Wednesday, May 20, 2015

work of art

The Work of Art in Mechanical Reproduction



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 tow procedures of technically reproducing works of art: founding and stamping.  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.  Since the eye perceives more swiftly than the land can draw, the process of pictorial reproduction was accelerated so enormously that it could keep pace with speech. A film operator shooting a scene in the studio captures the images at the speed of an actor’s speech.  Just as lithography virtually implied the illustrated newspaper, so did photography foreshadow the sound film.  The technical reproduction of sound was tackled at the end of the last century.  These convergent endeavors made predictable a situation which Paul Valery pointed up in this sentence:

“Just as water, gas, and electricity are brought into our houses from far off to satisfy our needs in response to a minimal effort, so we shall be supplied with visual or auditory images, which will appear and disappear at a simple movement of the hand, hardly more than a sign.”


Around 1900 technical reproduction had reached a standard that not only permitted it to reproduce all transmitted works of art and thus to cause the most profound change in their impact upon the public; it also had captured a place of its own among the artistic processes.  For the study of this standard nothing is more revealing than the nature of the repercussions that these two different manifestations – the reproduction of works of art and the art of the film – have had in its traditional form.


Work of art can be recreated and has always been done through imitation.  Pupils are able to make exact copies of arts so that they practice their craft either to spread their works or for the pursuant of profits.  Mechanical reproduction created a new stage in reproduction.  As new technology emerges, the production of art increased with intensity.  Two procedures of reproducing technically among the Greeks were founding and stamping producing coins, bronzes and terra cottas.  Mechanical reproduction brought changes to printing.  Engraving and etching were added to wood cut.  Lithography which allows volumes of documents to be printed was effective.  Later, designs were traced on stone rather than on wood.  Photography took over from lithography and pictures were used.  It has been able to place the image in a way that would allows for the original image to be seen clearer.  This lessened the work of artists.  Mechanical reproduction has enabled sound to be introduced.  According to Paul Valery, visual and auditory image were understood more clearly and technical reproduction is now able to ‘stand on its own’.

I have chosen this passage because it has helped me to see the improvements that have been made in reproduction.  The new technologies that were introduced have led to increase speed in production especially in the printing and film industries.  My knowledge of mechanical reproduction has increased as it enables me to see why literature is so quickly distributed.  All as a result of mechanical reproduction

Saturday, April 18, 2015


"There are two ways of making politics one’s vocation: Either one lives ‘for’ politics or one lives ‘off’ politics. By no means is this contrast an exclusive one. The rule is, rather, that man does both, at least in thought, and certainly he also does both in practice. He who lives ‘for’ politics makes politics his life, in an internal sense. Either he enjoys the naked possession of the power it exerts, or he nourishes his inner balance and self feeling by the consciousness that his life has meaning in the service of a ‘cause’. In this internal sense, every sincere man who lives for a cause also lives also lives off this cause. The distinction hence refers to a more substantial aspect of the matter, namely to the economic. He who strives to make politics a permanent source of income lives ‘off’ politics as a vocation, whereas he who does not do this lives ‘for’ politics. Under the dominance of the private property order, some-- if you wish-- very trivial preconditions must exist in order for a person to be able to live for politics in this economic sense. Under normal conditions, the politicians must be economically independent of the income politics can bring him. This means quite simply, that politician must be wealthy or have a personal position in life which yields a sufficient income".

An individual can make politics his life work by either living for politics or living off it. An individual does so by thinking about it or actually living it. A person lives for politics if it becomes his life passion because of the power he may get from it or in his thoughts; he feels that his life will have meaning. Such an individual may feel that he has a cause to which he must serve. If he lives for a cause, then he will have to live off the cause. He does so by creating income from politics. In other words, politics becomes a job that will ensure him an income. If on the other hand, he does not use politics as a source of income, he is living for politics and as such, politics has become a way of life for him. However, an individual who lives for politics must not depend on the income from politics. He has to be wealthy or have enough income from another source for economic support.

I chose this passage because the majority of politicians today had prestigious jobs which provided them with high incomes. Many enter politics with their ‘pockets’ already ‘filled’ and upon leaving expect their pockets to become even ‘fuller’. Many politicians do not depend on the income from politics. They receive much money from donations given to them by celebrities and huge corporations. The passage outlines quite clearly the intent of those who ran for political offices and what their intentions are: to make money or support a cause.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

weimar constitution

Article 76


The constitution may be amended by legislation.  Constitutional changes become valid only if at least two thirds of the members are present and at least two thirds of the present members vote in favour of the amendment.

Decisions of Reichsrat regarding a constitutional amendment also require a two-thirds majority.  If, requested by referendum petition, a constitutional amendment shall be decided by plebiscite, the majority of the enfranchised voters is required in order for the amendment to pass.

If Reichstag decided on a constitutional amendment against Reichsrat objection, the Reich president may not proclaim the amendment, if Reichsrat, within a period of two weeks, demands a plebiscite to be held.

The constitution of Germany can be changed by law.  The constitutional changes are only effective if two-thirds of the legal number of members is present and two-thirds of those present vote for the change to occur.  If there is a request for referendum petition, constitutional change will be decided upon by the electorate since a majority of qualified voters is required for the change to occur. 


The constitution is allowing the majority of the electorate to voice their opinion.  It does not provide for a few individuals to make decisions that may not be in favour of the majority.  I chose this passage because it shows that the voices of the people will be heard.  Too, it gives the populace the opportunity to have a say in the laws under which they are governed.

Article 109

All Germans are equal in front of the law.

In principle, men and women have the same rights and obligations.

 Legal privileges or disadvantages based on birth or social standing are to be abolished.

