Blog 3: Walter Benjamin

Kalakaua Ave.



While exploring google maps, I decided to show an image on Kukulaua Ave. in Honolulu, Hawaii. I chose this image because I have been to this exact spot and thought it was interesting seeing the street view on a computer. Here in this image, we see what seems to be a typical day in paradise. Although there is a lot of beauty to this image, one cannot fully expirience the “aura” of this place by just viewing an image of it from the internet. The “aura” that is talked about in Walter Benjamin’s article, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (6) is essentially the mood that is created by a piece. In this image, we see a beautiful blue sky, dozens of palm trees, and Waikiki beach. By only viewing the image, one misses out on the real sights, sounds, and smells of beautiful Hawaii. The aura that is created is warm and relaxing. By going to this place, I have experienced the warmth of the sun, the gentle breeze from the ocean, the feeling of the sand as you walk on the beach. All of these aspects are truly what affect the overall aura of this place. Benjamin says that the aura of an artistic piece cannot be found in a captured image. The images are what make the viewer feel distant. This is something I agree with. Although the image appears to be beautiful, The feeling of being in that actual place in much different.


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