Ever since Walter Benjamin published his essay The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, scholars have debated whether mechanically reproduced art can have aura as Benjamin discussed this idea. The debate has included digital artwork and cybernetic systems, but the question has stayed the same.
Referring to Benjamin’s own definitions concerning air, one can argue it is possible for aura to be present even in digitally created artwork, if the artist is conscious of the spatial concerns essential to meet Benjamin’s expectations.
Using as an example the artifacts of Mariko Mori, a performer, the existence of modern aura is analyzed concerning technique, setup, and metaphorical qualities of digitally-created art, as the artist looks sensitive and conscious of the significance of space and the audiences’ senses and experience.
Western ideals of feminism and Japanese pop culture and express surreal thoughts on the topic. By making her complex artifacts, almost life-size instalments of photography, video, sculpture, and at times even scents combinations, she joins Eastern spirituality with modern technologies, linking the ancient Asian beyond with the international world of today.
Mariko Mori’s large photos and video installations generator human design with futuristic scenes which meditate on the profusion of artifice in modern culture and extract components of Eastern religious thought art, to express optimism for life in the upcoming millennium.
Mori always stars in her own creations and generally presents herself as a computer-fabricated pop star who investigates the hybrid nature of individuality and its relation to personal fantasies and international culture. Cyborgs and avatars are largely featured in Mori’s functions, coupled with a healthy portrayal of the incorporation of modern technology in everyday life.
Inspired by the Buddhist notion that all things in the world are Interconnected, Mariko Mori believes that art shares with digital technology, faith and even fashion photography, the capacity to give form to our dreams, fantasies and desires. So as to show better her beliefs she uses space like it was a concrete substance.
If today one concentrates on the spatial properties of air, it has a special presence in space through time, digital media and electronic artists through different approaches can satisfy this requirement. Artists, such as Mariko Mori, who can make a distinctive spatial environment for work that is mechanically reproduced or digitally created, are now able to transmit air through their job.
To put it differently, an artist can create aura through an electronic media by employing space. Thus, an artist can contradict Benjamin’s concept about mechanically reproduced art, simply by following his own definition.