I know reliable information information when I see it. The information is presented professionally, and Leonardo Online looked like it was the most reputable for its information. The site itself is described as an almanac. I noticed that the website was also linked to seven different social networking websites. Would someone really go so far to misinform about something that bares low significance to individuals? Another way I saw that this website was credible was by the biographies of the authors. Most of them have Ph.D’s, and that was just a bonus.
Wikipedia was no help at all. I was redirected to a page titled Locative Media. Locative media or Location-Based Media is not the same as Locative Art. Wikipedia is not a very reputable source when it comes to information. Considering the fact that anyone can edit Wikipedia, a Google search would be more accurate than doing a wiki search. The descriptions seem legit, and an amateur would most likely fall for it. I, however, do not trust these sort of websites because the authors are not credible. For all we know, high school drop outs can be writing all of that information. The authors are not even listed anywhere. Only the date of when the article was last updated is listed.
WorldCat is on neutral ground. It goes right between the two previously mentioned sources. Most of the articles are reviewed by peers. This is more trustworthy than wikipedia because it is proof read by another individual. Most of the results were from books that were published originally. Also great to know that they were proof read before publication. Authors are listed as well.
Walter Benjamin said that “photograph reproduction, with the aid of certain processes, such as enlargement or slow motion, can capture images which escape the natural vision.”(3) This any other photograph would escape the natural vison because it’s frozen in time. No one can ever see the exact same image over and over again unless they take a picture. By this time, that red car would have been way past me. In three minutes, something disastrous could happen, be seeing what is happening before, one could try to figure out why the man got attacked by seagulls and the car crashed into the seafood restaurant. Escaping the natural vision by putting things in slow motion is very helpful in figuring out crimes, as people need to gather evidence. Through looking at images like that, they may find the answer. Images can show a whole story.
In this next image, I am looking at a closer view. I probably couldn’t be standing here at this moment in real life because that red car would run over me or get really angry.
Walter Benjamin also talks about the cult of remembrance. Humans in the picture give value. One sees them at that moment in time, but will never again in real life. If that man in the picture was your friend and were to die one day later for some reason, you would see the last moments of his life frozen in time, possibly wondering if you could have done something. You may value this last picture, looking at it for hours in tears. It contains a special aura of a particular moment that you can look back and remember.
In Walter Benjamin’s article, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” he describes that man made artifacts could always be imitated (Pg. 2). This is a Google map image of Kelso Valley Road in Weldon, California. This picture can probably be imitated in many different cities around the world. It’s seen that there is a small road that probably doesn’t get much traffic. There is snow all over the ground and rocks surrounding the small road. Benjamin’s article states that “works of art are received and valued on different planes.” (Pg. 5). The value of this photograph could be seen as nothing but in my personal opinion it is beautiful. Before photography there was lithography which enabled art to illustrate everyday life but I’m not sure that lithography could have produced a photograph like this as well as the technology we have today for photography does. Some could say that the “aura” of this photograph is peaceful and calming, while others could say that this picture’s “aura” is gloomy or cold. This piece could be seen as art due to the scenery aspect of the photo but most of the time the artistic performance is portrayed by the cameraman or photographer. “Man can represent his environment” (pg.11), Walter Benjamin may have been talking about film but this statement can apply to the perspectives seen in this photograph by the observers. It is important that people become more open minded in order to see meanings behind modern art or even to create their own meanings of what the scenery’s aura could be.
Here’s the picture and here is the permalink to the picture if you want to see a larger image.
Larger Image Here
This post will center focus on Walter Benjamin’s idea of the aura with relation to the image attached to this post. Benjamin’s idea of the aura is “the unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be” (4). He further goes on to say that this aura decays as it progresses. This is what I am aiming to represent in my image. Looking at it from left to right or top to bottom, one can see on the left the green tree with life; however, as it moves towards the right, this decay of death is seen through the tree on the left. This tree looks rather dead. This is also depicted in the image from top to bottom. The blue symbolizes life and moving down it gets cloudier until the plants are shown rather dead as well. The idea that auras degenerate over time is stated by Benjamin as well by stating that the masses remove the uniqueness of an item by having it constantly reproduced (4). This means that as more and more of the same reproductions come into availability, the item loses it’s value. I once read a book called The Cave by Jose Saramago who was a potter. He usually sells his items to a mall which would then sell his wares to buyers; however, this one day, his work is refused due to the reason that the bowls he makes out of ceramic have no more value or use because of the new plastic bowls that can be made and bought for cheaper for more profit.
Posted in Student Blogs
Tagged #Walter Benjamin, Art, Aura, Benjamin, Death, Decay, dtcv, Google, Google Street View, Images, Stuff, Tradition, Walter