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Friday, February 17, 2012

Walter Benjamin- The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction- Section 9

Walter Benjamin- The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936)
Discussion on section 9 

Shift from painting to photography, theatre to movies. Photography isnt just an extension of painting: Aura is lost in this process, and we think certain dynamics are inherent to these mediums, but not necessarily so, and these dynamics maybe inherent to milieu in which it worked out instead. Medium has something inherent to it and when you move from it, something changes to it.

Eg: Digital Classroom course by Pinto and CSCS- studied how education has changed and is changing with introduction of technology.
Eg: Tagore tried to remove 4 walls of classroom but still there was only 1 knower. Now with tech, its no more about 1 to many but from many to many.
Eg: Blackboard evolution: from writing on sand, to slate, to blackboard, to OHP/ computer/ white board... and sometimes all at the same time. And on computer itself you can keep shifting screens from wikipedia, to youtube, etc. Eg: with online couses (like Pinto‘s Masters course or my certificate course), people can chat on other things other than the course and no one will know, due to multiple windows.

So what is role of teacher now?

So, what is the thing that if you remove, the whole thing will collapse. Eg: if you breathe pure oxygen, you wont survive, but if u remove oxygen from the mixture then you will die!

So in education, teacher is most important- you can have a building without students and it will still be an educational institution.

So teacher is a function. Teacher has to certify, they can fail or pass students. No office staff can do this, you can have them arrested.

But can computer decide pass fail? Eg: with multiple choice exams.

So yes, then teacher function is gone.

New model coming in education, where it doesn’t matter if u went to school/ college or not, or where you went to study, as long as you complete your national exam. Eg: in computers and medicine

All poets and philosophers, until Renaissance, were warriors- Plato’s uncle had to give him bail. With Romantic age, they could be full time poets.

Section 10

Benjamin moves to spaces, other objects, and the mechanical representations of the same (painting to photo, etc). So if photography takes the place of representing image, cinema takes job of represrntaing moving image. Not that the former disappears, but something happens to the former. So painting goes abstract. In India, painting was never (?) representative of reality, except with Ravi Vama. In Europe, it was achieved with Rembrandt. With Monet, began communicating emptions, expressions, etc. With camera, painting goes abstract- eg: Cubism, Dali- because now camera will do it for you.

Similar with cinema and theatre. In theatre after cinema, there now arose a specialised role of the director, who gave his interpretation of the text, which neednt be the authorial interpretation of the text. Playrights no more direct their plays. Eg: Karnad wont direct his plays, he doesnt want to impose their views on their work. 

Thus now, a critic is born. Point is no more about what the author said, but what the critic said. 

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