The essay "Work of Art in the Age of Reproducibility" by Walter Benjamin expresses the ways in which technology (more specifically photography for Benjamin) and the ability to reproduce images has altered art and the way that it is perceived by humans. I thought that one of the strongest points in Benjamin's essay is when he describes the one thing that even the most perfect reproduction lacks: "the here and now of the artwork". Benjamin argues, "It is the unique existence--and nothing else--that bears the mark of the history to which the work has been subject. The history includes changes to the physical structure of the work over time, together with any changes in ownership" (253). He goes on to explain how "the here and now" aspect of the art is akin to the concept of its authenticity. As well as losing its authenticity, the artwork loses its aura (which is explained later in the essay as basically feelings of connectedness with the work). To sum up this argument, Benjamin says, "It might be stated as a general formula that the technology of reproduction detaches the reproduced object from the sphere of tradition. By replicating the work many times over, it substitutes a mass existence for a unique existence." All in all, Benjamin doesn't seem very happy about the ways in which the new reproductive technologies are changing humans' perceptions and understandings of art.

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