. War is beautiful because it enriches a flowering meadow with the fiery orchids of machine guns. The masses have a right to change property relations; Fascism seeks to give them an expression while preserving property.

In other words, without history and ritual and cult value, art could not act of its own accord. Individual reactions to this art were constrained and formed by the mass audience response.

The extravagances and crudities of art which thus appear, particularly in the so-called decadent epochs, actually arise from the nucleus of its richest historical energies.

The stage actor identifies himself with the character of his role. The cathedral leaves its locale to be received in the studio of a lover of art; the choral production, performed in an auditorium or in the open air, resounds in the drawing room.

Benjamin reviews the development of the means of the mechanical reproduction of art — an artist manually copying the work of a master artist; the industrial arts of the foundry and the stamp mill in Ancient Greece; woodcut relief-printingetchingengravinglithographyand photography — to establish that artistic reproduction is not a modern human activity, and that the modern means of artistic reproduction permit greater accuracy throughout the process of mass production.

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

It is only an obverse of this fact that behavior items shown in a movie can be analyzed much more precisely and from more points of view than those presented on paintings or on the stage. Mechanical reproduction aura is tied to his presence; there can be no replica of it. Mechanical reproduction advanced from replicating small bronze statues and coins to the production of woodcuts, lithographs, and photographs.

The other is exhibition value which recognizes value based on the display of things. Mechanical reproduction particular, lighting and its installation require the presentation of an event that, on the screen, unfolds as a rapid and unified scene, in a sequence of separate shootings which may take hours at the studio; not to mention more obvious montage.

Let us assume that an actor is supposed to be startled by a knock at the door. Panel painting is a creation of the Middle Ages, and nothing guarantees its uninterrupted existence. The general willingness to accept a reproduction in place of the original also signifies an unwillingness to participate in the ritualistic aesthetics and politics of earlier times.Abstract This paper reopens the question of the place of high art in the period identified by Walter Benjamin as the age of mechanical reproduction.

Walter Benjamin wrote “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” in for a small circle of academics discussing art and mass media. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (, Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit), by Walter Benjamin, is an essay of cultural criticism which proposes that the aura of a work of.

The The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you.

With mechanical reproduction, which appears in its most radical forms in film and photography, millions of images of an original are circulated, all of which lack the “authentic” aura of their source.

The book The Art of Mechanical Reproduction: Technology and Aesthetics from Duchamp to the Digital, Tamara Trodd is published by University of Chicago Press.

Mechanical reproduction
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