Discussion 3: Can art be mechanically reproduced?

– When something is reproduced for so many times is that art?

Yes, I feel that when something is reproduced for so many times, it still remains art. Each time that it is reproduced, there are going to be some variables. Of course, the same may not be said in a studio setting where each variable is being controlled. Walter Benjamin argues that ‘art loses it’s aura when recreated’ (Osborne, 2015). I do not agree with that because the times have changed now and we must think ahead. We must give credit to any person if we are exactly copying his or her art. But otherwise, I think that reproducing art for so many times actually progresses us as a society because something new is created every time.

– What’s the importance of the mechanical reproducibility of the art?

The importance of the mechanical reproducibility of the art is that it saves a lot of time and resources to manually reproduce it.

– What was the impact on mechanical reproducibility on the society?

The impact mechanical reproducibility had on the society was that it made art more accessible to the public. Art was also made a lot more affordable compared to the olden times when only a few privileged people had the tools required to create art.

– Is photography art, or contribution to the art? Is it just a tool used by artists?

Photography is both art and it contributes to other art forms too. It is a tool used by artists as well as by anyone nowadays. It can be used as a tool to record important events in history a well as in one’s life.

– How and why Henry Peach Robinson created Fading Away? What was the reason?

Henry Peach Robinson created Fading Away using five different negatives and printed them together. He was the pioneer of combination printing. He used well-dressed people and specially created backdrops in his indoor studio to create most of his photographs. Medieval settings were his most common photography themes. He mostly made these photographs by printing together many negatives. He thought that this form of photography creates images with a deep meaning which resonates with the audience. He wished to create the feeling of painting through his photographs.

– Photography has impacted the world of art and influenced some changes in the area of accessibility to art. If mechanical reproduction created revolution, what is happening now with the digitalization?

With digitalization of photography, photographs can be clicked and used a lot faster than the mechanical reproduction which had created a revolution. Digitalization also saves money because you need not print the pictures and that saves money too. Many would argue that mechanical images look a lot more better than digital images. But with digitalization, the photographs can be altered anytime, by anyone. There were many limitations with mechanical reproduction to create a great image, but it has all changed with digitalization. Now almost anyone can create photographs which is an advancement and it is a lot more accessible than mechanical reproduction.


Osborne, P. a. (2015, July 22). Walter Benjamin. Retrieved from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/benjamin/#ArtTec