Benjamin, Walter, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction translated by J. A. Underwood (London, Penguin Books, 2008) 1-50
In principle, the work of art has always been reproducible. What man has made, man has always been able to make again.
Technological reproduction of the work of art is something else, something that has been practised intermittently throughout history, at widely separated intervals though with growing intensity.
With photography, in the process of pictorial reproduction the hand was for the first time relieved of the principal artistic responsibilities, which henceforth lay with the eye alone as it peered into the lens. Since the eye perceives faster than the hand can draw, the process of pictorial reproduction was so enormously speeded up that it was able to keep pace with speech.
Even with the most…
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