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Reproduced Reality: Cultural Artifacts and the Value of Original in the Age of Photogrammetric Reproduction

  • Manning, Lachlan
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2022
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Amongst its innumerable effects on society, the proliferation of digital media has transformed the institution of art, with new forms and channels of digital content delivery allowing unprecedented levels of reproducibility. This reproducibility has allowed artworks and artifacts to be copied, shared, and experienced in a multitude of new ways, often far beyond the original artist’s intentions or expectations.  Contemporary technologies such as advanced 3D object rendering, photogrammetry and Virtual Reality have established a new era of reproduction beyond simplistic image replication. This new era has not only revolutionised the artwork itself, but also the relationship between the viewers of art and the original piece, or the aura. The power of reproduction through digital media has even allowed the complete simulation of traditional spaces for art themselves, as seen in the growth of entirely digital museums and digital art galleries.  As an ever-increasing number of museums are joining the trend of digitising and releasing objects in their collections online, and with existing literature mainly focused on 2D image-based reproduction, but not the affordances brought by photogrammetry and 3D replication technology, this study will explore how the new possibilities inherent to these technologies challenge prior research on digital aura within art galleries.  By contributing to the body of Walter Benjamin scholarship, and building from previous research by Ding (2017), this thesis is centred around exploring a case study of a group of Swedish museums who have begun digitising artifacts in their collection through photogrammetry and freely releasing them to the public online. 

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