Re: digital "originals"

Tom Coffin (
Mon, 9 Mar 1998 09:17:54 -0600 (CST)

bring on the beef Troy - I'm sure a number of us have
those titles stored in the hidden folds of our grey
matter somewhere - (trying to find mine as I type).
Currently, I view the aura of the "original" maginified
by the multiplicity of reproduction. Digital reproduction
has magnified what print did by an unknown factor. I
find it amusing that musuems are so slow to reproduce
their collections to the web out of fear - fear of losing
control over the aura of the "originals" they possess
and copyright benefits. Their fear is preventing them
from attaining that which they desire the most, international
recognition and money.

On Sat, 5 Jul 1997, Troy Bennet wrote:

> 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.
> peace,
> troyb