OMNIA AURA MECUM PORTO. WALTER BENJAMIN'S ILLUSIONS AND VIRTUAL FLANEURISM OF A MASS COSSUMER
Selected contents from this journal
Languages of publication
Walter Benjamin's unceasing popularity among critics, philosophers and theoreticians of culture in general and art in particular survived blatant contradictions in his concept of aura and its (mis)applications in historical analyses. Explanations can be found either in a conservative aesthetic theory of Adorno (which offered even less footholds for those, who were intrigued by the maturation of film, jazz and periodicals through the canonization of peripheral and marginal forms) or in a spontaneous recognition of Benjamin's grasp of the intersection of personal memory and social identity. Nevertheless, where Benjamin spelled disaster and predicted political and aesthetic fall of the masses given to idolatry of dictators and film stars, mankind emancipated itself and went on to individualize and mobilize 'aura', which is currently carried by everybody in a cultural backpack. This 'cultural survival kit' in a bakcpack had evolved in the past few decades of explosive growth in personalized, mobile communications and is still acquiring social, political and aesthetic shape. Social sciences are slowly beginning to recognize this cultural-constructivist turn in the humanities. The evolution of the school called population ecology in the theoretical domain of sciences investigating the evolution of organizational forms or of the 'postsocial' historians' movement within the cluster of history, sociology, political and economic sciences are cases in point, as are the artistic works of art produced by post-1968 and female artists from the Polish countercultural and multimedia scene in the post-Cold War cultural climate. Three strategies of packaging portable aura to the backpacks of artists and their viewers are singled out (tourist, performative and liberational ones) and works by Prazmowski, Górna, Kowalska, Brzezanska, and Libera interpreted. Last not least, hidden formative influence of Simmel and his fundamental 'Philosophy of Money' upon Benjamin's concept of the mutability of artistic forms and individualization of aesthetic experience is presented along with Jameson's view on Simmel's relativism (with respect to the mutability of forms in culture) and its role in the making of Benjamin's philosophical mind.
Publication order reference
CEJSH db identifier