Diana Manister wrote:
> "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" is a 1936
> essay by German cultural critic Walter Benjamin which has been
> influential in the field of cultural studies.
> His use of the word "aura" in connection with art is a key concept.
> From Wikipedia:
> "Walter Benjamin used the word "aura" to refer to the sense of awe and
> reverence one presumably experienced in the presence of unique works
> of art. According to Benjamin, this aura inheres not in the object
> itself but rather in external attributes
Eventually someone should edit that Wikipedia article. "Attributes" is
the wrong word here. The "restricted distribution" is RELATION -- not a
quality or a thing. The relationship between your fingers and your
keyboard does not reside in the keyboard _or_ in your fingers OR in your
mind -- but it is REAL nevertheless. This is the usual confusion
non-marxists and 'orthodox' marxists fall into in reading Marx & his
better followers, of mistaking relationships ofor "things" or
such as its known line of
> ownership, its restricted exhibition, its publicized authenticity, or
> its cultural value. Aura is thus indicative of art's traditional
> association with primitive, feudal, or bourgeois structures of power
> and its further association with magic and (religious or secular)
> ritual. With the advent of art's mechanical reproducibility, and the
> development of forms of art (such as film) in which there is no actual
> original, the experience of art could be freed from place and ritual
> and instead brought under the gaze and control of a mass audience,
> leading to a shattering of the aura. "For the first time in world
> history," Benjamin wrote, "mechanical reproduction emancipates the
> work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual."
> The complete text of Benjamin's "The Work of Art in the Age of
> Mechanical Reproduction" is here:
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