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Technical Reproduction And The Question Of Material Duration

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Chapter Summary

Reproduction and repetition are movements that deny the passing of time. They aim at a duration of past and present into the future, thereby trying to overcome time's limits and constraints. Reproduction can be seen as a paradox since it needs death/finiteness as the basis of infinitude. This chapter focuses on Marx and Benjamin and their concepts of reproduction, which are contemporaneous with the development of industrial reproduction and film as an emerging mass medium of the twentieth century. Technical reproduction, in general, makes the non-particular, the non-unique, the non-mysterious available; it makes that which is readable and understandable by everybody available to everybody at all times. The media of technical reproducibility are thus threatened by loss, especially because of their alleged omnipresence. They lead a hybrid existence between commodities and cultural artefacts.

Keywords: Benjamin; Marx; repetition; technical reproduction; time



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