November 18, 2012

Diving into Reproductions

I know we left off last week in the middle of our Benjamin discussion and since we are going to re-visit this on Monday, I don’t see a reason to not further speak about the ideas from the essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.”

As noted in the discussion Benjamin put an emphasis on how regardless of the level of reproduction, nothing can imitate the authenticity of the original. Especially when it comes to the uniqueness in time and space the original takes. I believe as a culture we sometimes forget the significance an original work has on the level of reproduction of the next. In terms of history, we only truly remember pieces over time that can stand the presence of time whether they may be through reproductions or maintainability of the original.

To put that into context, we can compare the series of James Bond/007. Of all the movie series’ this has been one of the most reproduced films in the past century. Yet, we remember the original as a trendsetter because every one of the reproductions draws on the very first film.

My question is this. How do we put a value on an original work of art? Do we always give original works utmost significance even if they were absolutely terrible but started a revolution in the particular time sphere or future. Without the original we wouldn’t have the reproduction even if the reproductions were that much better? And how do we distinguish when a reproduction has come to a point where it transcends the original and has broken through a boundary that makes the reproduction in fact a new original?

I guess we could compare that the evolution of music? Thoughts?

1 comment:

tyreekminor said...

I, for one, attribute little value to an original work unless there is a large series of reproductions and remediation of the artifact. Without longevity, and the power of the artifact to be seen and experienced by a large mass of people from various locations and social status' the artifact cannot be attributed great acclaim. Without the art of reproduction, those that 'have not' can never gain the experiences shared by those that 'have.' If an artifact is only made and experienced by those that 'have,' it has very little significance to the world because those that are privileged make but a small majority of the population. Transcendence is far more valuable to an artifact than one that is only meant to be experienced by a small group of people within a defined community.

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