54 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2019
  2. Aug 2018
  3. May 2018
  4. mbolam.github.io mbolam.github.io
    1. 42291

      This is a mysterious number converted by Excel as perhaps a number of days after some date in the 1970s...

  5. Mar 2018
    1. One mightsubsume the eliminatedelementinthe term“aura” andgoontosay:thatwhichwithersinthe age of mechanicalreproductionisthe aura of theworkof art.Thisisa symptomatic processwhose significance pointsbeyondthe realm of art.One mightgeneralize bysaying:the technique of reproductiondetachesthe reproducedobjectfromthe domainof tradition.Bymakingmanyreproductionsitsubstitutesa pluralityof copiesfora unique existence.Andinpermittingthe reproductiontomeetthe beholder or listener inhisownparticular situation,itreactivatesthe objectreproduced.Thesetwoprocessesleadtoa tremendousshatteringof traditionwhichisthe obverse of thecontemporarycrisisandrenewalofmankind.Bothprocessesare intimatelyconnectedwiththe contemporarymassmovements.Their mostpowerfulagentisthe film.Itssocialsignificance,particularlyinitsmostpositive form,isinconceivable withoutitsdestructive,cathartic aspect,thatis,the liquidationof the traditionalvalue of the culturalheritage

      Note here that "destruction" of an artwork's traditional aura (in the age of mechanical reproduction) is associated with "liquidation" and catharsis: this is death as transformation and transition. It is not necessarily a negative thing to be transformed--though of course we might associate this with "cheapening" the original. As Benjamin goes on to discuss, the new mass-producible media may affect us more powerfully, may be open for more intensive analysis and study, may be more moving.

    2. he equipment-free aspectof realityhere hasbecome the heightof artifice;the sightof immediate realityhasbecome anorchidinthe landof technol

      How often do we cultivate such orchids--attempting to disguise the technological mediation of our realities?

    3. ulpturesonmedievalcathedralsareinvisible tothe spectator ongroundlevel.Withthe emancipationof the variousartpracticesfrom ritualgoincreasingopportunitiesfor the exhibitionof theirproducts.Itiseasier toexhibita portraitbustthatcanbe senthere andtherethantoexhibitthe statue of a divinitythathasitsfixedplace inthe interior of a temple.The same holdsfor thepaintingasagainstthe mosaic or frescothatprecededit.Andeventhoughthe public presentabilityof a massoriginallymayhave beenjustasgreatasthatof a symphony,thelatter originatedatthe momentwhenitspublic presentabilitypromisedtosurpassthatof themass

      something of the arts no longer being controlled by religious rituals

    4. Magicianandsurgeoncompare topainter andcameraman

      distance vs. invasion

    5. Atanymomentthereaderisreadytoturnintoa writer.Asexpert,whichhe hadtobecome willy-nillyinanextremelyspecializedworkprocess,evenif onlyinsome minor respect,the reader gainsaccesstoauthorship.Inthe SovietUnionworkitself isgivena voice.Topresentitverballyispartof a man’sabilitytoperform the work.Literarylicense isnowfoundedonpolytechnic rather thanspecializedtrainingandthusbecomescommonproperty

      authorship and expertise accessible to anyone interested...

    6. Thisismostobviouswithregardtobuildings.Architecture hasalwaysrepresentedthe prototype of a workof artthe receptionof whichisconsummatedbya collectivityina state of distraction.Thelawsofitsreceptionaremostinstructive

      Benjamin calls attention to the way people absorb the arts passively, in a distracted state--architecture is a prime example.

    7. The horrible featuresofimperialistic warfareare attributable tothe discrepancybetweenthe tremendousmeansof productionandtheir inadequate utilizationinthe processofproduction—inother words,tounemploymentandthe lackof markets.Imperialistic war isa rebellionof technologywhichcollects,inthe form of“humanmaterial,” the claimstowhichsocietyhasdenieditsnaturalmaterial.Insteadof drainingrivers,societydirectsa humanstream intoa bedoftrenches;insteadof droppingseedsfrom airplanes,itdropsincendiarybombsover cities;andthroughgaswarfarethe aura isabolishedina newway

      Benjamin on the aesthetics of war--why it seems compulsory.

    8. War isbeautifulbecause itinitiatesthedreamt-of metallizationof the humanbody.War isbeautifulbecause itenrichesafloweringmeadowwiththe fieryorchidsof machine guns.War isbeautifulbecause itcombinesthegunfire,the cannonades,the cease-fire,the scents,andthe stenchofputrefactionintoa symphony.War isbeautifulbecause itcreatesnewarchitecture,like thatof the bigtanks,the geometricalformationflights,the smoke spiralsfrom burningvillages,

      quote from Marinetti: chilling!

