Re: digital "originals"

Troy Bennet (
Sat, 05 Jul 1997 01:50:47 +0000

Jaxun brings up a rather important issue concerning
digital art and originality. This issue has been
fairly beaten to death in the realm of photography and film.
I highly recommend that anyone working in a medium of
mass reproducibility be aware of the issues concerning
authorship, originality, and reproducibility.

John Berger's "Ways of Seeing" does a good job of addressing
many of the concepts related to mass media. Berger's ideas are
inspired by the philosopher Walter Benjamin and semioticians
such as Roland Barthe.

Benjamin's seminal paper, "The Work of Art in the Age of
Mechanical Reproduction" written sometime in the late 30's
disusses how photography, offset printing, and film (cinema)
affect the notion of authorship in light of mass reproducibility.

Our current digital era really brings home many of Benjamin's
ideas, especially because of how indistinguishable copies of
"Originals" are.

Do a net search on Walter Benjamin. I found the entire paper
online a while ago. I couls also be persuaded to email it out
to interested parties. Apropo eh?

Once anyone reads this, I'd be interested in discussing the whole
realm of capitalism, "aura" and authorship.

beefy stuff.