21 Matching Annotations
  1. Jan 2022
  2. canvas.ucsc.edu canvas.ucsc.edu
    1. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Benjamin

      1. Benjamin is part of the Frankfurt School at Institute of Social Studies in Germany.
      2. They are trying to examine the failure of Marxist revolutionary social change.
      3. The idea is that ideology disseminated through mass media are making it very difficult for Marx's prognotication are making it very difficult for social change to occur.
      4. 19th century modernity: mass transportation, factory work, dissemination of capitalism, movement to cities and experience of urban life

       These convergent endeavors made predictable a situation which Paul Valéry pointed up in this sentence: “Just as water, gas, and electricity are brought into our houses from far off to satisfy our needs in response to a minimal effort, so we shall be supplied with visual or auditory images, which will appear and disappear at a simple movement of the hand, hardly more than a sign.” (op. cit., p. 226) Around 1900 technical reproduction had reached a standard that not only permitted it to reproduce all transmitted works of art and thus to cause the most profound change in their impact upon the public; it also had captured a place of its own among the artistic processes. For the study of this standard nothing is more revealing than the nature of the repercussions that these two different manifestations—the reproduction of works of art and the art of the film—have had on art in its traditional form.

      Q: Why does it matter that film minimizes the aura?

      At the time, art reacted with the doctrine of l’art pour l’art, that is, with a theology of art. This gave rise to what might be called a negative theology in the form of the idea of ‘pure’ art, which not only denied any social function of art but also any categorizing by subject matter. (In poetry, Mallarmé was the first to take this position.) An analysis of art in the age of mechanical reproduction must do justice to these relationships, for they lead us to an all-important insight: for the first time in world history, mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of art from its parasitical dependence on ritual. To an ever greater degree the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducibility.7 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.<br> Ritual: pre-modern timesPolitics: Despite the political painting the art piece will be associated with the aura of original piece of art.

      • Film is not auratic because in film: 1) spaces and times are constructed 2) actors performance is stitched together 3) actors do not share space with spectators 4) multiple points of view 5) appeals to a MASS AUDIENCE and a COLLECTIVE AUDIENCE 6) reveals new aspects of the thing reproduced (time alpse, slow motion).

      How do institutions put the aura back into film?

      In photography, exhibition value begins to displace cult value all along the line. But cult value does not give way without resistance. It retires into an ultimate retrenchment: the human countenance.

      The superstar is a way to put the aura back into film

      The film responds to the shriveling of the aura with an artificial build-up of the “personality” outside the studio. The cult of the movie star, fostered by the money of the film industry, preserves not the unique aura of the person but the “spell of the personality,” the phony spell of a commodity. So long as the movie-makers’ capital sets the fashion, as a rule no other revolutionary merit can be accredited to today’s film than the promotion of a revolutionary criticism of traditional concepts of art. We do not deny that in some cases today’s films can also promote revolutionary criticism of social conditions, even of the distribution of property. However, our present study is no more specifically concerned with this than is the film production of Western Europe.

      *Marx says capitalism produces the seeds of its demise. We can think of that as a guiding principle in which capitalism produces the neorosis that leads Chaplins character into a destructive set of behaviors that stops the Fordist capitalist production in a factory.

      Feelings of belongoing and togetherness and being overhwemed by a mass you want to be a part of , but for Benjamin this is a trynanny where people feel they are in control but they are not really in control. Thus communism replies by politicizing art. Art for art's sake is harmful when put in the service of a facist regime. Art for political progress.

      The growing proletarianization of modern man and the increasing formation of masses are two aspects of the same process. Fascism attempts to organize the newly created proletarian masses without affecting the property structure which the masses strive to eliminate. Fascism sees its salvation in giving these masses not their right, but instead a chance to express themselves.21 The masses have a right to change property relations; Fascism seeks to give them an expression while preserving property. The logical result of Fascism is the introduction of aesthetics into political life. The violation of the masses, whom Fascism, with its Führer cult, forces to their knees, has its counterpart in the violation of an apparatus which is pressed into the production of ritual values.

      Film is not merely a translation of an in-person thetaer performance. Rather film is performing for future audiences and for the director and for cinematrography. This supports the idea that film is a collabroative creation that brings an object into the world.

      One film can be playing multiple times around the world and so this can be distributed on mass scale.

      Film is not merely a recording of reality. Film reproduced new aspects of the things reproduced through slow motion and it brings to light entirely new aspects of matter but discloses quite aspects within them. If Benjamin merely interested in the epistemological possibility of the film to expand our limited perceptual appartus, yes but think about how this reinforces his claim that film moves us away from the aura,...that if we can see unknown aspects by recording it then we can't rely on film to reproduce an original we have to keep in mind that the image is qualitatively distinct from our perceptual access to the thing. So film is not merely a copy of the thing that it records.

      Benjamin flips things and says that maybe film isn't art the way we see an art and this will get us away from the trappings.

      What is Benjamin's definition of art which he is defining with the aura, the transcendence of individual of ritual.

      1. substructure or base: factors that produce commodities and economic relations that result from these concrete aspects
      2. superstructure: culture, law, media that for a Marxist thinker emerges in the way that the economic structure functions; the more media/education/political cosumption that you do the less you are going to understand the conditions of your exploitation and the more you are going to think change is possible.
      3. What role does cinema play in the move from cult and aura to mechanical reproduction? See snapshots.
    1. When Marx undertook his critique of the capitalistic mode of production, this mode was in its infancy. Marx directed his efforts in such a way as to give them prognostic value. He went back to the basic conditions underlying capitalistic production and through his presentation showed what could be expected of capitalism in the future. The result was that one could expect it not only to exploit the proletariat with increasing intensity, but ultimately to create conditions which would make it possible to abolish capitalism itself.

