Saturday, April 14, 2007

walter benjamin


havent finished benjamin's "work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction" (3 different people told me to read the essay in one day!), but these were some of the excerpts that interested me...

"Even the most perfect reproduction of a work of art is lacking in one element: its presence in time and space, its unique existence at the place where it happens to be." p. 220 (from _illuminations_)

"One might subsume the eliminated element in the term 'aura' and go on to say: that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art. This is a sympomatic process whose signifiance points beyond the realm of art." pg. 221 (ibid.)

"During long periods of history, the mode of human sense perception changes with humanity's entire mode of existence. The manner in which human sense perception is organized, the medium in which it is accomplished, is determiend not only by nature but by historical circumstances as well." 222(ibid.)

"The concept of aura which was proposed above with reference to historical objects may usefully be illustrated with reference to the aura of natural ones." ibid.


Heather said...

I am struggling to post images.. i'll figure it out ??!

Heather said...

posted two images to my blog... jenny holzer and barbara kruger...shows some of my favorite use of text

If you are enjoying benjamin's article you may want to look at baudrillard's ideas on simulacra and simulation...the idea the real no longer exisits due to the amount of images that change our reality
Ties in to our now defunct website idea ( images can exist without an original) Instead of getting too tied up in theory we can talk about the photo as truth/document vs. photo as image/construct....relationship of image and text not being about truth/truism...or text and image unexpectedly having meaning when combined due to our familiarity with reading images & text

Heather said...

is reproduction worth it? the aura of the work is diminished, yet the masses can participate in the artworld like never before...images are able to shape culture not just privileged culture...the images are not reality though the mona lisa on a coffee cup is not the same as seeing it in person- what is the difference in seeing a photograph of a painting vs. seeing the painting itself? does it matter the painting exists? due to the perpetuation of hyper-reality we can now visit the pantheon in Nashville:

Heather Blackwell, Cristiana Baik said...

i think a painting still matters. standing infront of the pantheon is different than seeing its image on the computer. there is acceptance that the image of the pantheon has become an entirely different object, that the idea of the photo even being an accurate depiction/representation is problematic. im now curious about what the "hyperreal" is, what are its implications - that there is now equal weight, or balance given to representation and what is being representated - both are "real".

check out donna haraway's manifesto on the cyborg, which nicely articulates the implications of a hyperreal society:

It is the generation by models of a real without origin or reality: a hyperreal.

It is no longer a question of imitation, nor of reduplication, nor even of parody.

A hyperreal henceforth sheltered from the imaginary, and from any distinction between the real and the imaginary, leaving room only for the orbital recurrence of models and the simulated generation of difference.

1 It is the reflection of a basic reality.

2 It masks and perverts a basic reality.

3 It masks the absence of a basic reality.

4 It bears no relation to any reality whatever: it is its own pure simulacrum.

Heather Blackwell, Cristiana Baik said...

check out:::