Cult Value and it’s Effects on Newer Mediums of Production

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

“Cult Value” as explained by Walter Benjamin is the social and cultural characteristics attached to an art piece by its audience. He explains how these cult values are attached by the situation of the art piece — the time it was made, the style of that time, the people, etc. Cult Value is also the shock an art piece created in the society. It is the ability of the art piece to change perceptions of people towards something.

He tells us how lithography was displaced by paintings and how painting was displaced by photography as it served the same purpose in a shorter period of time. He also throws light on how videography has changed the way we look at art. About how it’s the same thing as the Egyptian Wall Carvings, but more accepted as it is more accessible and widespread.

I disagree a little with Walter Benjamin as I believe that the cult value isn’t entirely displaced by newer mediums of production, as having an ancient painting today shows that the painting still holds a socio-cultural importance.

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