      The transformation of the superstructure, which takes place far more slowly than that of the substructure, has taken more than half a century to manifest in all areas of culture the change in the conditions of production. Only today can it be indicated what form this has taken.

  3. May 2021
    1. "Marx's scholia: Annotations Involving Classical and English Literary Texts in Capital," in Connotations: A Journal for Critical Debate 29  (2020), 190-219 [CLICK HERE FOR PDF] "Much can be learned from tracking Marx’s use of literary texts in his footnotes, a practice that best can be understood in the context of his classical rhetorical training. His annotations, I argue, both contribute to and—as a kind of counter discourse—reflect the larger dialectical process carried out in his critique of political philosophy. Even though Marx is not writing a literary text as such, he is in fact doing a fair amount of literary criticism, all neatly tucked away in his notes, going so far as to quote long passages from key works in the classical tradition and from the English Renaissance that he then annotates."

      Karl Marx's annotations? I'm in!

      This may be the sort of thing that @remikalir may appreciate as well.

  4. Oct 2020
    1. Religion, the dominion of the human mind

      Karl Marx's statement, "Religion is the opium of people" is paraphrased by the writer here.

  5. Apr 2020
  6. Feb 2020
    1. There are at least six elements in Marx’s works that are of key relevance for understanding communications today (Fuchs, 2016b; Fuchs and Mosco, 2016a, 2016b):(1) Praxis communication: Marx was not just a critical political economist but also a critical journalist and polemicist, whose writing style can inspire critical thought today.(2) Global communication: Marx stressed the connection of communication technol-ogy and globalization. In an age, where there are lots of talk about both the Internet and globalization, we should remind ourselves that technology-mediated globalization has had a longer history.(3) Dialectical philosophy: Marx elaborated a critical theory of technology that is based on dialectical logic. Dialectical philosophy can help us to avoid one-sided analyses of the media (Fuchs, 2014c).(4) Class analysis: Marx stressed the relevance of the connection of labour, value, commodities and capital. He analysed modern society as a class society. Focusing on class today can counter the positivism of analyses of society as information society, net-work society, knowledge-based society, post-industrial society and so on.(5) Crisis and social struggles: Marx described class struggle and crisis as factors in the historical dynamics of class societies. Class structures and struggles are in complex ways reflected on and entangled into mediated communication.(6) Alternatives: Marx envisioned alternatives to capitalism and domination. Given capitalist crisis and monopoly control of social media today, it is important to envision alternatives to capitalism and capitalist social media.
  7. Aug 2019
    1. s led by sociopaths who politicized language,

      Peggy Noonan doing her best 18th Brumaire rip off.That's right, Peggy Noonan is stealing from Marx.

  8. Mar 2019
  9. Dec 2018
    1. Capitalism creates something much worse than people who are grimly, grubbily exploited in this way — it creates predators: people who are quite happy exploiting others, in order to get rich themselves.
  10. Aug 2018
  11. Jul 2018
    1. The task for social theory, therefore, is to render the invisible visible, show relations and intercon­nections, begin tbe process of questioning the unquestioned. Before we can identify some of these economic relations of temporal inequity, however, we first need to understand in what way the sin of usury was a barrier to the develop­ment of economic life as we know it today in industrial societies.

      Citing Weber (integrated with Marx), Adam describes how time is used to promote social inequity.

      Taken for granted in a socio-economic system, time renders power relationships as invisible

    2. Marx's princi­pal point regarding the commodification of time was that an empty, abstract, quantifiable time that was applicable any­where, any time was a precondition for its use as an abstract exchange value on the one hand and for the commodification of labour and nature on the other. Only on the basis of this neutral measure could time take such a pivotal position in all economic exchange.

      Citing Marx' critique on how time is commodified for value, labor and natural resources.

  12. May 2018
    1. Gramsci helps in distinguishing the dying Marxism from that which remains unexhausted in Marx and in the various Marxist traditions
  13. Feb 2017
    1. specialization

      Though clearly, Bush is situated squarely within a capitalist context, I'm reading Marx in here against the grain in terms of specialization and the loss of holistic sense of labor. Could increased access to knowledge counter that trend in capitalism?

  14. Jun 2016
  15. screen.oxfordjournals.org screen.oxfordjournals.org
    1. I believe that the nineteenth century in Europe produced asingular type of author who should not be confused with 'great'literary authors, or the authors of canonical religious texts, andthe founders of sciences. Somewhat arbitrarily, we might call them'initiators of discursive practices'.

      Has another category: people like Marx and Freud (and I'd say Darwin) who constructed theories that are productive in other works as well. These are "initiators or discursive practices."

      This ties in well with Kuhn's paradigms.

  16. Dec 2015
    1. Communism is for us not a state of affairs which is to be established, an ideal to which reality [will] have to adjust itself. We call communism the real movement which abolishes the present state of things. The conditions of this movement result from the premises now in existence.
    1. Estrangement appears not only in the fact that the means of my life belong to another and that my desire is the inaccessible possession of another, but also in the fact that all things are other than themselves, that my activity is other than itself, and that finally – and this goes for the capitalists too – an inhuman power rules over everything.
  17. Sep 2015
    1. Poems have to lend themselves to the "social mentality" in a way, granted, there's no social universality. To connect with a poem, one must feel either more connected OR more contrasted with their surroundings. It's all in reference to the way people around the reader think.

    2. Marx's interests, how he developed his thoughts