In Defense of the poor Image & Learning to look beyond the frame: reflection on the changing meaning of images in the age of digital media practices!

Both the articles written by Paolo Favero and Hito Steyerl, reminds me of Walter Benjamin’s essay on “The work of art in the Age of mechanical reproduction.” taken from the book The work of art in the age of its technological reproducibility and other wrtitings on media edited by Michael W. Jennings, Brigid Doherty, and Thomas Y. Levin.

“Losing the meaning of “pure art” through mechanical reproduction relates to the cultural power of media because media is constantly reproducing art for profitability and to attract consumers. Most of this reproduction is in the form of film/print advertisements: for example, I found a print ad for Allianz Insurance in Istanbul who used the Mona Lisa for advertising the safety of their company (putting her in a hard hat). Advertisers use well-known art pieces to draw the reader into something familiar along with something that has significance.

This use of art takes “pure” meaning out of the art because it relocates it in a different setting (i.e. to sell insurance) and changes the perspective (i.e. putting a hard hat on the Mona Lisa).”What I conclude from these articles is that, analyzing and interpreting on the concepts and looking with the perspective of theory, i would like to shed some light on Benjamin’s essay of ” The work of art in the age of reproduction.”

Unique existence in eventually finished, so the idea of very unique existence which further move into Authenticity leads to cult and exhibition. Nothing is happening in the ‘here and now’ but mass existence.

The excepts from the reading, “The poor image has been uploaded, downloaded, shared, reformatted, and reedited. It transforms quality into accessibility, exhibition value into cult value, films into clips, contemplation into distraction.” 

The boom or the introduction of the social media and other applications which has completely transformed the work of art in the age of reproducibility. So the images are easily accessible, uploaded, shared, tag, save and reedited.

Authenticity = originality  – becomes multiplicity

Cult value  – becomes exhibition value

Aura – becomes decay of aura

Contemplation – becomes distraction

Painting – becomes architecture, photography and film.

What Do the Mona Lisa and Star Trek have in Common? 


Taken from Benjamin’s book and articles:
From article” Learning to look beyod the frame, by Paolo Favero, published online: 07.Apr. 2014.


One thought on “In Defense of the poor Image & Learning to look beyond the frame: reflection on the changing meaning of images in the age of digital media practices!

  1. Dear Madiha, this makes no sense. Stick to the essay by Hito instead of comparing to Benjamin. They are both saying different things. Analyse Hito’s writing on its own instead of taking on another challenging text to draw comparisons. I would encourage you to pick one thought from a text you read–just one idea– that you find interesting, and expand on that. Focus on what resonates with you and build a story around that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s