The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction combats traditional art criticism’s treatment of artworks as fixed, unchanging mystical objects. For Benjamin, a work of art closed off from any active visual or tactile engagement becomes an object of passive contemplation and a potential tool of oppression. He argues that technology has fundamentally altered the way art is experienced. Open to interpretation and accessible to many, art in the age of mechanical reproduction has the potential to be mobilized for radical purposes. While ostensibly addressing the artistic consequences of technical reproducibility, Benjamin also addresses the wider political consequences of this shift.
Walter Benjamin's "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction": A Macat Analysis