The notion of originality relates necessarily to the idea of authenticity and to the works authority, but with the technological revolution the issues of authenticity and originality has become irrelevant. Mass reproduction creates copies that possess an independence from the original; they can transcend the spatial and visual limitations of the originals physical tangibility and susceptibility to temporal and materials transformation with age and deterioration. As the art works substantive duration ceases to matter, the art object loses its authority or its aura, the “unique phenomenon of a distance, however close it may be” (Benjamin Walter).
The impact on humanity has been massive, the previous art piece that was accessible and approachable to few, is now available for all. The application of reproduction means has not only increased the number of admirers associated with particular art piece, but it has also provided admirers with research and investigation opportunities. Although the element of originality is lacking, but the adoption of current means support and promote the possible available infrastructure related to particular art object. The essence of an art piece evolves with the passage of time and mentality, which varies remarkably in time domain and geographical aspects. An art object, that is mystery for a certain group, can be provide a sense of relieve or joy to other. The meaning of art varies from person to person, and the production of art piece provides a chance to gather maximum opinions regarding an art object.
Truly the element of essence and originality is missing, but at parallel we experience the evolution of new perceptions and believe for particular art piece.
The photograph and the film, for Benjamin, represent the culmination of the destruction of the aura because they are designed for reproducibility. “From a photographic negative, for example, one can make any number of prints; to ask for the authentic print makes no sense, the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to artistic reproduction.”
He sees the effect of film as engaging the whole living person but destroying its aura and replacing the actors aura with an artificially produced “personality” that is only the “phony spell of the commodity” (Benjamin Walter), but then he justifies that mechanical means transpire and evolve new dimensions to art, bringing constructive approach towards humanity, other emotional and social bonds.
The propagation of resources has always been encouraged; Benjamin supports the application of same means, where resources are nothing but art pieces. The free permit towards accessibility of the resources further envisages the complex understanding of art and its pieces. Art evolved, nevertheless keeps evolving. The use of mechanical reproduction techniques supports the art and its artistic features.
Walter Benjamin- The Art of Work in Age of Mechanical Reproduction.
Esther Leslie- Walter Benjamin: Overpowering Conformism..