One aspect of Walter Benjamin’s approach that can undoubtedly be described as visionary is the high value he accorded film among the arts. Today time-based, audiovisual media is viewed as an integral and extraordinarily important part of the art system, but when Benjamin’s essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility” was enthusiastically rediscovered in the 1960s, this was by no means the case. Video artists of the first generation had to fight for recognition, and Benjamin’s writings matched their goals. This essay gets to the basis of the connection between media art and the figure of Walter Benjamin, examining his art- and media-related reflections, subjecting them to a critical examination, and at the same time attempting to make them productive for our understanding of contemporary conditions.

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