Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Reading 1 : Walter Benjamin

Reading 1 : 
"The Work of Art in the Mechanical Age of Reproduction"


Have this read and your questions posted to blog
by Thursday (July 18) before class!

Example of sets of questions with reading-

[Set 1]

1. In Section III, Walter Benjamin discusses our desire for reproduced art. Is our desire to "get hold of an object" and bring it closer "spatially and humanly"  symptomatic of our modern society or is it inherent in us as human beings? Would ancient artistic cultures have collected on the same scale as modern people if they had had the means?

2. Benjamin states "The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public." Does his thesis hold true today with art produced for the masses? What are some examples?

[Set 2]

1. Silent film actors had lost their voice for the sake of the new film technology. It was like they were just showcasing the new technology and not being artists. However, looking back on silent films we now see them as art. How is something that once "lacked" art transformed into art?

2. In the piece by Walter Benjamin, it is stated that "While facing the camera he knows that ultimately he will face the public... During the shooting he has as little contact with it as any article made in a factory. This may contribute to that oppression, that new anxiety which according to Pirandello "grips the actor before the camera." What is the difference between the "new anxiety" that a film actor experiences as opposed to 
anxiety felt by all other types of artists and performers?

I additionally pose(d) a choice-

We can meet at Bibo's Coffee by 9th/Record
street (or another joint) and chat about the
reading there from notes and memory.

This choice won, so at 1:00 on Thursday (July 18),
we will meet at Bibo's coffee off Record street.
South part of campus. Please contact if need directions!


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