m of care – feb 8

Reading Group on Walter Benjamin’s the Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

walter on art – [follow up m of care – mar 23]


notes/quotes from 76 min video:

simona: this text most read in past decades than any philosophical text.. history of text t- (also she has visual notes on link from museum of care site above) –

4 min – simona: about hierarchy and being separated.. this is the cult value of art that is lost in reproduction.. this relationship between art as cult and ethereal beauty.. and the photography.. the mechanical reproduction that makes the work of art an object amongst other objects.. what is lost in repro is the authority.. the authenticity.. the dream/myth of authenticity that is peculiar to the original work of art that cannot be reproduced.. because manual repro is a fake.. mechanical repro is not a fake.. it’s declared as a repro.. this produces this disenchantment of it and makes it an object amongst objects.. by being mechanical it shows the fact that this is an artifact.. our idea of art is .. we use this word art.. that wasn’t used by greeks.. in those times artisans were common.. not an artist as we think of now.. nevertheless the cultist part of the nature o fa work of art was even stronger at their times in a very opposite way than in our times.. benjamin opposes the .. reproduces image of authenticity.. makes of movie stars idols.. artificially.. reproduces the commercial separation of art and life.. separation that is not any more the form of the art..

10 min – simona: takes me to what david and nika wrote about .. thru the selling of art.. the diff between nature and movie is the naturally of it is the consequence of work while in theatre.. participator sees/watches actor naturally.. the movie star on screen is via film.. appearance of authenticity of movie is an artificial product.. makes diff says Benjamin.. between magician and surgeon.. same as diff between painter and film.. magician pretends to act naturally w a separation between he and the (?) with pretension of authenticity.. with human and painter.. person is real.. no pretension/claim of authenticity.. this is exactly what fascism tries to bring back in art/movies.. the political assumption.. to recognize that everything in human relationships is artificial.. the movies are clearly the make of humans.. not magic/authentic.. movie comes w mediation of mechanics.. makes it clear that our world is artifical and something we make.. and as david said as well can make diff..

another art world et al

graeber make it diff law

15 min – nika: i want to say about artists vs proletariat.. that was in our essay simona mentioned.. another art world.. it’s an essay about art communism.. says the concept of artists and proletariat came about same time.. know about artists.. but nothing about proletariat.. but these are the guys that produce everything we use.. i want to repeat what simona said on .. ‘our ability to return the gaze’

17 min – john phillips: i have many problems w ben’s essay.. but need to put in context the info an anal around him at the time.. (then goes into that background).. one reason this essay so (popular) only one.. nobody wrote about the process until 250 yrs after.. so a tech that’s almost invisible to people engaged in it.. marshall mccluhan starts writing about it in 60s.. but he’s a historian.. he doesn’t assemble ideas.. my first problem with him is he slides various forms into each other.. (as result.. gives false info).. i think benj misunderstands history of repro and the photo as a tool

26 min – nika: so benjamin as unreliable source of info.. but for me didn’t change my understanding of necessity to make art political instead of make art artistic.. in this case this text is fundamental for me

27 min – simon fleury: (affects on museum as means of material anal)

30 min – christian walter: says need to find a way that is not corruptible.. among intellectually minded people.. taste in art.. is populous snobbery.. so let’s not be snobbery here.. more about point he’s trying to make than what came before.. about ongoing development of media.. he (benj) says.. does film constitute art.. is not question.. but how does art change because of these new forms.. also about mass culture.. which was new.. i think what’s really important.. ie: fascism was trying to aestheticize politics in order to preserve property.. the politicization of art.. art doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing.. the original cult object didn’t have to be pretty.. because nobody really saw it.. it was really about what happened in their head.. as rituals became devoid of sense.. the aesthetics took over.. turned from religion to contemplation.. which is what people w certain form of ed would think art is for.. that can get the individual quite a lot.. reaction from dadaists: ‘this contemplation is bs/empty’.. this is where film came in.. forgot about contemplation.. goes too fast.. so way of engaging with it is not engaging in it.. film was giving you a way of dealing with mass culture.. because there’s too much.. in end i think what benj thought film could do.. by being revolutionary and pointing this out and getting masses engaged.. t

rheingold (mom) art law et al

38 min – chris haughton: yeah.. i’ve made this book about all of communication.. from language .. writing.. print.. media.. internet.. before mechanical repro.. painters were the mass production.. what church and everything used to communicate widely.. then others came and painters were a bit redundant.. but were the cultural elite.. so it was like ‘what do we do these days’.. like before .. religion was science.. where everyone looked to get answers.. and as soon as science comes out.. religion takes on this cultic aura.. been sidelined by mass communication.. but got this whole industry of culture elites saying.. ‘what do we do.. we’re no longer needed’.. just a thread i’m talking about in my book

40 min – nika: this text is difficult for me to read .. in english and english isn’t in my first language.. and it’s a translation from german.. so i was guessing.. what did he mean.. but most important part for me in this text is a kind of confirmation that i think.. that in order to make a progressive art have to kill notion of artist as magician.. so .. either everybody artist or there is no art.. that’s unsettling for some.. but i think it’s beautiful.. t

let’s do this first: free art\ists

42 min – john phillips: hard to talk about one dadaism..

