The Work Of Art And The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction

911 Words4 Pages
In the piece “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Benjamin tackles the evolution of reproduction coinciding with the introduction advanced technologies; and how art, specifically film, has transformed since this introduction. He asserts that reproduction has now become part of the process in art because of mediums like film and photography, however their reliance on technology creates less authenticity among art forms due to less of the original art still be connected to the piece. While the authenticity starts to decrease, the number of people who are able to individually experience the art increases because of technologies that are able to mass produce art. This creates his ideas of auras, which are the unique connection between the object of art being experienced and the person experiencing it. However, these objects that are desired to be experienced are sometimes only because of what Benjamin refers to as the “ritual” they have, or history. Benjamin claims that technology separates itself from this idea, creating a medium where reproduction is part of the underlying goal for the work to be successful. This success creates the reception Benjamin breaks down into two different values: cult value and exhibition value. Exhibition value he describes as what the art is valued at when in a public setting, however cult value is the value assigned to art that is not available for the general public to see. Technological reproduction now plays a larger part in
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