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Reading Thought Questions:

Benjamin: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

1. Art has always been reproducible but how has this reproducibility changed? (Section 1)

2. What does reproducibility do to art in terms of ownership, authenticity and process? (Section 2)

3. What is the aura of art and why does it wither? (Section 2)

4. Uniqueness and tradition, ritual and politics. What is Benjamin's relationship to "art pour l'art"? (Section 4)

5. What does it mean that there can be a mass reaction to art? How is it that painting does not provide collective experience yet film does? (Section 12)

6. Dadism and the breakdown of aura. What does it mean that there is replacement of contemplation with distraction in scandal? (Section 14)

7. Do the masses inherently seek distraction? What does it mean that a building is a site of art that is not contemplative but collective activity? Does he find a positive purpose for distraction? (Section 15)

8. Look closely at the last paragraph. What do you think Benjamin means by this paragraph?