The Work of Art in theMechanical Age ofReproductionLawson, Shefchuk, & Wzorek
Art ReproductionImportant for many reasons, but principally to:● spread art to places/people that it couldnt have reached in its single, original form● meet wants and demands of the masses desire for as much art as possible
Early Types of MechanicalReproduction● Stamping (iron molds): Ancient Greeks used this mainly for coins ○ http://www.classicalcoins.com/page103.html● Woodcut: image created through carving, engraving, or etching on wood for printing ○ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgCYovlFRNY
Later Types of MechanicalReproduction● Lithography: direct process of tracing a design on a stone to print ○ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHw5_1Hopsc● Photography: finally freed hand of previous tasks in earlier reproduction types ○ Foreshadowed film
Authenticity● = Essence of all that a piece of art has transmitted since its creation● = Totally unique existence and history only an original piece can have● Cannot be reproduced and is what art reproductions lack ○ http://mba.yale. edu/faculty/pdf/newmang_art_authenticity.pdf
Aura● = "Unique phenomenon of distance"● = Uniqueness and permanence an original has● Goes hand in hand with a pieces authenticity, for they both reside only in originals ○ And both are lost in art reproduction● Undeniably linked to tradition and arts ritual function
Ritual/Tradition● Arts first purpose was for rituals/traditions, usually of the religious type ○ "Cult/Ritual Value"● In this view, the existence of the ritualistic art matters more than its exhibition to people● Cult value eventually lost steam when "exhibition value" grew
Exhibition Value● Reproduction detaches art from domain of tradition/ritual● Cult values shifted to exhibitionist ones as more people demanded to see art● As authenticity, aura, and rituals became less important, these conflicting values reversed in prominence● Value shift in art also led to a change in its intrinsic nature and how it was viewed by people ○ http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/atheologies/1491/modern_media_and_the_%E2%80% 9Cexhibition_value%E2%80%9D_of_the_corpse
Relation to Chapter Two● Presence of exhibition value is implied when referring to fully engaging audience and their emotional connection to a film for non ritualistic reasons ○ Plays huge role in experience of form● Perceived meanings, interpretations, and evaluations of art also play a pivotal role in experience of art that resides in the exhibition value
Photography & Film● Through these mediums more than others, the exhibition value displaced cult value● Films societal immersion and significance ensures its effect● Ch. 2: touches upon societal influence and interconnectedness among art and film in its explanations of convention and experience ○ All art is a product of culture, whether ritualistic or exhibitionist
Films Inclusion in "the Arts"Film is introduced through a comparisonbetween the invention of photography and theinvention of film.Can either be considered art?By taking out the "cult" aspect throughmechanical reproduction, Benjamin says weare left with both film and photography havingpolitical functions.
Films Indescribable NatureMany tried to attach characteristics of art tofilm:Compared to Hieroglyphics by Abel GaneDescribed by S*Verin-Mars as an"incomporable means of expression".Described by Iverfel as being "supernatural".
The Disappearance of Films "Aura"The Actor and his performance go through twofilters before reaching the audience:-The Camera-The Editing Processhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJcQgQHR78Q 6:30The actors performance is not directly receivedby the audience so the audience does notperceive the actor or characters "aura."
Films Connection to the AudienceFilms lack of "aura" leads to the business ofbuilding up an actors personality in the realworld. The actor becomes a commodity.http://www.imdb.com/list/50XfQs9uH8U/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Movie_star
Films Connection to the AudienceAnyone that watches film can become an actor. Political connection:Acting becomes "common property" that can be attainable by all. http://www.listal.com/list/from-singer-to-actor http://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/tv-film-news/from-cliff-richard-to-meat-loaf-the-best-1299541
Films Connection to the AudienceBy experiencing film, members of the audiencebecome experts. Filmmakers are constantly trying to "trick" the "expert" audience through the use of special effects http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/31799
AnalogyMagician=PainterSurgeon=Cameraman● magician maintains a natural distance between patient and self ○ a painter maintains in his work a distance from reality● surgeon diminishes the distance between himself and patient as he handles the organs ○ a cameraman penetrates deeply into the web of reality
Cameraman● a cameraman penetrates deeply into the web of reality ○ work of a cameraman consists of multiple fragments assembled under a new law ○ the camera intervenes with the resources of lifting and lowering, interruptions. . . ○ with close-up, space expands; with slow motion, movement is extended
Dadaism "Dada is a state of mind... Dada is artistic free thinking... Dada gives itself to nothing... ." So is Dada defined byAndré Breton. This is not to say that Dada is definable, for itwas one of the primary goals of Dada to avoid the labeling and legitimizing of the establishment." www-scf.usc.edu● "They intended and achieved the relentless destruction of the aura of their creations which they branded as reproduction with the very means of production."
DADA ART ● Assured distraction by making works of art a center of scandal ● Dadaistic rule: outrage to the public"The Fountain"
Shock and Distraction● Dada art work is unique because of shock value ○ disruption or distraction from the "usual"● Dada art "hit the spectator like a bullet, it happened to him, thus acquiring tactile quality"● This promoted demand for film which is distraction ○ "based on the changes of place and focus which periodically assail the spectator"
Film vs. Painting● A painting invites a spectator to contemplation, to abandon himself to his associations● In a film, as soon as your eye grasps a scene, it changes ○ the process of association in view of images is interrupted by constant change ■ shock effect of a film"I can no longer think what I want to think. Mythoughts have been replaced by movingimages." ~Duhamel
The Masses● Critique is that the masses seek distraction whereas art demands concentration from the spectator ○ concentrated spectator IS absorbed by work of art ○ distracted masses ABSORBS a work of art● Despite being distracted, one can still form habits while in the state of distraction
Habit of Expectation● After reviewing the article and reflecting on chapter two, it can be inferred that one of the habits formed in the state of distraction is expectation ○ as a viewer absorbs the changing images (music/sound etc...), he/she develops expectations ○ the film either meets, delays, or shatters expectations ○ the viewer then adjusts his/her expectations