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Eternity and Print

How Medieval Ideas of Time Influenced the Development of Mechanical Reproduction of Texts and Images

Bennett Gilbert


The methods of intellectual history have not yet been applied to studying the invention of technology for printing texts and images ca. 1375–ca. 1450. One of the several conceptual developments in this period reflecting the possibility of mechanical replication is a view of the relationship of eternity to durational time based on Gregory of Nyssa's philosophy of time and William of Ockham's. The article considers how changes in these ideas helped enable the conceptual possibilities of the dissemination of ideas. It describes a direct connection of human perceptual knowledge to divine knowledge that enhanced the authority of printed production to transfer and reproduce the true and the good.

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Death on repeat

Violence, viral images and questioning the rule of law in Brazilian favelas

Jason B. Scott

In the past decade, images of fatal police shootings shared on social media have inspired protests against militarised policing policies and re-defined the ways marginalised communities seek justice. This article theorises the repetition of violent images and discusses how social media has become an important tool for localising popular critiques of the law. I provide an ethnographic account of a police shooting in a Brazilian favela (shantytown). I am particularly interested in how residents of the favela interpret law and justice in relationship to contemporaneous movements such as Black Lives Matter. Reflecting Walter Benjamin’s concept of mechanical reproduction, this case study demonstrates an ‘aura’ that is shaped by the social and legal context in which a violent image is produced, consumed and aggregated. This case study suggests the possibility for research examining the ways inclusionary social media platforms are increasingly co-opted by oppressive political institutions.

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“They don’t even know how to copy”

The discourse on originality in Albania’s art world

Sofia Kalo

the canonized ideas of the past. Concerns with originality and its corollary, authenticity, were only heightened with the advent of mass and mechanical reproduction, as Walter Benjamin (2008) discussed in his 1935 essay “Art in the Age of Mechanical

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Functional Elements of the Moving Image

Philip Cowan

distinction between a documentary recording of something happening in front of the camera and the use of cinematography as a means of expression in itself. Smith quotes Rudolf Arnheim, “Art begins where mechanical reproduction leaves off, where the conditions

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“For a Martyr from Afar”

A Response to Laila Soliman’s No Time for Art

Caroline Rooney

question of the aura. For Benjamin, revolutionary art, in making use of mechanical reproduction, finally strips art of its spiritual aura with attendant demystifying effects. Before discussing the question of the displacement of the aura, some attention

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Bodies with Objects in Space through Screens

Casual Virtuality and the Self-Mediation of Laura Paolini's Constraining Aesthetics

Jakub Zdebik

more down-to-earth. Walter Benjamin, in his essay on mechanical reproduction, dedicates a brief passage to architecture, to which he ascribes the aesthetics of habit. Habit is a key to understanding the relationship that Paolini enacts with her chosen

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Sheila K. Hoffman

): 242 – 243 . 10.2307/1576261 Benjamin , Walter . (1936) 1982 . “ The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction .” In Modern Art and Modernism : A Critical Anthology , eds. Francis Frascina , Charles

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Stefan Nygård, Matti La Mela, and Frank Nullmeier

was about seriality, tangibility, and related to books, whereas reproduction appeared in the field of arts, and meant renewing the original, but not in a way that could replace the original. Moreover, because of the challenges of mechanical

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A Wolf’s Eye View of London

Dracula, Penny Dreadful, and the Logic of Repetition

Dragoş Manea

of adaptation needs to be joined with the study of recycling, remaking, and every other form of retelling in the age of mechanical reproduction and electronic communication. By this means, adaptation will become part of a general theory of repetition

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Bringing Slavery into the Light in Postcolonial Portugal

The rhetoric and poetics of a slavery exhibition

Paula Mota Santos

displayed inside the black monoliths in a way reminiscent of Walter Benjamin's (1969) original (art object) in the age of mechanical reproduction: as phantasmagoria. To this distancing of slavery and the enslaved individuals through phantasmagoria, one has