I am reading Walter Benjamin. He seems to think that in the age of mechanical reproduction art looses its AURA.
Aside: We are not in that mechanical age, so much creativity is virtual.
My images are open source, and I think that if others print them then there is less “aura” than in the signed limited editions? Is there?
We are flooded with images and even art, does that degrade aura? It is a time of some art having something, due to the millions it is sold for. Is that aura? Is celebrity status aura? (Benjamin thinks we hype the celebrity thing up because auras are on the decline) (He also thinks the loss of aura is a good thing as the masses can have more art – strange essay).
What happens as you comment or link to an image? Copy it to your blog? Does the communal context build new aura? I like some of the work other bloggers do and have it on my wall! Is there aura there? They are not signed works, would that help?
I make images (by hand on a Tablet PC) & then I make prints with a printer and sign them in graphite. The mechanical and the hand-made intertwine in one object. I have acquired the tools and the skills to do that and have a sense of pride with each successful print. It is not re-production, but production. There is no original. I like that they are in limited editions of 25. A also like that the name, say “#1000 Departing Force” is enough of an identifier to lead you via google to the virtual image, and to the write up on the blog, and the comments. I like it that there can be an ever growing conversation about the image, by people who experience it I diverse ways. The conversation is part of the art work. My prints are interactive art!!
So I think aura is alive and well in this post-mechanical age, and I think it is a good thing. And I like it that auras are a totally indefinable thing!
That seemed like a good note to finish on, but another idea jumped up.
Do my prints have aura because I say so? No way. Maybe that helps, but to have aura I there is a list of things that go on, and they are all needed, and there are some I can’t even name, but here is a list:
Innovation, skill, relevance, presentation, networking, beauty, authenticity, context, fashion, luck, and promotion.
To have another go at a conclusion:
The Thousand Sketches aura is growing!