The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility, and Other Writings on Media

Benjamin s famous Work of Art essay sets out his boldest thoughts on media and on culture in general in their most realized form, while retaining an edge that gets under the skin of everyone who reads it In this essay the visual arts of the machine age morph into literature and theory and then back again to images, gestures, and thought This essay, however, is only Benjamin s famous Work of Art essay sets out his boldest thoughts on media and on culture in general in their most realized form, while retaining an edge that gets under the skin of everyone who reads it In this essay the visual arts of the machine age morph into literature and theory and then back again to images, gestures, and thought This essay, however, is only the beginning of a vast collection of writings that the editors have assembled to demonstrate what was revolutionary about Benjamin s explorations on media Long before Marshall McLuhan, Benjamin saw that the way a bullet rips into its victim is exactly the way a movie or pop song lodges in the soul This book contains the second, and most daring, of the four versions of the Work of Art essay the one that addresses the utopian developments of the modern media The collection tracks Benjamin s observations on the media as they are revealed in essays on the production and reception of art on film, radio, and photography and on the modern transformations of literature and painting The volume contains some of Benjamin s best known work alongside fascinating, little known essays some appearing for the first time in English In the context of his passionate engagement with questions of aesthetics, the scope of Benjamin s media theory can be fully appreciated.
The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility and Other Writings on Media Benjamin s famous Work of Art essay sets out his boldest thoughts on media and on culture in general in their most realized form while retaining an edge that gets under the skin of everyone who reads

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    Walter Benjamin Michael W. Jennings Brigid Doherty Edmund F.N. Jephcott Rodney Livingstone Howard Eiland Thomas Y. Levin
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    Posted by:Walter Benjamin Michael W. Jennings Brigid Doherty Edmund F.N. Jephcott Rodney Livingstone Howard Eiland Thomas Y. Levin
    Published :2018-03-25T11:06:01+00:00

About the Author

Walter Benjamin Michael W. Jennings Brigid Doherty Edmund F.N. Jephcott Rodney Livingstone Howard Eiland Thomas Y. Levin

Walter Bendix Sch nflies Benjamin was a German Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator, and philosopher He was at times associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and was also greatly inspired by the Marxism of Bertolt Brecht and Jewish mysticism as presented by Gershom Scholem.As a sociological and cultural critic, Benjamin combined ideas drawn from historical materialism, German idealism, and Jewish mysticism in a body of work which was a novel contribution to western philosophy, Marxism, and aesthetic theory As a literary scholar, he translated the Tableaux Parisiens edition of Baudelaire s Les Fleurs du mal as well as Proust s In Search of Lost Time His work is widely cited in academic and literary studies, in particular his essays The Task of the Translator and The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Influenced by Bachofen, Benjamin gave the name auratic perception to the aesthetic faculty through which civilization would recover a lost appreciation of myth.

873 Comment

  • Hadrian said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    This is a new collection of essays with improved translations and a special focus on the media. The famous essay on Art and Technological Reproducibility (Das Kunstwerk im Zeitalter seiner technischen Reproduzierbarkeit) comes first, but the rest of the essays are thematically grouped - Script and Image, Painting, Music, Film, Photography, the Publishing Industry, and Radio. He talks about Charlie Chaplin and Chinese painting. Benjamin's thought is difficult for me to analyze, not just from its [...]

  • Christopher said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Resist the urge to dismiss this essay because of the epilogue. In fact, you can skip that section. I admit, it's one of those where you're like, "Wait a tick, how'd we get here exactly?"Here's a few ideas that I rather liked: (note, this is a fairly dense 26 page PDF, so my notes will be necessarily oversimplified and oriented towards my own interests)According to Walter Benjamin, the work of art has an “aura” which is largely dependent on the historico-technological context. The earliest ar [...]

  • Christopher said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Not that I expect anyone to actually read a college essay I wrote five years ago, but I present here my full thoughts upon Walter Benjamin's wonderful essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility". I wrote it for one of my favorite classes (Aesthetics) and I have fond memories of trying to divine the real effects of copy machines and cameras on an art world that existed for centuries without such reproducibility.Ambivalence In the Age of Art’s Technological Reproducib [...]

  • Nicolas Baygert said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Classique serré, arguments percutants et intuition implacable. Benjamin y enterre tout simplement l’art au sens noble. Dissocié de son aura cultuelle, l'art perd son autonomie originelle, désormais livrée au règne du contretype. Ainsi, Benjamin retrace dans cet essai la volonté des masses de « rendre les choses spatialement et humainement « plus proches » de soi. […] un désir tout aussi passionné que leur tendance à déposséder tout phénomène de son unicité au moyen d’une r [...]

  • 'Izzat Radzi said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Beberapa tahun dahulu, semasa melawat Fairy Pools di Isle of Skye setelah mendaki gunung di Black Cullin, saya terkesima dengan apa yang saya lihat lalu secara langsung berkongsi dengan seorang kawan yang juga guru, Hafidzi akan pemerhatian saya. Bukan pencemaran sampah, bukan kemusnahan alam, jauh lagilah air teh tarik seperti sungai-sungai di Gua Musang akibat pembalakan yang saya maksudkan. “Kenapa gambar-gambar yang kita tengok lain benar rupanya? Nah, depan mata kita, airnya biru setara i [...]