43 min – simona: i think what dadaists try to do is disenchant art.. they brand as repro as means of production.. about removing the ritual/sacred of hierarchical side from work of art.. putting work of art in human reality .. this says benj is more effectively done by photography and movies

44 min – nika: yeah .. also provoking the audience.. including them almost forcefully.. dragging them into art production process by making audience angry.. simona.. what does it mean by ‘our ability to return the gaze’

simona: it was just one of the last notes retrieved from what benj left.. i don’t know what he meant by this.. but to me it relates to something he says in this text about the aura of natural things is in their separation.. that you can’t attain them.. where the aura in works of art is in their unicity.. reminds me of something rica said about the beauty as something you cannot possess.. but in all this .. the human gaze is relationship.. that we are mutual creations.. by looking at each other we imagine/create each other.. returning the gaze is an act of recognition.. the presence of a person is in the fact that this person reacts to you.. looks back to you.. this is authenticity.. it is the authenticity of the person.. t it’s aura is in relationship with you..

brown belonging law et al (but we keep not doing/being that)

48 min – nika: you’re saying should belong to people.. person to person.. benj just means aura shouldn’t be attached to physical object even if famous paintings..

simona: a work of art is a fetish.. something we make and then forget it’s a creation of us.. and we attribute to it powers that doesn’t belong to us anymore.. to take back this ability to create our reality is what benj searches in making it evident that this is something (art) human made.. when make art sacred.. we transform it into fetish and expect this human made god to return our gaze in a magical way.. but this is a projection of our self ability to return the gaze to each other.. t

thurman interconnectedness law et al

52 min – christian walter: i think benj thinks we can make film as a revolutionary tool.. i think what’s important for him is to see the good and bad in everything.. say we have to look for potential in this new form of art

56 min – simona: in this text.. there is no mistake.. aura is bad.. and fascists are trying to bring aura/sacrilegist/hierarchy of art.. david said magic not just make believe in play.. it’s a make believe that you have power.. magic is about power

1:01 – nika: maybe i can invite everyone to another reading group about another art world.. i also want to talk about common creation of social sculpture .. where democracy necessary because if some not allowed to take part.. then bad social sculpture.. so either everyone artist or no art at all.. so maybe in summer.. do this

yeah to everybody.. but to me not via any form of democratic admin

1:02 – vassily: on aura.. i think why many don’t understand it is what he is arguing.. on him saying.. if no more ritual.. then no more unicity.. i don’t agree.. quite the opposite.. if art.. ie: in church.. i find it weird.. to me.. because so ambiguous.. open to so many interpretations.. this text is a very basic modernity argument.. ie: have to adapt to the times.. for me this is the main problem with this text

1:05 – nika: i so want to talk to vassily and tell him how wrong he is about this text.. but i’m afraid to take over the floor because others..

1:06 – koshika yadava: it’s the accessibility question.. but on other hand in our times.. do we still create for something authentic.. maybe it’s not the reproduction.. but because it’s repeated everywhere do we change value.. is the burden of authenticity on the audience? i’m still hung up on that concept of aura and if mechanical repro destroys it or not

1:08 – nika: i think he says it doesn’t destroy aura.. but it could.. and benj saying.. this will all end up in war.. so that would be my answer to you vassily.. it’s not so innocent while in churches.. it’s very possible to use it for power game.. and most times will be used for power games.. so again this text for me is a manifesto of how we should get rid of the figure of artist and aura..

1:10 – vassily: not exactly what i’m saying.. he’s saying value of ritual not valuable any more.. and value of unicity and aura going to disappear as well.. for me this doesn’t make sense.. no correlation (first para #4).. in chat read.. text is optimistic.. and i think if ends up in war.. can’t be optimistic.. and on this being popular text..

1:12 – max lawson: brilliant text.. faulted all over the place .. from beginning ‘art is magic’.. the noble savage.. come so far to this complex world.. the drawing on cave has spiritual meaning.. that pisses me off.. that guy was showing off as well.. i feel like we’re not showing off our complexity.. john dewey’s art and experience and how art and science are much more joined together.. this exploring the world thru creative means.. i think this is not really explored in benj’s work

dawn of everything (book) ness

1:14 – john: very interesting to look at him.. but he was writing for a particular time.. and we’ve gone way beyond that.. much more complexed environ.. benj can teach us some lessons.. but i think we should be able to criticize and find holes in text.. because not written for our time

1:15 – max: i think there’s some things still so current.. something about the distraction.. i liked that bit as well..






museum of care meetings

museum of care