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The Work of Art in the Age of Biocybernetic Reproduction

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David PEddie

on 4 December 2013

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Transcript of The Work of Art in the Age of Biocybernetic Reproduction

Biocybernetic Reproduction:
The Fundamental Technical Determinant of our Age?
Paleontology of the Present
"Any critique of this mode of production, then, that does not address the corporation as a life-form and Kunstwerk, and multinational capitalism as its habitat, will miss the outer frame of this subject." (p. 492)
The Biocybernetic 'Work' of Art
1) Reveal the codes and expose the illusion of the ultimate mastery of life.

2) Paleontology of the present - insist on the connectedness of all forms of life.

3) Rearticulate the Human -

4) Unleash the Image!
The Work of Art in the Age of Biocybernetic Reproduction
-W.J. Thomas Mitchell

"Decay of the Aura" Reversed
-Biocybernetic reproduction yields an enhanced/improved version of the original
Artist-Work-Reality Transformed
Magician (Painter)
Distance from reality

Surgeon (Photographer)
Cuts deeply into reality

Remote Surgeon (Virtual Designer)

Cuts deeper and more precisely yet at even greater distance from reality
Professor of English & Art History at the University of Chicago

Editor of
Critical Inquiry

Visual and verbal representations of social and political issues

"What do Pictures Want?"
William John Thomas Mitchell
'Bios' : Sphere of living organisms, zone of resistance/incalculability

'Cybernetics' : The discipline of control and governance






The Word and the Image






Temporality Transformed
-Age of expectation/anxiety (risk society!)


-Ambiguous, undeclared war

-Permanent state-ordered state of emergency


Do you agree with Mitchell's assessment?

Benjamin: "To pry an object from its shell, to destroy its aura, is the mark of a perception whose "sense of the universal equality of things" has increased to such a degree that it extracts it even from a unique object by means of reproduction."
"Things Come Alive"
In one way or another,the populations themselves are a terrorist threat to power. And it is power itself that, through repression, involuntarily seals this complicity.
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