Reproducible Art

4 09 2007

                         Reproducibility does take away some of awe associated with a work of art. People tend to be much more fascinated with rare or unique items than with common ones. Knowledge of the uniqueness of a piece of art increases the emotional effect of the art; though its aesthetic value remains essentially unchanged.  Age is also a factor since it increases its historical value. Old works of art may have stories attached to them not inherent in the art itself. People attach more value to an older and rarer edition of a book than to a new and common edition; even when the words are exactly the same. This principle, of course, applies not only to art but to most things. An object becomes more valued the older and rarer it is.

                             The cons of reproducibility  are outweighed by the pros. The main advantage in reproducibility is that it makes the art acessible to more people. More people get exposed to more art and have a greater variety of art to pick and choose from. This also allows for greater discussion and more varied evaluations of the work which can increase its depth and complexity. Artistic criticism is taken from esoteric circles and given to the masses. This gives reproducible art greater potential cultural  impact since it reaches more people. Digital technology gives even relatively unknown artists the ability to reach large amounts of people. A musician, for example, can put a song on the internet for everyone to hear. Before, the musician would’ve had to go through a record company. The producer and the consumer benefit; and the playing field is evened. Also, reproducibilty, especially when there is no original, causes greater value to be given to the inherent aesthetic value to the work rather than its uniqueness or the history attached to it. The art, in an abstract sense, becomes more important than the object which conveys it. 

                             The aesthetic value of a work of art is unchanged by its reproducibilty. The reverence people may give a particular reproduction of a work will certainly be diminished but the social value given to the art as a whole, all the reproductions, will be increased. A work which is easily reproducible, but for which there is an original, loses nothing but gains a lot by its reproduction.

-David Case 

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