There is an obvious qualitative leap between the hand that draws an animal on the wall of a cave and the camera that makes it possible for the same image to appear simultaneously at innumerable places. But the objectivation of the cave drawing vis-à-vis what is unmediatedly seen already contains the potential of the technical procedure that effects the separation of what is seen from the subjective act of seeing. Each work, insofar as it is intended for many, is already its own reproduction. That in his dichotomization of the auratic and the technological artwork, Benjamin suppressed this element common to both in favor of their difference, would be the dialectical critique of his theory.

Theodore W. Adorno

Theodore W. Adorno, Aesthetic Theory [1970], trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1997), p. 33.

Bryce Wilner
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