The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin (1936)

I think it is very important to realize the way art is valued in relation to the progression of technology and the way art can be produced and also captured. And how the manner in which art is captured and produced can satisfy the vast audiences that crave art but how does this affect art itself. We live in a society that demands pieces at such a fast pace, and for different reasons. During the renaissance period for example, art and paintings were made to capture one of a kind portraits of rulers or religious scenes. Now, we use photography to capture an image and this image can be replicated to be seen by more than one person. Walter Benjamin argues that this method of viewing a piece demolishes the aura of the original. A good example could be the Monalisa. We can see may copies of this piece online and replicas are printed and placed in homes. But it is evident when seen in person the actual impression the piece of art has on the viewer. 

I think that if we would like to see art and pieces of work in the comfort of our own homes or nearby, via technology, through film or photography, the audience and the original piece of the work are being compromised. First off, the audience can only interpret the piece from where they are viewing it, without background context of where it came from. And even if one is educated about the work and its historical background, the aura of the original piece or original scene when looking at a photograph, cannot be felt through a copy. This could affect our appreciation towards the piece.  Second, these many copies may not do the piece of work justice. For ex

I think it is important that we realize what Walter Benjamin has shed light on. I think we would all like to see all the art pieces that we can in a life time. But the method that we are using nowadays is compromising the value and impression given by an original piece when viewed first hand.