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But the amazing growth of our techniques, the adaptability and precision they have attained, the ideas and habits they are creating, make it a certainty that profound changes are impending in the ancient craft of the Beautiful.
In all the arts there is a physical component which can no longer be considered or treated as it used to be, which cannot remain unaffected by our modern knowledge and power. For the last twenty years neither matter nor space nor time has been what it was from time immemorial.
We must expect great innovations to transform the entire technique of the arts, thereby affecting artistic invention itself and perhaps even bringing about an amazing change in our very notion of art.
Marx directed his efforts in such a way as to give them prognostic value. He went back to the basic conditions underlying capitalistic production and through his presentation showed what could be expected of capitalism in the future.
The result was that one could expect it not only to exploit the proletariat with increasing intensity, but ultimately to create conditions which would make it possible to abolish capitalism itself. The transformation of the superstructure, which takes place far more slowly than that of the Production of space essay, has taken more than half a century to manifest in all areas of culture the change in the conditions of production.
Only today can it be indicated what form this has taken. Certain prognostic requirements should be met by these statements.
However, theses about the art of the proletariat after its assumption of power or about the art of a classless society would have less bearing on these demands than theses about the developmental tendencies of art under present conditions of production. Their dialectic is no less noticeable in the superstructure than in the economy.
It would therefore be wrong to underestimate the value of such theses as a weapon. They brush aside a number of outmoded concepts, such as creativity and genius, eternal value and mystery — concepts whose uncontrolled and at present almost uncontrollable application would lead to a processing of data in the Fascist sense.
The concepts which are introduced into the theory of art in what follows differ from the more familiar terms in that they are completely useless for the purposes of Fascism.
They are, on the other hand, useful for the formulation of revolutionary demands in the politics of art. I In principle a work of art has always been reproducible.
Man-made artifacts could always be imitated by men. Replicas were made by pupils in practice of their craft, by masters for diffusing their works, and, finally, by third parties in the pursuit of gain.
Mechanical reproduction of a work of art, however, represents something new. Historically, it advanced intermittently and in leaps at long intervals, but with accelerated intensity. The Greeks knew only two procedures of technically reproducing works of art: Bronzes, terra cottas, and coins were the only art works which they could produce in quantity.
All others were unique and could not be mechanically reproduced. With the woodcut graphic art became mechanically reproducible for the first time, long before script became reproducible by print.
The enormous changes which printing, the mechanical reproduction of writing, has brought about in literature are a familiar story. However, within the phenomenon which we are here examining from the perspective of world history, print is merely a special, though particularly important, case.
During the Middle Ages engraving and etching were added to the woodcut; at the beginning of the nineteenth century lithography made its appearance. With lithography the technique of reproduction reached an essentially new stage.
This much more direct process was distinguished by the tracing of the design on a stone rather than its incision on a block of wood or its etching on a copperplate and permitted graphic art for the first time to put its products on the market, not only in large numbers as hitherto, but also in daily changing forms.
Lithography enabled graphic art to illustrate everyday life, and it began to keep pace with printing. But only a few decades after its invention, lithography was surpassed by photography.
For the first time in the process of pictorial reproduction, photography freed the hand of the most important artistic functions which henceforth devolved only upon the eye looking into a lens.The Production of Space forms the keystone of the all-important 'second phase' of Lefebvre's analysis of the urban that began around This later phase deals with social space itself as a national and 'planetary' expression of modes of production.
Media are more than technologies, systems of production, texts, or audiences, and are instead part of a broader matrix and set of contextual relations. It is in understanding social, political, cultural, and economic life in this broader sense that media space research offers the most promise for .
The following essay accompanies the print article "Space, Nation, and the Triumph of Region: A View of the World from Houston" in theJune issue of theJournal of American History. In the s the philosopher Henri Lefebvre made the deceptively simple assertion that societies produce space.
The situationists and the situationist project are relevant to The Production of Space only insofar as this project is an effort to "divert" the totality of capitalist space. Not surprisingly, Lefebvre focuses on the critical theory of the spectacle, especially as it is elaborated in Guy Debord's The Society of the Spectacle.
It’s Time to Rethink America’s Corn System.
Only a tiny fraction of corn grown in the U.S. directly feeds the nation’s people, and much of that is from high-fructose corn syrup.
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