Closing Thoughts: Benjamin to Brecht


Mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual . . . . From a photographic negative, for example, one can make any number of prints; to ask for the ‘authentic’ print makes no sense. But the instant the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic production, the total function of art is reversed. Instead of being based on ritual, it begins to be based on another practice–politics.

Only a thoughtless observer could deny that correspondences come into play between the world of modern technology and the archaic symbol-world of mythology.

The camera introduces us to unconscious optics as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses.

—Walter Benjamin
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