Reproducible Art

3 09 2007



            This subject of making art easier to reproduce is an exciting subject; the reason is that it will never get old. There will always be new ways of reproducing art, which is why this debate of value and “aura” is so invigorating.

            We discussed in class that there is something about seeing those works of art on display, making that visual and sometimes emotional connection with that work of art is exciting. Learning about the history and artist while there witnessing this piece of craftsmanship is what the debaters argue for. They want to keep that experience alive and enthralling. To an extent I agree with that experience and I have enjoyed it many times, but there is something about buying a piece of art for your own home. Having a copy of that piece of art in your home keeps you connected with those emotions that you had while visiting it. For example, my wife went to school in Hawai’i and we have a giant poster that depicts Hawaiian culture. This piece of art allows my wife to remember walks on the beach, cool summer rains and college. That is what reproduction of art can do; it sends us back to where we saw it and stirs those emotions. Another thing about having art in your home is that we live in the country where life, liberty and land, were key elements in establishing the rights of personal property. We are a nation and a world that demands ownership, not lease, no borrowing and certainly no stealing. We have to have the piece of paper that says “Bill of Sale.” And I believe that this is partially what drives the reproduction of art, we see that magnificent sculpture and think, “That would look good out in my garden.” We want the art to become part of our lives which is only possible through the reproduction of the piece itself.

            Most of the principles discussed above can be applied to the art of music as well. Live music is wonderful and there is nothing like it, but with the advent of the internet and CD’s and MP3 players the music world is open for business. When we go to concerts that experience gives us the same kind of emotional peak as going to see a masterful work of Rembrandt or David. Because we are human we have a drive to get that feeling back, so we buy the song, CD, or download it from our favorite music store. Couples choose songs because when they heard it, they were emotionally peaked and they want to achieve that emotional level again. I still remember the song that was playing when I proposed to my wife, now whenever she hears it or I hear it that memory and is triggered and some of those emotions come back. The power of reproduction allows people to achieve those memorable moments.


W. Scott Williams 




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