  • Roberto said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Ha senso riprodurre l'arte? Questo saggio, molto breve e famoso ma molto "denso", scritto dal filosofo Walter Benjamin nel 1935 tratta l'impatto della riproducibilità "tecnica" sull'opera d'arte, argomento né facile né immediato.I quadri e le sculture sono sempre stati riprodotti manualmente e le opere musicali altro non sono che una continua ripetizione/riproduzione dell'opera stessa. Benjamin però no, non ci parla di questo tipo di riproduzione; l'oggetto del saggio è la riproduzione "tec [...]

  • David Blumenkrantz said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    With the benefit of much hindsight, the essay still seems prophetic. Mechanical reproduction "changes the reaction of the masses toward art," and "emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual." Benjamin's essay outlines the social, political, and psychological implications of this "emancipation." The lost aura is replaced with a social significance, which Benjamin argues is "inconceivable without its destructive, cathartic aspect that is the liquidation of the traditiona [...]

  • Kris said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Přečteno pouze Umělecké dílo ve věku své technické reprodukovatelnosti. Existují zřejmě dvě verze, jelikož na internetu koluje jiná kratší a Literárněvědných studiích se vyskytuje druhá a delší.Esej je pěkný odraz doby, naznačující vývoj, který v mnoha ohledech později nastal. Doslov/Estetika války aneb poslední část citující Marinettiho manifest mi připomněla J. G. Ballarda.Jenom ta politizace (jako umění jako nástroj) mi není zvlášť jasná ani po [...]

  • Tosh said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    This maybe the best introduction to Walter Benjamin's work. His essay on "Reproducibility" is the classic text that every media or art student has to read - and rightfully so. He's was (or is on the page) a remarkable thinker and writer. Essential figure in the art of the essay. This is a very handsome edition of some of his greatest works. Do read and study hard!

  • Danforth Spitzer said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    A wonderful collection of articles and essays by Walter Benjamin.I really enjoy reading Benjamin's essays and imagine what it would be like to live in a time where art and media change drastically in a short period of time.I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in art, creation of media, and design.

  • Paola said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    - l'opera d'arte nell'epoca della sua riproducibilità tecnica - piccola storia della fotografia - eduard fuchs, il collezionista e lo storico - che cos'è il teatro epico? - commenti ad alcune liriche di brecht

  • Howard Dinin said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Irreplaceable as a fundamental text in an understanding of the transformation of the role of art, and the current understanding of the nature of the work of art, if not of how we stumble toward a sense of what is art and what is not.

  • vi macdonald said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    3.5

  • Leez Matías said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Debemos recordar que la obra de arte es algo reproductible, si siempre será reinventado por el ser humano. La imitación de la obra de arte es comparada con la reproducción técnica (el grabado de madera, por ejemplo) de la misma, que en el caso de la reproducción ha ido en aumento con el paso de los años. Cuando llega el capitalismo, cambia radicalmente todo, los modos de producción no solo cambian en lo social, también en las artes, la reproducción en masas. Antes solo se imitaba con la [...]

  • Victor Morosoff said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Dans une cinquantaine de pages, il parvient à en dire beaucoup. Et je comprends - même si je ne partage pas toutes ses opinions - l’influence de ce petit ouvrage : par un temps maudit, il a su y voir clair. Ce n’est pas toujours facile de garder sa lucidité quand on voit l’aura de l’œuvre d’art dépérir aussi vite que ça. 4,2/5

  • Feliks said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    An extremely succinct book of only 49 pps. Some interesting insights but certainly not the deep dissection of mass-market printing I was hoping for. The writing is clear and lucid and several of the ideas are superb--but there's just not enough of it.

  • Oliver Terrones said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Me parece que las artes, diseños, artesanías, la industria editorial, cultural y de entretenimiento no podría explicarse sin este texto de Benjamin. Me parece incluso que su coquetería con la muerte del autor lo vuelve un texto fundacional de nuestra época. Incluso, de cierta manera, un manual para internet.

  • ferrigno said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    "L'opera d'arte nell'epoca della sua riproducibilità tecnica" nell'epoca dei gruppi di discussioneUn quadro non è fatto per la sua riproduzione in tante copie. Ma un film sì, quindi per un film non ha più senso parlare di originale."Sta nascendo un modo di fare arte che non prevede originali ma soltanto infinite copie. Non ha più senso parlare di copie e originali".Questa è la prima, fondamentale intuizione. Attualissima. Pensate a quanta arte oggi è fatta in modo tale da essere immediata [...]

  • Cherch said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    "Lo que puede es lo verdadero, lo que quiere es lo falso", declara el epígrafe inicial de este ensayo escrito por Walter Benjamin durante el auge del fascismo alemán, en un intento por anticipar lo que será el arte tras el triunfo "inevitable" del comunismo en Europa.Mal adivino pero brillante teórico, Benjamin cimenta sus reflexiones en la idea de que el arte, gracias a los métodos de reproducción mecánica, ha comenzado un proceso de eliminación de su aura ancestral: el arte "aurático" [...]

