Sunday, October 23, 2011

Water Benjamin "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction"

I really enjoy reading this essay. This time around I found it even more insightful because my understanding of the progression of media. The Ipod had just been introduced the first time this article was assigned. Now we have 4 generations of Iphones! What is an Ipod!?

I thought that Benjamin's discussion in the latter part of the essay were especially relevant to my particular project. In Part X he basically predicts the imminent proliferation of the blog when he expresses the idea that every person has been delegated a critic in a society where the aura of art has beens tripped away as is the case in film. Spectator and critic are one. This is evident today in that a 15 year old can find a following and become a relevant mainstream advertising revenue stream as a result.

In part XI, he discusses the "thoroughgoing permeation of reality with mechanical equipment." This stuck out o me in particular as my project involves kind of accentuating the minutae of human movement, and the play between light, dark, and shadow. By using technological equipment, not only am I able to explore and broadcast these images, but with new media, I can determine the exact placement on the image in even a non representational space, and allow it to interact with people in at a number of degrees of attention. He discusses this in part XV where he says that reception in a state of distraction can be truely exercised in film. I would argue that reception in a state of distraction is exercised descending the subway stairs two at a time while reading a text on your smartphone. Or participating with a projected display of a live fashion editorial based on the very rack that you are currently browsing. In this part Benjamin discusses tactile appropriation as being the catalyst for significant change in the notion of human perception. What if our advertisements were personalized and interacted with us one on one through virtual displays that operated to accentuate the commodity object on display? What types of 2D experiences can be brought from the flatness of the tablet or page and applied directly in real world experience?

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