I found Benjamin’s explanation of authenticity and aura to be most interesting. Benjamin explains that in art, the original piece possesses authenticity and aura. However, when art is reproducible with the help of technology, that aura and authenticity are lost. For example, the famous Painting of Mona Lisa by Leanardo De Vinci is everywhere. Although the original piece is in Europe, I am able to see a reproduced version online on my phone, computer and secondary painters. That reproduced image of Mona Lisa does not hold authenticity because it does not share the exact time, experience and energy of the painter and the time. It may have an aura but can never be authentic.
I found this to be interesting because I live in a time where art is continuously reproduced. My surrounding and my culture do not advocate to appreciate authenticity and I believe it is due to Capitalism. My surrounding taught me that I should buy and consume products that are available on the market that makes it easy for me to manipulate and view art such as computer and video camera. This article helped me see the difference between original art vs reproduced art. My attitude before reading Benjamin’s article is that why should there be an effort to see the original piece when there are thousands of copies online in terms of art but after this, I understand that authenticity is rare.
The other thing that I found interesting is that Benjamin mentions YouTube is a tool that acts to close the gap between viewer and publisher. This is possible because everyone turns into an actor without the need of a professional cameraman to shoot a film. This is true because before Youtube, in order to be an actor and publish a video it is often difficult and is only available to Hollywood directors and actors, however, that is not the case anymore. As I mentioned, anyone can direct their own movie and be an actor and publish their own work.