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 article also appears in the issue 72 - CuratorsDiscover