  • Zhifei Ge said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Notes of the book:1. Process reproduction is more independent of the original than manual reproduction.      2. Technical reproduction can put the copy of the original into situations which would be out of reach for the original itself.      3. (This is very debatable:)The manner in which human sense perception is organized, the medium in which is is accomplished, is determined not only by nature but by historical circumstances as well.      4. (another assumption worth d [...]

  • Vaida said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Neblogas pavyzdys, kaip filosofai nusileidę iš būties, čia-būties ir esaties padangių į socialinę realybę, gali pasakyti kažką įdomaus ne tik tiems, kurie priklauso jų "grynosios minties" klubui. Sugretindamas visuomenės demokratizacijos, socializmo įdėjų plitimo ir "mechaninės meno kūrinio reprodukcijos" (t.y. fotografijos ir kino) įsigalėjimo procesus W. Benjaminas teoretizuoja meno statuso kaitą: nuo ritualinės ir religinės meno kūrinio reikšmės pereinama prie ekspo [...]

  • Andrew said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    The title essay has had such a landmark effect on media studies-- it's too bad how false it has largely turned out to be. Much in the same way that the high culture of Benjamin's day preserved the ethos of industrial capitalism, so does the era of technological reproducibility. Maybe Marx was right, and maybe "culture" is largely a superstructure that is dependent on the economic conditions. Either way, Google Image Search sure as shit ain't liberating us.Oh well! Benjamin remains an immensely w [...]

  • Michael said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    In "The World of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility," second version, Walter Benjamin argues that in this "new stage in the technology of reproduction," (20) that the "unique existence in a particular place" is lacking in reproduction — authenticity eludes technological reproduction (21). Reproduction detaches an object from tradition and from its aura, or its "strange tissue of space and time: the unique apparition of a distance, however near it may be" (23). Technological re [...]

  • Koen Verbrugge said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Essay over het impact van reproductie op kunst - Ook wel de verschuiving van kunst als ritueel tot kunst voor impact. In dit boek leiden fotografie en film een nieuw hoofdstuk van 'reproductie' in (1935). Dat leidt tot groter bereik en engagement, maar tegelijkertijd leidt het evenzeer tot een verschuiving in de maatschappij, één die ons wegleidt van authenticiteit. Tot het punt waarop we kiezen voor fascisme omdat het 'impactvol' voor ons spreekt, niet omdat het voor ons werkt. Een interessan [...]

  • ๖ۣۜSαᴙαh ๖ۣۜMᴄĄłłiƨʈeʀ said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    I'm very tired and wired on coffee, and so I'm not even 100% sure if I should be leaving a review (but if I don't do it now, I don't see myself ever doing it). This book was well argued and well translated, but I find myself disagreeing with his overall thesis. I don't agree that technological reproduction takes away from the authenticity of a work, because it's still art. In any case, I'm glad I read this book, because Benjamin's arguments have given me much food for thought, and I am certain t [...]

  • pierlapoquimby said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Nella nota che chiude la raccolta di questi brevi saggi, Paolo Pullega scrive che "in effetti gli scritti brechtiani di Benjamin sollevano continuamente l'impressione di una maggiore grandezza del commentatore rispetto al suo autore".Ecco, io ho avuto esattamente l'impressione che Benjamin parli oltre, oserei dire che parla proprio d'altro, come quando incontri un amico all'uscita dal cinema e gli chiedi: beh com'era il film? e lui ti risponde: l'immanenza dell'opera sia consustanziale all'arte. [...]

  • Jennifer said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Obviously, the best, most mindblowing essay is "Work of Art," but I like how fragmented and imperfectly formed some of the other essays are. Like the one about Parisian architecture and the panorama - some provocative thoughts are placed in there, but not perfectly proven. This is very much how I writel of the time. Makes me feel a little closer to being a legit literary theorist, of which I am not.

  • Zioluc said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Opera notissima e citatissima, è pubblicata assieme ad altri brevi saggi sulla storia della fotografia, su un collezionista d'arte e su Bertolt Brecht.Ha più di uno spunto acuto e interessante, ma in generale è molto datata e ancorata all'epoca storica in cui è scritta. Proprio questo però è un ulteriore motivo di interesse: l'arte negli anni '30 del '900 era in ebollizione la fotografia e il cinema, ancor molto giovani, mostravano esplosivamente che il linguaggio artistico stava cambiando [...]

  • Gretchen Geser said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    I haven't read Benjamin's essay in years, but I've wondered since I read it whether I agreed that mechanical reproduction diminishes art. Forget the problem of capitalism, I'm grateful for reproduction. And the issue becomes even more interesting in our age of digital reproduction and digital art-making. I gave it 5 stars because of its historical value and because it's such an interesting text.

  • Spicy T AKA Mr. Tea said:
    Jun 22, 2018 - 11:06 AM

    Fascinating read. Some essays were definitely "high theory" and some essays had allusions that I've never heard of. But, all the essays offered some provocative glimpse into media, art, and production. Some of the pieces got me really considering my own thought and production processes for video creating and writing. Really great stuff. I started reading and couldn't put it down.

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