The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproducibility #Twitter Version
Michalis Pichler

“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.” - Walter Benjamin


I. Just as the sound film virtually lay hidden within photography, so the internet was latent in data file. #DigitalReproducibility 


II. The limitation of an idea is the essence of all that is transmissible from its origin on, ranging from its substantive duration to its testimony of  the history which it has experienced.


III. The disclosure of the idea of its shell, the demolition of the commodity, is the signature of a perception whose "sense for all that is the same in the world” so increased that, by means of reproduction, it extracts that sense even from what is physical.


IV. From a source file, for example, one can make an unlimited number of copies; to ask for the "limited" copy makes no sense. But as soon as the criterion of limitation ceases to be applied to artistic production, the whole social function of art is revolutionized.


V. The reception of works of art varies in character, but in general, two polar types stand out: one accentuates the artwork’s exchange value; the other, its use value.


VI. In data file, use value begins to drive back exchange value on all fronts. But exchange value does not give way without resistance.



VII. Previously, much unsuccessful ingenuity had turned to the question of whether data file was an art-without asking the more fundamental question of whether the invention of data file had not transformed the entire character of art.


VIII. The artistic performance of an offline user is directly presented to the public by the user in person; that of an online user, however, is presented through a display.


IX. Online, the fact that the user represents someone else before the audience matters much less than the fact that he represents himself before the surface.


X. Any person today can lay claim to being online.


XI. The Old Author maintains in his work a natural distance from reality, whereas the New Author penetrates deeply into its tissue. Hence, the representation of reality online is incomparably the more significant for people of today. #OldAuthorandNewAuthor


XII. Nowhere more than online are the reactions of individuals, which together make up the massive reaction of the audience, determined by their imminent concentration into a mass.


XIII. Demonstrating that the artistic uses of data file are identical to its scientific uses-these two having usually been separated until now-will be one of the revolutionary functions of the internet.


XIV. Conceptualisms attempted to create, with the means of art (or literature), the effects which the public today seeks online.


XV. Reception in distraction-the sort of reception which is increasingly noticeable in all areas of art and is a symptom of profound changes in apperception-finds online its true training ground.


This manifesto has the merit of brevity.

Pichler, Michalis, "The Work of Art in the Age of Digital Reproducibility #Twitter Version," (2018) online