    9. The growingproletarianizationof modernmanandthe increasingformationofmassesaretwoaspectsof thesame process.Fascismattemptstoorganize the newlycreatedproletarianmasseswithoutaffectingthe propertystructure whichthe massesstrive toeliminate.Fascism seesitssalvationingivingthese massesnottheir right,butinsteada chancetoexpressthemselves.21The masseshave a righttochange propertyrelations;Fascismseekstogive them anexpressionwhile preservingproperty.The logicalresultof Fascism isthe introductionof aestheticsintopoliticallife.The violationofthe masses,whom Fascism,withitsFührercult,forcestotheir knees,hasitscounterpartinthe violationof anapparatuswhichispressedintothe productionof ritualvalues

      Benjamin's immediate context: the National Socialist party in Germany and the rise of Hitler as the Fuhrer.

    10. Receptionina state of distraction,whichisincreasingnoticeablyinallfieldsof artandissymptomatic of profoundchangesinapperception,findsinthe film itstrue meansof exercise.

      Really, should we be thinking about mobile app design here?

    11. Buildingsareappropriatedina twofoldmanner:byuse andbyperception-or rather,bytouchandsight.Suchappropriationcannotbe understoodintermsof the attentive concentrationof a touristbefore a famousbuilding.Onthe tactile side there isnocounterparttocontemplationonthe opticalside.Tactileappropriationisaccomplishednotsomuchbyattentionasbyhabit.Asregardsarchitecture,habitdeterminestoa large extentevenopticalreception

      Buildings, too, we occupy in a distracted state, or experience in habitual, tactile ways.

    12. Clearly,thisisatbottom the same ancientlamentthatthe massesseekdistractionwhereasartdemandsconcentrationfromthe spectator.Thatisacommonplace.

      Ho hum, says Benjamin. We're always complaining about the masses just seeking out spectacles and not appreciating fine art.

    13. Nosooner hashiseye graspeda scene thanitisalreadychanged.Itcannotbe arrested.Duhamel,whodeteststhe film andknowsnothingof itssignificance,thoughsomethingof itsstructure,notesthiscircumstance asfollows:“I cannolonger thinkwhatI wanttothink.Mythoughtshave beenreplacedbymovingimages.”*The spectator’sprocessof associationinviewof these imagesisindeedinterruptedbytheirconstant,suddenchange.Thisconstitutesthe shockeffectof the film,which,like allshocks,shouldbe cushionedbyheightenedpresence of

      shock effects of transitions in films--taking over the mind.

    14. Expertshave longrecognizedthatinthe film “the greatesteffectsare almostalwaysobtainedby‘acting’ aslittle aspossible....”

      difference between stage acting (whole human body performance) and being filmed (less performance)

    15. The directiveswhichthe captionsgive tothose lookingatpicturesinillustratedmagazinessoonbecome evenmoreexplicitandmoreimperative inthe film where the meaningof eachsingle picture appearstobe prescribedbythe sequence of allprecedingones

      So here, the artwork is directing the viewers' interpretation, guiding the viewer ideologically.

    16. Namely,thedesireof contemporarymassestobringthings‘closer’ spatiallyandhumanly,whichisjustasardentastheir benttowardovercomingthe uniquenessof everyrealitybyacceptingitsreproduction.4Everydaythe urge growsstrongertogetholdofanobjectatveryclose range bywayof itslikeness,itsreproduction

      This makes me think about the way I use maps on my phone to help me navigate a city, or the way I use apps on my phone to tell me more about something I'm (not) looking at with my eyes.

    17. The mannerinwhichhumansenseperceptionisorganized,the medium inwhichitisaccomplished,isdeterminednotonlybynature butbyhistoricalcircumstancesaswell.

      A key passage: The way we see, and what we look for, might be predetermined by the media surrounding us in our moment.

    18. For theentire spectrumofoptical,andnowalsoacoustical,perceptionthe film hasbroughtabouta similardeepeningof apperception.Itisonlyanobverse of thisfactthatbehavior itemsshowninamoviecanbe analyzedmuchmore preciselyandfrom morepointsof viewthanthose presentedonpaintingsor onthe stage.Ascomparedwithpainting,filmedbehavior lendsitself more readilytoanalysisbecause of itsincomparablymore precise statementsof the situation.Incomparisonwiththestage scene,the filmedbehavior item lendsitself more readilytoanalysisbecause itcanbe isolatedmoreeasily

      Here, play is to film as painting is to photography...We can mass produce film and photo media, and that also means that screen-by-screen, shot-by-shot analyses of camera work are possible--these mass-producible media can be more closely analyzed.

