Walter Benjamin: The Art of Work Term Paper

Pages: 3 (935 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Art  (general)

Walter Benjamin: The Art of Work in Age of Mechanical Reproduction

Walter Benjamin in his article 'The Art of Work in Age of Mechanical Reproduction' has justified the usage of mechanical equipments for the means of production of art works. Plagiarism and copyrights have been traditional issues, the duplication of any master piece has been considered as a serious offence and in certain part of the world serious capital punishments are awarded for defying copyrights.

This particular essay is with reference to duplication of art pieces. Through out centuries art has been driving force towards the spiritual, social and economic accomplishment of an individual and society. Art has played vital role in nurturing and molding of society's frame of thoughts and application. The promotion and propagation of Art pieces through duplication has been critical issue, some agree to it and others disagree with this notion of publicizing independently.


Walter in his text, 'The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction', studies the influence of mechanical technologies on the history of art and human consciousness. He discusses the new production techniques which engender the new means of judging the original work piece. He further elaborates that the technological advancement has achieved new standards, and duplicated pieces are considered as original and real pieces. He concludes with the fact that human perception, particularly optical perception, is in an ongoing state of evolution.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Walter's article is canonical in art history, film studies and related fields. Benjamin further elaborates that previously, painting or sculptures were embedded with aura, which gave a sense of absolute uniqueness towards the artwork. In the age of technology, Benjamin perceives that the uniqueness of art piece has diluted by the application of reproduction devices, he welcomes the idea of art without aura, i.e. promotion of duplicated copies. In present scenario characteristic art forms, photography and film lack the element of originality.

Benjamin supports the usage of mechanical devices, reasoning that aura was a kind of aristocratic mystery, and the art develops it values on the basis pf present rather than past. The implementation of technological production means are more kind of democratic art. He writes,

The social significance of film, even -- and especially -- in its most positive form, is inconceivable without its destructive, cathartic side: the liquidation of the value of tradition in the cultural heritage.'(Benjamin Walter)

The art community believes that it is Benjamin's likely embracement of Communism which influenced his thoughts, and developed a soft and lenient stand towards the publication and duplication of art pieces. Benjamin's personal circumstances only reinforced this judgment.

Benjamin suggested that technologies of mechanical reproduction and systems of mass production changed modes of human perception and evaluation, fundamentally altering our aesthetic responses.

Benjamin argues that experience of cultural imagery has been under dramatic influence… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Walter Benjamin: The Art of Work" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Walter Benjamin: The Art of Work.  (2006, November 7).  Retrieved April 13, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Walter Benjamin: The Art of Work."  7 November 2006.  Web.  13 April 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Walter Benjamin: The Art of Work."  November 7, 2006.  Accessed April 13, 2021.