The History of Slavery. The first class of involuntary slaves among the ancients, from war.
Art, Aura and Authenticity How has capitalism affected our experiences of art and the media? In the third of his eight-part series on critical theorist Walter Benjamin, Andrew Robinson examines Benjamin's famous thesis that mechanical reproduction has transformed the arts, and explores what a 'political art' might look like.
By Andrew Robinson Source: This short piece provides a general history of changes in art in the modern age. It is also historical. In Marxist fashion, Benjamin sees the transformations of art as an effect of changes in the economic structure. Art is coming to resemble economic production, albeit at a delayed pace.
The movement from contemplation to distraction is creating big changes in how people sense and perceive. The aura includes a sensory experience of distance between the reader and the work Effects of the supernatural essay art.
The aura has disappeared in the modern age because art has become reproducible. Think of the way a work of classic literature can be bought cheaply in paperback, or a painting bought as a poster. Think also of newer forms of art, such as TV shows and adverts.
Then compare these to the experience of staring at an original work of art in a gallery, or visiting a unique historic building. This is the difference Benjamin is trying to capture. The aura is an effect of a work of art being uniquely present in time and space. It is connected to the idea of authenticity.
A reproduced artwork is never fully present. If there is no original, it is never fully present anywhere. Authenticity cannot be reproduced, and disappears when everything is reproduced.
Benjamin thinks that even the original is depreciated, because it is no longer unique. Along with their authenticity, objects also lose their authority. The masses contribute to the loss of aura by seeking constantly to bring things closer.
They create reproducible realities and hence destroy uniqueness. This is apparent, for instance, in the rise of statistics. The traditional work of art is experienced mainly through distanced contemplation. In declining bourgeois society, this became an asocial stance. In contrast, modern cultural forms such as photographs, TV shows and film do not lend themselves to contemplation.
They are imperative, challenging and agitating the viewer, putting up signposts. Benjamin argues that distraction became an alternative to contemplation. Distraction is fundamentally social.
Benjamin criticises the usual account whereby true art is contemplated and the masses seek only distraction. For Benjamin, contemplation is a kind of domination by the author: In contrast, distraction involves the audience absorbing the work of art.
Reception of art now normally happens in a state of distraction, especially in the case of film. This echoes contemporary discussions of how media exposure reduces attention spans and may even produce stimulus overload. Most often, this takes the form of right-wing concerns that people are losing the ability to pay attention or concentrate on tasks.
But radical authors, too, usually analyse it in terms of a debilitating submersion and a loss of space and time to think. The loss of aura seems to have both positive and negative effects for Benjamin. He sees the aura, authenticity, and uniqueness of works of art as fundamentally connected to their insertion in a tradition.
The reproduced work of art is completely detached from the sphere of tradition. It loses the continuity of its presentation and appreciation. Art was originally derived from ritual, and depended on it for its aura.
The earliest works of art might have been items such as totem poles, cave paintings, and fertility dolls. As a result, the experiences connected with ritual and tradition are lost.
The autonomy of art is also lost.Most cultures exhibit a particular configuration or style. A single value or pattern of perceiving the world often leaves its stamp on several institutions in the society.
Outline of Döblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz. Page references are to Eugene Jolas's circa English translation of the novel, initially published as Alexanderplatz, Berlin; the edition used here is from Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.,New York (sixth printing, ).
Today during an otherwise terrible lecture on ADHD I realized something important we get sort of backwards. There’s this stereotype that the Left believes that human characteristics are socially determined, and therefore mutable.
Oct 31, · Sam dies of unknown causes (presumably from the fall) after jumping into Lucifer's Cage to trap Lucifer inside, brought back by Castiel.; Sam dies after Billie causes him and Dean to become temporarily incapacitated and momentarily revived to escape Site The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature by William Cronon.
Print-formatted version: PDF In William Cronon, ed., Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, New York: W.
W. Norton & Co., , The time has come to rethink wilderness. In philosophy, naturalism is the "idea or belief that only natural (as opposed to supernatural or spiritual) laws and forces operate in the world." Adherents of naturalism (i.e., naturalists) assert that natural laws are the rules that govern the structure and behavior of the natural universe, that the changing universe at every stage is a product of these laws.