Walter Benjamin’s Famous 1936 essay, The Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction (influential in the field of art history and cultural studies) claims that, “In principle a work of art has always been reproducible”. Benjamin, a respected German philosopher, social and literary critic, suggests, that the invention of the camera ruined the primary meaning of art through aesthetics, aura, means of reproduction and perspective. Also, John Berger, a respected art critic, wrote a similar analysis, called Ways of Seeing (often used as university text) whose ideas on art stem from Benjamin. While Mike Poster’s essay, “The Aesthetics of Distracting Media”, provides a counter argument against the claims above.
Art can change through a variety of ways. The device, such as a camera, can capture a digital copy of a physical object in a blink of a second and change the perspective completely. Environment sets the mood for how a piece of art is supposed to influence the audience. Reproduction can drastically change a piece of art by simply degrading something that took hours to accomplish and perfect. Perspective sets the mood and feeling of the art piece which is greatly affected by the environment. Lastly, manipulation distorts the originality and authenticity of an art piece.