* The Digital repli(can’t)
* The artefact – an object made by a human being , typically one of cultural or historical interest
We began by looking at Walter Benjamin’s essay Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction; We split into pairs and we all had small paragraphs from the essay from which we took only the essential information, the key words – so we got to some conclusions:
* works of art have always been reproducible
* mechanical reproduction of a work of art is something new
* a perfect reproduction it’s still not good enough – it’s not the original – it’s not located in that time and space anymore
* the photograph can reveal items in the original that cannot be seen
* authenticity of a thing is all that is transmissible from its beginning
* aura – something the mechanical can’t reproduce
* reproduction detaches from tradition and history
* we have a desire to bring things closer – spatially and humanly
* aura in relation to art – natural aura and experience
* uniqueness and permanence vs. transitoriness and reproducibility
* uniqueness of a work of art is inseparable from its being embedded in the fabric of tradition
* art is linked closely to ritual
* mechanical reproduction frees art from it’s link with tradition
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. Historically, works of art had an ‘aura’ – an appearance of magical or supernatural force arising from their uniqueness. The aura includes a sensory experience of distance between the reader and the work of 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.
– Andrew Robinson (Ceaseﬁre)
* it makes us think – can a photograph be an original? or is by definition a reproduction of light? -> photography’s first paradigm shift
* What we have lost and what we have gained in our technological advances ?
* this leads us to Marshall McLuhen’s ideas on extensions and amputations – An extension occurs when an individual or society makes or uses something in a way that extends the range of the human body and mind in a fashion that is new.
* so technological extensions have the effect of modifying other extensions
* Ralph Waldo Emerson says: Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is christianized, it is rich, it is scientiﬁc; but this change is not amelioration. For every thing that is given, something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts.
* so one change leads to another
So we did an ‘experiment’ – if we were to buy a red rose we would buy it for one or two pounds and probably easily sell it for the same price or less, but if that rose were given to us by someone that we care about then the value of that rose becomes higher – it has a sentimental value – so the original image of it – because eventually the rose will die.
The internet is a copy machine. At its most foundational level, it copies every action, every character, every thought we make while we ride upon it. In order to send a message from one corner of the internet to another, the protocols of communication demand that the whole message be copied along the way several times.
– Kevin Kelly
* immediacy, personalisation, interpretation, authenticity, accessibility, embodiment, patronage, findability
* Embodiment – At its core the digital copy is without a body. You can take a free copy of a work and throw it on a screen. But perhaps you’d like to see it in hi-res on a huge screen? Maybe in 3D? PDFs are ﬁne, but sometimes it is delicious to have the same words printed on bright white cottony paper, bound in leather. Feels so good. What about dwelling in your favorite (free) game with 35 others in the same room? There is no end to greater embodiment.
* a physical object occupies a physical place
* in the digital age we look at it’s flaws – it’s expensive – takes time to produce – cannot be updated
* A book has weight, size, thickness and tactile qualities, qualities which are handled by the hand, as it’s optical form is handled by eye.
The printed page, the bound (codex) book with its title and author page, looks authoritative; it can be described as embodying or containing wisdom in a way that the unstable electronic text does not.
– Brigitte Frase
* break the flow of images – of absorbing the images
* We looked at Jeff Wall’s light box installations
* this exhibition can’t be put into a book or online
* when we look at a book, at an exhibition we take time, spend time on absorbing it, fact that doesn’t apply when we look at something online
* when you see a reproduction you don’t have that aura of being there
* as artists we have to think at the way of how are we presenting our work – this leads us back to the horizons ( our presentation choices must reinforce the communication of our message of theme) – we can only control our horizon – we can’t control our viewers horizons
What does digital do well?
* accessibility, cost, distribution, information, layers, networks
The digital repli(can’t)
* authenticity, embodiment, permanence, provenance, history, tradition