Monday, August 31, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
write about what Benjamin says about the aura:
what is its value? is its withering away good or bad? neither or both?
The value of the aura reflects the degree of uninterrupted originality the people perceive the work to have in relation to the ritualistic view surrounding the work. The idea of an aura of a work is dependent on the how the work existed in history and the condition the work is in as a result of it. Mechanical reproduction interrupts the aura, it allows multiples to exist at the same time, and this causes the aura to wither away. This withering away of the aura provides opportunity for film to be experienced at the same time by a collective of people in different places. This brings new opportunity for critique, and new ways for more audiences to experience the work. I would consider the withering of the aura to be a “good” thing. It questions not only the perceived ideas of value and originality of art, but it also questions the ways in which space and the degree of reproducibility affects the perception of art.
how can today’s films (focus on one) be understood in terms of Benjamin’s ideas about the aura and mechanical reproduction?
Man Ray’s Emak Bakia unconsciously seems to portray the meaningless extravagance that Dada filmmakers embraced in reaction to the film medium. Film cannot be separated from mechanical reproduction, and this film formed associations between nature and the mechanical world. It could be that the “natural” shots (the eye, the flowers, etc) represent the idea of the aura and the withering of it in favor of the mechanically reproducible world (the cars). It seems to be a metaphor for the world that is created (mechanically) inside of a film.
what role does their “readymade” status play in this?
The readymade status of film plays with the way in which the audience participates. The film can exist and be shown in multiple places at once. This status, this freedom of reproducibility allows more and more people to participate in the world created by the film.