Sunday, 15 June 2008

Spiritual Consumption in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction by Walter Lebow

An analysis of our enormously productive economy in the age of mechanical reproduction demands that we make consumption our way of life. This leads us to an all-important insight: mechanical reproduction emancipates the work of converting the buying and use of goods from a parasitical dependence on authentic artistic production into reproducible ritual. To an ever greater degree, the criterion of authenticity ceases to be applicable to the work of consumption, for in consumption the total function of the "authentic" makes no sense and is reversed to be based on rituals which need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-increasing rate. For the first time in world history, we must do justice to the instance of consumption as being a relationship based not in the artistic production of a photographic negative, for example, but in the seeking of our spiritual satisfaction from any number of its prints.

mashed sauces

The first mashed quote comes from Walter Benjamin's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction I grabbed from the blog, a site which considers the future of the book.

The second mashed quote I came across in the witty and intelligent "Story of Stuff" film. It comes from a paper one Victor Lebow wrote in the 1950's. There is some discussion as to whether Lebow made this comment prescriptively for the U.S. economy or descriptively in describing the nature of the U.S. economy.

1 comment:

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