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Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

            Work of Art in the age of Mechanical Reproduction.
             Walter Benjamin wrote the essayThe Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction? in 1936. In his essay he discusses art mainly before the 20th century, and specifically, theaura? of that art. Aura, as Mr. Benjamin describes it, is simply uniqueness in time and space. Benjamin argues that there has been a decay of artistic aura under the impact of media and new cultural technologies and advances; that there are changes in the essence of the art itself. He argues that because of mechanical reproduction, art has lost some of itsauthenticity? in the industry driven culture of the 20th century. In the view of Benjamin, a shift of attitudes toward art has taken place as a result of the introduction of mechanical reproduction. .
             Art reproduction lacks the presence and personality in a specific time and place that marks a work of art asauthentic?. A reproduction is quite independent from the original in that the artist has many choices in the way he chooses to present it. In addition, a mechanical reproduction of art has the advantage of being able to be placed in situations that would be inaccessible to the original. .
             Benjamin prefaces his essay by stating that works of art have always been reproducible, through imitation. Reproduction mechanically brings about a whole new era in reproduction, and with all the novelty of progress comes certain inherent opportunities, as well as potentially negative consequences. Every new means of reproduction that man has come up with has increased the speed with which art can be reproduced. He gave the example of Lithography, and its ability to have multiple copies from one original. Photography is also mentioned, because it allows the artist to produce his art at the same speed as speech. With the invention of film we have an art form that evolved from reproduction. .
             In the art of the cinema, the aura of art is somewhat taken away.

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