3D Animation Essay Research Paper The Aura

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3D Animation Essay, Research Paper The Aura of the Original & the Role of the Reproduction John Danator The idea that a work of art is unique, that the original has an “aura” about it, is an idea brought up by Walter Benjamin. He explains his position that the difference between the original work of art and a reproduction is that the reproductions are just that, they are copies. He brings up that the original must have some aesthetic quality that prompts a person to attempt to reproduce the original, so that it takes a completely separate yet similar physical form. The issue of reproduction was not nearly as important an issue until technology had advanced enough to facilitate mass reproduction of works of art. The mechanization of the 20th Century allowed the mass

population to be exposed to exponentially more works of art. Benjamin explains this kind of exposure is detrimental because they are reproductions. Fine Art has had, in the past, a spiritual, ritualistic quality to it. This may have to do with the history of art and its role in Catholicism as its main commissioner until about the Neo-classical period in art. The subjects of paintings especially were symbols of Christianity. With the progression of subject matter away from deity from the Neo-classical period on, and the ushering in of the age of mechanical reproduction, we see originals losing their uniqueness, the “aura” that sets the original apart from the copies. Benjamin explains that the relationship of art to the viewer becomes less and less associated with the

original, and more so with the copies, prints, photographs, and film. There is an increasing interest on the contemporary scene regarding the electric realm of reproduction, where the copy is reduced to a binary code of zeroes and ones, digitizing the original, creating a copy that requires a machine to actually translate this code into the image of the art. The ease of this process and the wide spread use of the machinery to translate these codes could be a logical extension of Benjamin’s view; that reproduction yields a lack of respect, perhaps even a complete indifference to the value of the original. The idea that the tools for reproduction are increasingly accessible to the public may also lead to reproduction being non-discriminate, and applying to anything that can be

digitized. “Art made on a computer theoretically exists nowhere as an original, other than as a sequence of digits. To see it (even for the creator of it) means to always be seeing a reproduction. And then, if the artist puts his or her work on the internet, anyone can – instantaneously, with no speed at all – ‘acquire’ a copy of this artwork. Their reproduction will then be indistinguishable from what the artist was viewing on his or her monitor when the work was first produced.” Benjamin’s idea that film is the most effective in dismantling the “aura” of art may have been premature. Today, we see digital forms of media as having the potential to facilitate the reproduction as well as the distribution of these reproduced materials and works of art. He explains

how the masses attend movies to come into contact with cultural norms. Applying his ideas regarding film to new media is effective in understanding the magnitude and importance of his argument. Benjamin compares the painter and the cameraman to a magician and a surgeon in an analogy to enforce his disdain for film. Magician and surgeon compare to painter and cameraman. The painter maintains in his work a natural distance from reality, the cameraman penetrates deeply into its web. There is a tremendous difference between the pictures they obtain. That of the painter is a total one, that of the cameraman consists of multiple fragments which are assembled under a new law. Thus, for contemporary man the representation of reality by the film is incomparably more significant than that