Presentation  on  Benjamin     Binaries!

    Mechanical  Repreduction   • New  theory  of  art   • Revolutionary   • Reproducible  at  any  time   • Questions  authority   • Renewal  of  mankind   • “far-­‐reaching”  liquidation   • Significance  of  masses   • Exhibition  value   • Political   • Simultaneous  and  Collective  Experience   • Communism     VERSES     The  Work  of  Art   • Old  theories  of  art   • Eternal  value,  mystery   • Dependent  on  historical  production   • Creates  authority   • Tradition   • Cultural  heritage   • Importance  of  aura   • Cult  value   • Ritual   • Hierarchical  Mediation   o The  patron,  the  painter,  the  museum,  the  viewer  –  or  the   church,  the  priest,  the  people   • Capitalism/Fascism     Difference  between  the  work  of  art  and  mechanically  reproduced  art   • Ideas  of  permeable  binary     Mechanical  Reproduction  has  benefits  over  “the  work  of  art”  because:   • Film  can  capture  things  unseen  or  missed  by  the  gaze   • The  original  occurrence  can  become  mobile     Film  Jeopardizes  the  very  notion  of  authority  because  it  does  not  rely  on   historical  testimony  for  its  value    

 the  cult  value  of  art  had  little  to  do  with  the  ability  to  exhibit  it   to  the  masses.  If  we  think  of  the  body  as  reality.  but  mechanically  reproduced  art  makes  it  available  to   everyone   • Cave  Paintings     Photography  inherently  contains  the  capacity  to  be  political  because  it   records  historical  occurrences.  through  habitual  use.     Film  and  Psychoanalysis   • Film  combines  science  with  art  in  a  way  that  makes  it   revolutionary   • Film  allows  us  to  perceive  things  that  we  would  not  normally  see   or  recognize.   • A  comparison  of  wealth  and  poverty  in  Eugene  Atget’s   photographs  of  Paris     The  distance  between  the  film  actor  and  the  audience  gives  the  audience  the   ability  to  become  critics  instead  of  accepting  the  values  of  the  cult.  people  can  gain  a  critical  understanding  of  film  even   when  they  are  distracted   .  This  is  similar  to  the  way  in  which  psychoanalysis   allows  us  to  understand  the  unconscious.  and  even  to  the  cult  of  beauty.  the  medicine   man  faces  the  body.  People  can  enjoy   and  understand  the  social  satire  of  a  Chaplin  film  even  though  they  might  not   be  able  to  understand  a  Picasso  painting.  does  not  diminish  the  aura  of   that  work     “Art  for  art’s  sake”  might  de-­‐politicize  art.  it  at  least  breaks  art  away  from  “its   parasitical  dependence  on  ritual.  the  film  does  not   allow  for  the  contemplation  we  can  do  with  traditional  art  work   • Film  just  distracts  people  and  does  not  allow  critical  examination   • Benjamin  counters  this  by  comparing  film  to  architecture   • Even  when  we  are  not  concentrating.  from  magical  to   ritual/religious.”     Traditionally.Just  because  our  relationship  to  a  work  of  art  chances.     Criticism  of  Film   • Because  each  scene  is  followed  by  more  action.  we   appropriate  the  dimensions  of  architecture   • In  this  way.  bit  the  surgeon  penetrates  the  body  –  thus  the   cameraman  penetrates  the  web  of  reality     Film  actually  alters  the  way  in  which  people  react  to  art.     Benjamin  uses  an  analogy  of  the  surgeon  and  medicine  man  being  similar  to   the  cameraman  and  the  artist.

  .  bit  Benjamin  ends  with  the  hope  that   communism  can  react  through  the  politicized  art  of  film.   A  Caveat:  Film  produced  as  a  commodity  will  remain  a  commodity     Fascism  was  using  art  to  promote  war.

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