In the reading, Walter Benjamin touches briefly on the evolution
of art and focuses mainly on use of reproduction in art. When
technology continued to evolve, art would become more and more easily
reproduced. When reproduction occurred, the meaning of that art changed.
He brings up three different reasons for reproduction to occur:
The first reason is something that many art classes do when they examine the
works of a famous artist and recreate work of their own using that artists'
style. When this recreation occurs, whatever becomes the final product can
easily be interpreted differently when compared to the original.
The second reason is similar to the mass-production of books, which is
a form of art when it comes to looking at typography and layout design. The third
reason aligns with the idea of mass-producing replicas for people who
want to buy them.
- Students replicating for the purpose of learning
- Masters replicating for the purpose of spreading their work
- Replicating for profit
I thought that Benjamin made a good point when he said that the
reproduction of art lacks the unique quality that art should have. But
further on in the reading, Benjamin points out that reproduction can
create a product that helps the viewer see it in a different way.
"Process reproduction can bring out those aspects of the original that
are unattainable to the naked eye yet accessible to the lens." (pg 220)
However, being that it took something from the original, it brings to
question how authentic the replication can be. In today's society,
replicas can be questioned based on copyright issues because what makes
something original? Replicas can also be dangerous when it gives off a