Noble titles form part of the name only; noble titles may not be granted any more.

Titles may only be granted, if they indicate an office or occupation; academic degrees are

not affected by this regulation.

The state may no more bestow orders and medals.

No German may accept titles or orders from a foreign government.




Under the law of Germany, everyone has equal rights.  Both men and women share the same rights as citizens of Germany.  There is no rank related to titles or birth.  Privileges are abolished.  Titles are bestowed if they are given by an office or occupation.  The state no longer confers orders and medals and no German are allowed to accept titles from foreign government.

I chose this passage because of the equality that is represented.  Everyone should have equal civil rights.  Under German law, it would mean that a female lawyer would earn the same wage as a male lawyer.  This would encourage each individual to work at his or best knowing that there is equal treatment for all.

Saturday, March 21, 2015


Out of all this bloody confusion, this yawning abyss, there is no help, no escape, no rescue other than socialism. Only the revolution of the world proletariat can bring order into this chaos, can bring work and bread for all, can end the recipro-cal slaughter of the peoples, can restore peace, freedom, true culture to this martyred humanity. Down with the wage system! That is the slogan of the hour! Instead of wage labor and class rule there must be collective labor. The means of production must cease to be the monopoly of a single class; they must become the common property of all. No more exploiters and exploited! Planned production and distribution of the product in the common interest. Abolition not only of the contemporary mode of production, mere exploitation and robbery, but equally of contemporary commerce, mere fraud.

Uncertainty and darkness exist. Socialism seems to be the way out. Changes can be brought about by the working class. The working class will create employment and economic change for everyone and restore stability. Production should not be controlled by one producer or single class. Production and distribution must be in the interest of the people. There must be an end to fraud.

Uncertainties exist in every political system since man has the inability to solve each person’s problems. One man’s problem may be solved but another man might be dissatisfied with what is done. A case in point is Grenada. The people were disgruntled with the governance at the time in 1979. There was a political coup and socialist ideology was brought in. The people were told that they would have a say in the governance of the country but in 1983, there was another bloody coup. The desire of the masses was swept under the rug. Uncertainties before and now.

Saturday, March 14, 2015


From the opening scene, as I looked at the play, I see the problems parents have with the supervision of their children. The play started with some children playing an elimination game in a yard. One of the parents did not like the song since it was about children being murdered by a ‘nasty black man’. One parent brushed off the fear of the concerned parent. Elsie later went missing and was killed by a man who gave her candies and a balloon.

I liked the scene because it was the opposite of the way in which children were raised in the West Indies. Rarely would parents find themselves doing all the house chores while children played. There was a time for everything. Elsie’s mother did not seem to have any time for herself but wash clothing, prepared meals and keep house. The children played and continued chanting the song. Parents therefore need to be more protective of their children especially when there is evidence of child endangerment. I can see that many of the women stayed at home without the presence of a father figure in the home. Today, this is one of the biggest problems facing families. If the father was at home, he could have gone out to look for Elsie and most likely find her at the candy stand. The scene has deepened my appreciation of the way in which I was raised.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A national prohibition, Paragraph 175, was added to the Reich Penal Code in 1871. It read:1
"An unnatural sex act committed between persons of male sex or by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights might also be imposed."
When the Nazi's came to power in 1933, they put a halt to efforts seeking reform of this law. In 1935, after the murder of Ernst Roem, the NSDAP amended the Paragraph 175 to close what were seen as loopholes in the current law.

The new law had three parts:

Paragraph 175:
"A male who commits a sex offense with another male or allows himself to be used by another male for a sex offense shall be punished with imprisonment. Where a party was not yet twenty-one years of age at the time of the act, the court may in especially minor cases refrain from punishment."
Paragraph 175a:
"Penal servitude up to 10 years or, where there are mitigating circumstances, imprisonment of not less than three months shall apply to: (1) a male who, with violence or the threat of violence to body and soul or life, compels another male to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a sex offense; (2) a male who, by abusing a relationship of dependence based upon service, employment or subordination, induces another male to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a sex offense; (3) a male over 21 years of age who seduces a male person under twenty-one years to commit a sex offense with him or to allow himself to be abused for a sex offense; (4) a male who publicly commits a sex offense with males or allows himself to be abused by males for a sex offense or offers himself for the same."
Paragraph 175b:
"An unnatural sex act committed by humans with animals is punishable by imprisonment; the loss of civil rights might also be imposed."
This relates to this class because back then in Germany, peole didn't have the freedom to choose their sexuality. It was against the law and anyone whomdid such practices would be punished. Men could not express their sexuality the way they wanted to.

carabet No Time

No time, no time, no time.
Yes, we have no time.
Sorry, but we're always on the go,
with tongues hanging out as we run.
We have no spare time.
No time, no time, no time,
no hours nor even a second to spare.
We hardly sleep, we don’t rest.
No time, no time, no time.
Nowadays, a person doesn't have a second to spare.
Yet many even think the pace is too slow.
If you do business today, you go bankrupt before you have even started.
People don't want to waste time with the beginning,
they'd rather skip straight to the end.
In this day and age, you fall in love in the evening, are engaged at night,
and get married the next morning.
At noon you have a fight; by night you're divorced.
In negotiations between countries, before a treaty is evened signed,
it's already broken.
Because nowadays it is considered chic to be quick.
Time is of the utmost importance. As it was stated, everyone is always on the go. I chose this quote because it reminds me of living here in New York. No one seems to have a second to spare. At times it feels like there is not 24 hours in a day. Because time is so little, we tend not to wast any of it. As a result, everything we do, we all tend to have time in our heads.