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Reproducibility is the ability of something to be accurately reproduced or replicated by another individual working independently. It relates to the agreement of the results with different operators using different tools at a different location. The results are always reported as a standard deviation from the original plan. In Benjamin works of art, reproducibility is a process that occurs slowly and may take a long time. Benjamin discusses the reproducibility in the works of art and the entire world of photography and film. It is all about the modern age and its effects on the work of arts. How art has been changed by the perception of the humans through time. Reproducibility changes the original piece of art through the change of the originality or aura of the artistic image, the real message put across and the cult value of the original art. The reproduction of pieces of art causes a total change in the perception of the art and can send a total different meaning to the observer. Reproducibility is an inevitable process that takes place over time and it serves to bring a lot of change in the meaning of art. It overshadows the concepts of originality and creativity of art. It can therefore be said that reproducibility is one big enemy to the world of art and the divine talent requirement to be artistic.
A look at the photography of today, there is so much reproducibility of photographs of various places and features that the real image or the original item cannot be defined. It is not easy to tell anymore if the items in photographs are really as represented. Photography can be said to leave out a lot of details of the original thing. For example details such as the distance, vegetation and the color are completely distorted. With the advances in technology photographs can be used to represent an image of a certain thing just like in a painting. This also leaves out a lot the originality of the image displayed. For example the photographs of the mountain like the Alps remove the concept of space and time.
According to (Blunden ii), even the most perfect pieces of art that are reproduced are lacking in the element of space and time. The technology of the modern times in photography renders the work of art impure. While some pictures will want to portray the mountains to have peaks that are slightly steep and have very green vegetation others show complete different imagery of steep peeks and no vegetation. This technology of photography renders the works of art impure and changes the original forms of the art. Photography can be said to make the work of art loose the aura or the authenticity through the mechanical production. While the photograph of the mountain will be representing an image of another image, a painting will be the original mountain.
Paintings would capture the concentration and contemplation of the viewer unlike photography. The paintings would be fascinating and inviting to the observer. The cult value that would have been in a painting is replaced by the exhibition value in photography. The cult value does not disappear suddenly but in a shadowy manner. The cult value is still represented in photography but in a far distant manner because just like the portraits, photography is also meant as storage of memories. Photography as a replacement of painting brings out a distant political significance through the creation of memories. The images of photography also bring out a very different side of the original. The photographs are meant to capture what the original person and the photographer want to portray to the viewer; therefore the original thing is not what the viewer sees but the viewer is subjected to a totally different concept.
Photography has led to the shift between the original, authentic value of what the viewer is subjected to, to a more modern way of view. The paintings displayed the original view of the items with the same color, creativity and authenticity were also very much a part of the paintings, but with photography most of these aspects are lost in the modernity part. Photography values the exhibition value more than the cult value. The photographs do not evoke the free contemplation that a painting will. They both portray the past events but paintings have the free flowing contemplation and concentration in the viewer compared to a photograph that will carry less of such value. Photography is a reproduction of the paintings and therefore fails to achieve the original basis of paintings. The photographs shape the original political meaning of paintings through randomness storage. Unlike the historical times when the paintings were done according to specific occasions or factors, photography is done at any particular time with little consideration to reasons.
Photography also presents a distraction with mixed ideas and presents the perception of avoidance of difficult tasks. The works of art will generally capture the most difficult of tasks and will aim at the presentation of the most important factors of an item. Art is able to bring the masses together; it acts to mobilize the people through getting their attention to a particular thing. Photography on the other hand falls below these perceptions and always takes the easiest way of artistic representation. The photographs tend to present a distraction instead of a pull and these shows that the master of the art is just but a habit than really the creativity and talent in it. The public is therefore made as an observer but only absent mindedly without the proper concentration that the works of art expects. The idea is to capture and satisfy the human interest which could simply be the removal of the special function from the field of view. The images of photography therefore leave out a lot of the important details of art meaning the concept of reproducibility leads to the distortion of the original concept.
The mechanical change noted in the photography means that the reproduction of the works of art leads to the change in the method of exhibition. Photographs simply change the reaction of the public to works of art and change the perception of the works of art. It gives the masses an option of critics. The historical work of arts like the paintings and the portraits were easily accepted by the masses but the photography technology of the modern day has been faced with a lot of critics. For example in Blunden essay, he says that the 19th century disputes to whether photography is a work of art, (part 7). This shows that there is doubt in people at the authentic value of photography in comparison with art. Photography fails to create the subtle effect in the viewers that a simple portrait would. On the other hand, this mechanical production of the works of art is bound to change the public reaction to the particular piece of art, (part 12).
It can therefore be concluded that the effects of reproduction are adverse to the work of arts. It is quite unfortunate that reproducibility is inevitable especially with the new technologies that come daily with the modern world. The technology is bound to change the works of art and bring a different representation of art. The political significance shifts with every new introduction to the original piece of art. The works of art space and time concept are totally changed in the same manner.