Blog Response: The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction [Leon & Nimrah] -Ivan Cornejo

“Just as water, gas, and electricity are brought into our houses from far off to satisfy our needs in response to a minimal effort, so we shall be supplied with visual or auditory images, which will appear and disappear at a simple movement of the hand, hardly more than a sign.” The story narrates the evolution of the reproductivity of art throughout the years, from only certain elements being able to be copied, to lithography to pictures to audio to visuals. There is, however, a new type of tools, the internet, and the electronic devices. Both of which provides an even easier way to transmit art. But this brings several questions, what about copyright? Why is reproducing someone else’s work useful? etc. In the Mona Lisa for example, the original painting is saved and stored in a place where it won’t be put in danger. But then if it was not for copies of it how would we be able to see it? Is it not the point of art to express something? to show and transmit a feeling? How could we do this without copying someone else’s work? Today we have copyright laws, however in most countries they are long and provide the original author around 70 years depending on the country the international consensus says “lasts for the life of the author and then until 31 December of the year 70 years after his or her death (usually referred to as “life plus 70”).” But in that case are we not denying that art to a whole generation? But how do we find a balance between one and the other? Between the recognition an author deserves and the point of art itself, its appreciation and its value as a form of communication.

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