The work of art


what perishes in the era of the technical reproducibility of the work of art says Benjamin is his aura.
the meaning of this process goes well beyond the scope of art:

the technique of reproduction detaches the reproduced from the area of #tradition. By multiplying reproduction puts in the place of its unique presence its massive presence


(sacred, separatedness)

reproduction frees the work of art of its hierarchical, sacred, separated character

No nostalgy for #aura

relationship 1 to many

fragment (1938 - 40): #aura Is the human ability to return the gaze to something or someone

Brecht's comment: the expectation that what we are looking at will in turn return to us the gaze generates the aura. Benjamin discovered this by analyzing cinema. Everything is mystical in this attitude contrary to mysticism.

autentic, immediate


reproductibility makes of the artistic object a thing amongst things (Duchamp)

Liquidation and crisis of art
as traditionally conceived:

not anymore a #fetish, gets rid of the myths of creativity, empathy, autenticity ...

Benjamin takes both art and philosophy out of their traditional context / borders, out of their conceptual territory, abandon of the traditional objects and themes of the philosophical discourse

Connection with Passagenwerk

radically reconfigures the meaning and nature of the philosophical exercise, a sinking of thought in the most humble materials, and also and above all in the existences of the vanquished, the prostitute the worker (as expressions of the commodity #fetish)

pays attention to what appears to history as secondary,

save the phaenomenons in the moment when they happen, to find the traces of a higher life - this can be done ONLY in an epoch freed of #magic

works of art are made things but things that are active and next to our lives, at the same time things that act in our lives, things that can generate thoughts and feelings and also change our way of perceiving

#Art emancipated from ritual and #magic

Magic: make believe that the magician has a #power

chirurgician: the proximity of things passess through its #mechanical reproduction, through the assumption of the distance

mechanically mediated

changes in time and space

the dynamite of the tenth of a second,


"By close-ups of the things around us, by focusing on hidden details of familiar objects, by exploring commonplace milieus under the ingenious guidance of the camera, the film, on the one hand, extends or comprehension of the necessities which rule our lives; on the other hand, it manages to assure us of an immense and unexpected field of action. Our taverns and our metropolitan streets, our offices and furnished rooms, our railroad stations and our factories appeared to have us locked up hopelessly. Then came the film and burst this prison-world asunder by the dynamite of the tenth of a second, so that now, in the midst of its far-flung ruins and debris, we calmly and adventurously go traveling. With the close-up, space expands; with slow motion, movement is extended. The enlargements of a snapshot does not simply render more precise what in any case was visible, though unclear: it reveals in them entirely new structural formations of the subject. So, too, slow motion not only presents familiar qualities of movement but reveals in them entirely unknown ones 'which, far from looking like retarded rapid movements, give the effect of singularly gliding, floating, supernatural motions." Evidently a different nature opens itself to the camera than opens to the naked eye--if only because an unconsciously penetrated space is substituted for a space consciously explored by man. . . . . The camera introduces us to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses." (236-7)

the immediacy of nature or the immediacy of reality becomes a mirage: through film mounting it becomes apparent that reality is a social construction
art becomes a powerful tool for social mediation, for the production of collective meaning.

this transformation affects the experience of all reality not only artistic aesthetic facts precisely because the traditional territory of art explodes, the art world explodes


the distinction btw original and copy is lost

the principle of unicity is lost

this subverts hierarchy and traditions and reconfigures the political image of history

diacronical polarity



sincronical polarity
(in Horkheimer version):

(the work of art
is on the same ontological
level of toys)

(mimesis, reproduction, #archaeology)

John Philips

WB misunderstands the history of reproduction

Leonardo anatom. drawings

Main topic

Simon Fleury

photography used as a means
of analysis in museums

there is a real shift with photography
in the way we perceive reality


this is a massively political text

go away from traditional ways
of framing art

taste in art / beyond what masses

it's more about the moment he was living, the ongoing dev of media

the question is how the nature of art changes because of

fascism was trying to aesteticize

think about snobbery

the ritual art hadn't to be pretty

the aesthetic aspects took over
religion from contemplation
this can give the individual a lot, but at
wb times this kind of contemplation had

Chris H



kill the notion of the Artist

everybody is an artist, or there is no art at all


the artist and aura can be used for power games

Max Puchalsky

everybody can film vs artificial scarcity

is not the infinite reproduction creating a new kind of aura?


the reason why there are so many possible interpretation is that the text is very ambiguous

I cannot see a relationship: why there can't be any specificity of art if a church puts out an image?

he's trying to

the value of ritual is no valued anymore because there is no ritual

Koshika Yadava

the burden of authenticity is on the artist?

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