cover of book

The Art of Mechanical Reproduction: Technology and Aesthetics from Duchamp to the Digital
by Tamara Trodd
University of Chicago Press, 2015
Cloth: 978-0-226-13119-1 | eISBN: 978-0-226-17817-2
Library of Congress Classification NX635.T76 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 701.05

The Art of Mechanical Reproduction presents a striking new approach to how traditional art mediums—painting, sculpture, and drawing—changed in the twentieth century in response to photography, film, and other technologies. Countering the modernist view that the medium provides advanced art with “resistance” against technological pressures, Tamara Trodd argues that we should view art and its practices as imaginatively responding to the potential that artists glimpsed in mechanical reproduction, putting art into dialogue with the commercial cultures of its time.

The Art of Mechanical Reproduction weaves a rich history of the experimental networks in which artists as diverse as Paul Klee, Hans Bellmer, Ellsworth Kelly, Robert Smithson, Gerhard Richter, Chris Marker, and Tacita Dean have worked, and it shows for the first time how extensively technological innovations of the moment have affected their work. Original and broad-ranging, The Art of Mechanical Reproduction challenges some of the most respected and entrenched criticism of the past several decades—and allows us to think about these artists anew.

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