In John Berger’s video Ways of Seeing, he provides how technology tries to institutionalize aesthetics by explaining how it is possible for media to manipulate art meaning. Berger explains and clarifies how the distinction of the connection of art is being limited for the viewer by media intentionally for marketing purposes. The viewer can be distracted by the art that is in their house if there are other things around it. The perception of art through media produces human popularity behavior that creates a blissful connection, which intensifies mystification as reality. It is true that paintings are still and silent, but the message obtained by such source can transform creativity of art into power that seeks domination over the majority of society. Even though the existence of power in art is obtainable, describing true aesthetic seems to be uncertain of its full potential. In the video, John Berger is standing in front of a painting done by Leonardo da Vinci. The authentic painting is displayed in the National Gallery. He talks about how although the viewers of the video can see the authentic painting through the screen; we still are not seeing the actual painting. Also, he states that since these paintings can be reproducible, the paintings have lost some meaning behind them. With the use of camera movement on a painting, it can go from a shot of the whole painting to a face on the painting. Appreciating the true meaning of are can be influenced by your surroundings. If you are watching a pumped up video then switch to a painting you can not grasp what the painting is supposed to make you feel. A painting can very moving when it is portrayed in complete silence. They were meant to be experienced in silence with gives a dramatic feeling. Knowing about an artist’s background can affect what you see in an art piece. Music can also change the meaning of an art dramatically. Because of the movement that is being done by the camera, the meaning behind the original painting has been lost. Walter Benjamin states, “The presence of the original is the prerequisite to the concept of authenticity.”
In Walter Benjamin’s essay, pictures lose their aura because of mass production. In the video of “Ways of Seeing” by John Berger, it is described that the image changes its meaning by its surroundings. Both the article and the video describe how an image is not the same when it has been mass produced, and instead, changes its meaning. The difference in the article and the video is that in John’s Berger video, images that are mass-produced are better known and people are more familiar with it. Also, in the video, John Berger states that images that have been mass reproduced can change its meaning because of different situations such as environment and other things while in Walter Benjamin’s article he states that when an image is mass reproduced it loses it aura and its complete meaning. Both of these articles have very similarities but in a way they counter say each other.
Nikita Zaman, Kristen Santos, Raul Leal, and Pedro Jimenez are all students at California State University of Northridge, and their group is called the Genies.