Unruled Audiences, Institutions and Pirate Media Ecologies in Brazil

Gabriel Menotti
Cine Falcatrua, présentation de | screening of Kill Bill I, Federal University of Espírito Santo, Vitória, Brazil, 2004.
photo : Gabriel Menotti
The advent of modern media supplemented artistic production with its potentially infinite reproduction capabilities. Walter Benjamin saw this change as the erosion of the artwork’s unique aura. Conversely, we could see the aura being substituted by an emanation of the authority that regulates the art circuit, which enables the shift of creative power from author to editor. This can be better understood by looking at cinema, the modern media vehicle par excellence. The seventh arthas been made possible by the same technological conditions that disrupted the artwork’s classical hicetnunc ontology. The film’s “aura” is grounded on the experience of watching, which cannot be separated from the film instantiation and, ultimately, from the socio-economic underpinnings that enable its reproduction. Thus, cinema becomes an effect of the multi-layered consistency of the cinematographic apparatus — a consistency that is made possible by its regulations.

This situation creates a tension between authorship and authority that will never be completely solved within creative practices, as long as they adhere to the belief in the inherent subjectivity of creation. Even in cinema, an industry where every piece of work is inevitably collaborative, individuality becomes an issue for anyone interested in more “artistic” work, which opens the way for independent filmmaking and films d’auteur. Hence, the definition of authority is expelled to the infrastructural outskirts of the circuit, preserving the sanctity of authorship.

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This article also appears in the issue 72 - Curators

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