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The Death of Cinema and Aesthetic Turns
The aesthetics as a complex ubiquitous agency instigates far reaching social transformations. At the same time, it reflects them in its special way. Therefore, aesthetics itself – as theory, as artistic practice or even as some modes of life-style – is caught in a dialectics of multiplicity of these changes. A special importance of film within mass culture in Benjamin’s conceptualisation cannot be avoided as a presupposition for any thinking about effects of recent technological leaps. As Benjamin points out “/…/ for contemporary man the representation of reality by the film is incomparably more significant than that of the painter, since it offers, precisely because of the thoroughgoing permeation of reality with mechanical equipment, an aspect of reality which is free of all equipment. And that is what one is entitled to ask from a work of art” (Benjamin, 1969: 234). The notion of “reality”, which was in a similar reflexive gesture exposed in Cavell’s writing on cinema, and, for that matter also in Rancière’s recent work, marks the field of contemporary coming to terms with the digitally generated art works in a whole range of different genres. How much is the notion of “film” – whose “material being” as a celluloid tape fades away – in its increasingly metaphorical presence decisive for understanding art that is becoming now The “virtual reality”? To what extent is a “representation of virtual reality” undermined by the effect of immediacy, such as it has been inaugurated by Walter Benjamin?