Tag Archives: Theory

Hansen on Benjamin and Dauthendey’s self-portrait

“Benjamin’s often-cited passage concerning the double portrait of the photographer Dauthendey and his fiancée — who was to slash her veins after the birth of their sixth child — evokes a complex temporality in which the past moment encrypted in… Continue reading

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Azoulay on Benjamin’s reading of Dauthendey

“In his essay “A Short History of Photography,” Walter Benjamin analyzes a photograph of Karl Dauthendey and his wife. Dauthendey was one of the pioneers of daguerreotype photography in Germany. On viewing the photograph, Benjamin writes, the viewer feels an… Continue reading

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Hansen on Benjamin & Baudelaire

“If Benjamin sees the significance of Baudelaire in his having registered the shattering of aura and having given it the weight of an irreversible historic experience (Erfahrung), he finds in Proust a contemporary whose writing seeks to artificially reproduce, as it were, in the “deadly game”… Continue reading

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Kracauer on Photography and History

“…the photographic media help us to overcome our abstract­ness by familiarizing us, for the first time as it were, with “this Earth which is our habitat” (Gabriel Marcel); they help us to think through things, not above them. Otherwise expressed, the photographic media make it much easier for us to incorporate the transient… Continue reading

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Donato on The Museum

“The set of objects the Museum displays is sustained only by the fiction that they somehow constitute a coherent representational universe. The fiction is that a repeated metonymic displacement of fragment for totality, object to label, series of objects to… Continue reading

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Krauss on The Grid

“In the spatial sense, the grid states the autonomy of the realm of art. Flattened, geometricized, ordered, it is anti natural, anti mimetic, anterior. It is what art looks like when it turns its back on nature. In the flatness… Continue reading

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Benjamin on The Image, The Past & The Present

“Every present is determined by those images that are synchronic with it: every Now is the Now of a specific recognisability. In it, truth is loaded to the bursting point with time. (…) It is not that the past casts… Continue reading

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Buck-Morss on Shock and the Senses in Modern Space

“…In industrial production no less than modern warfare, in street crowds and erotic encounters, in amusement parks and gambling casinos, shock is the very essence of modern experience. The technologically altered environment exposes the human sensorium to physical shocks that… Continue reading

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Virilio on Vision and War

“After the Second World War, it became possible to sketch out a strategy of global vision, thanks to spy-satellites, drones and other video-missiles, and above all to the appearance of a new type of headquarter. The central electronic-warfare administration –… Continue reading

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Buck-Morss on Phantasmagoria

“Phantasmagorias are a technoaesthetics. The perceptions they provide are “real” enough – their impact upon the senses and nerves is still “natural” from a neurophysical point of view. But their social function is in each case compensatory. The goal is… Continue reading

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