Benjamin's Theory Of Auras

2636 Words 11 Pages
In this paper, the author will address Benjamin’s (1993) theory of the aura, relating it to the changes in our technology and perception throughout time. In particular, it focuses on the rise of film and the reproducible image as a pivotal point in our history, so far as the aura is concerned anyway. Thus, this essay will address the key concepts of the aura, bearing in mind that what it entails is complex and extensive, extending beyond the scope of the paper. After that, the author will aim to expound on the function of the aura and how it affects individuals and society at large. Thirdly, it will address the transformation that led to the loss of the aura. And lastly, what happens to the void left by this loss. Although it is outside the …show more content…
But with the incursion of the technology of reproduction, we are faced with the eradication of the aura. What once took time to create and had its own history is now being reproduced in large quantities, replacing a distinct existence – or trying to as it will never own up to the original – with an existence that is defined by the magnitude of its existence. With this change in reproducibility the aura is lost, for singularity is replaced by a mass existence, something the technology of reproduction can never capture. Not only is it the case that the technology Benjamin (1993) refers to does not capture the aura of art, but it also serves to extract sameness “even from what is unique” (p. …show more content…
The reason for this is that one of the aspects that define the aura is its disposition towards the natural, as well as its need for concentration (Benjamin, 1993). Being that our new perception relies on distractibility defined by its manipulation, we are faced with a perception that is at odds with the concept of the aura. Through the direction of the photographer our view of the natural is perverted to encompass a skewed view of the world. They can choose to focus on only one feature of a mountain, flower, or insect, affording of only the view they choose to let us see. Furthermore, by keeping the images moving in film, we are yet again deprived of the ability of contemplation, being drawn into the story the author wishes to tell. Not having the chance to contemplate flies in the face of what aura needs to exist, and thus, a tension is

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