Our aim in the course is to examine the meaning of arts in actual medial context and in relation to its technological instruments (photography, cinema, television, virtual reality as a whole).
Modern technology has surely produced a deep transformation of traditional frames which theoretically define artistic processes. At the centre of such a change – whose primordial symptoms are observed in the XIX century – we must place what Benjamin calls “Aura’s destruction”, which put in question the idea of authenticity. Starting from Benjamin’s analysis, we shall follow its developments in the works of Günther Anders and Jean Baudrillard, a philosopher who suggests a new definition of “art’s death” theory proposed by Hegel.
Course’s contents: Optical machines before cinema’s invention. – The phantasmagoria. – The “performance” of commodity. – Baudelaire: art and the great town. – Benjamin: Aura’s decay. – Mass culture and technical reproduction. – Religious value and exhibition value of art. – Film cutting. – The optical unconscious. – The shock. – Fruition and inattention. – Benjamin and Pirandello: the actor’s body. – Anders on television: the world as ghost and matrix. – Reality provided at home. – The news. – Baudrillard: the end of reality and simulacra’s society. – Visibility and transparency: the obscenity. – Trans-aesthetics (between Duchamp and Warhol). – Art and “art’s death” in technological era.
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