The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction
Benjamin introduces the principles of art and argues how the works have always been reproducible (Benjamin, Arendt & Zohn, 1968). However, from the replication principle, new prints represent something new irrespective of the producer. The article presents a historical view of the changes that occur in art and how it was perceived from two dimensions by the Greeks; stamping and founding. Irrespective of how the art presents itself, there is always a way of replication, introduction of change to the original design with the aim of adapting to current events. It is through these changes that the author fears that ancient art is on the verge of fateful, yet profound changes. Modern knowledge and power are like a worm, one that embeds and transforms the entire technique and intention of art, bringing a new notion of art.
No matter how efficient the reproduction of art is, the author argues that it lacks two essential elements; time and space. The two natural occurrences cannot be copied, and the essence, of preserving art to depict and display these elements, becomes paramount (Blythe, 2001). The existence of the work of art is unique and determines the history of either the artifact or the article or text in question. There are changes physical and ownership changes that an object undergoes since its conception, and this create a revealing history that becomes part of the art. It is the lack of these changes that the author is opposed to the idea of reproduction and replication.
The essence of art according to the article is to convey human sense of perception of the present surrounding (Benjamin, Arendt & Zohn, 1968). It is the lack of this illumination in replicated works that the author is opposed to and reproduction of art and proposes pioneer creations to enact required goals.
Benjamin, W., Arendt, H., & Zohn, H. (1968). Illuminations. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.
Blythe, M. (2001). The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproduction: The Significance of the Creative Industries. Journal Of Art & Design Education, 20(2), 144-150. doi:10.1111/1468-5949.00261