Critical Theory

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Notes on: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Benjamin Walter)

Expropriation of the normative narrative results in the condition for analogous insight.

The “Aura” – A strange tissue of space and time. The unique apparition of a distance, however near it may be. To follow with the eye – while resting on a summer afternoon – a mountain range on the horizon or a branch that casts its shadow – is to breathe the aura of that mountain or branch.

An ancient state of Venus – to Greeks this is something you worship. Different context for Medieval Clerics – they view it as a sinister idol. But both saw its uniqueness – an that is its aura.

The earliest artwork originated in the service of rituals. So it was first magical then religious. The artworks’ auratic mode of existence is never entirely severed from its ritual function.

True purpose of film: To give convincing expression to the fairylike – the supernatural. The work of art is produced only by a montage – each component of the montage is a reproduction of a process.

Film makes use of human being’s self-alienation. It’s basically the same kind of estrangement you feel before a mirror.

The actor stands in front of the camera confronting the masses. The masses are not present during the performance yet they control it. This invisibility tightens the authority of their control.

The cult of the movie star preserves the magic of the personality and reinforces the cult of the audience – in an effort to control the narrative and supplant the class consciousness of the masses. So — everyone becomes an expert – which means the viewer gains access to authorship but at the same time – the masses (viewers) are fed a corrupting narrative – one that teaches them to know their place (see Why We Love Sociopaths by Adam Kotsko – A guide to late capitalist television)

 

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