    19. the Psychopathology ofEveryday Life

      by Sigmund Freud (1901), perhaps one of his best-known works. http://www.reasoned.org/dir/lit/PEL_freud.pdf

    20. Paintingsimplyisinnopositiontopresentanobjectfor simultaneouscollective experience,asitwaspossible for architecture atalltimes,for the epic poem inthe past,andfor the movie today.Althoughthiscircumstance initself shouldnotleadone toconclusionsaboutthe socialrole of painting,itdoesconstitute a seriousthreatassoonaspainting,under specialconditionsand,asitwere,againstitsnature,isconfronteddirectlybythemasses

      The "collective experience" is foregrounded here: paintings weren't experienced by all members of society, but other art forms were. It's interesting that he identifies the epic poem and cathedrals as basically art forms designed from centuries past for collectives!

    21. Thegreater thedecrease inthesocialsignificanceof anartform,thesharper thedistinctionbetweencriticism andenjoymentbythe public.The conventionalisuncriticallyenjoyed,andthe trulynewiscriticizedwithaversion

      In mass-produced art, entertainment value = conventional praise. New, bleeding-edge stuff is not wanted.

    22. For centuriesa smallnumber of writerswere confrontedbymanythousandsof readers.Thischangedtowardthe endof the lastcentury.Withtheincreasingextensionof the press,whichkeptplacingnewpolitical,religious,scientific,professional,andlocalorgansbefore thereaders,anincreasingnumber of readersbecame writers

      increasing numbers of writers and experts in the age of text reproduction

    23. The camera thatpresentsthe performance of the film actor tothe public neednotrespectthe performance asanintegralwhole.Guidedbythe cameraman,the camera continuallychangesitspositionwithrespecttothe performance.The sequence ofpositionalviewswhichthe editor composesfrom the ma

      Camera disseminates agency and multiplies the possibilities for a work of art.

    24. WithAtget,photographsbecome standardevidence forhistoricaloccurrences,andacquire a hiddenpoliticalsignificance.Theydemanda specifickindof approach;free-floatingcontemplationisnotappropriate tothem

      Photography becomes a means of circulating politics...

    25. uniqueness,thatis,itsaura

      aura = an important concept of distinctiveness in this essay.

    26. anever greaterdegree the workof artreproducedbecomesthe workof artdesignedfor reproducibility.7From aphotographic negative,for example,one canmake anynumber of prints;toaskfor the ‘authentic’ printmakesnosense.Butthe instantthe criterionof authenticityceasestobe applicable toartisticproduction,the totalfunctionof artisreversed.Insteadof beingbasedonritual,itbeginstobe basedonanotherpractice—politics

      Politics replaces ritual as a basis for the reproducible kind of art.

    27. notsovisàvistechnicalreproduction.

      technical/mechanical/automated reproduction isn't conceived as forgery of an original, in the same way a hand-crafted fake is seen in that sense.

  6. Mar 2017
    1. If the injustice is part of the necessary friction

      Sample annotation on the word "friction" in a passage.

    1. Babylon,

      A reference to the Old Testament. This raises a question about how Douglass might be comparing the US to Babylon. Discuss?

  7. Nov 2016
  8. Oct 2016
    1. bil

      This is really supposed to be "hill" of moss. I need to correct it! Not Wordsworth's typo.

    2. Quam nihil ad genium, Papiniane, tuum!

      This is a Latin epigraph. It's a kind of paratext! Anyone have a translation?

  9. Sep 2016
  10. May 2016
    1. houseless wanderer

      How does this anthropomorphize the caterpillar?

    2. No, helpless thing, I cannot harm thee now;               2Depart in peace, thy little life is safe,               3For I have scanned thy form with curious eye,               4Noted the silver line that streaks thy back,               5The azure and the orange that divide               6Thy velvet sides; thee, houseless wanderer,               7My garment has enfolded, and my arm               8Felt the light pressure of thy hairy feet;               9Thou hast curled round my finger; from its tip,             10Precipitous descent! with stretched out neck,             11Bending thy head in airy vacancy,             12This way and that, inquiring, thou hast seemed             13To ask protection; now, I cannot kill thee.

      This is the first sentence of the poem--13 lines!

    3. the silver line that streaks thy back,               5The azure and the orange that divide               6Thy velvet sides

      Could it be this species? From the Guide to British Caterpillars

  11. Jan 2016
    1. wyrouance


    2. dear

      in modern spelling, a deer

    3. my allegiance (

      By "my allegiance," Wingfield might be referring to his loyalty to the Virginia colony and to England..

    1. A literary work is a document and as a document can be analyzed in terms of theforces that have produced it, or it may be manipulated as a force in its own right. Itmirrors the past, it may influence the future. These facts it would be futile to deny,and I know of no critic who does deny them. But the reduction of a work ofliterature to its causes does not constitute literary criticism; nor does an estimate ofits effects.

      A major formalist statement!

  12. Nov 2015
  13. Sep 2015
    1. newtFire.org

      This is my course website, and home of my class webpages. Yay.

    1.          lovely Moony

      Here we see an editor's mark: noting that Blake must have deleted a word in his manuscript notebook and inserted the word "lovely" in its place.