the needle, the stylus – sapphire or diamond tips. vinyl disks – friction. friction? no. vibrations. rotations. sound stored, sound owned, sound unleashed. at home. groove after groove. af ter groov e a fte r gr o o ve.

 in 1948 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor was released by Columbia records. the orchestra claimed a place at every home. Nathan Milstein played his solo solely for each, but the conductor could not be seen. Bruno Walter cou ld no t beseen.

 there. now you could have a whole symphony in your room. played in full. from side A to side B. LlooonggggPlaaaaayyyy. gramophonic reproduction of the greats. Re production repro duction. of art. played at 33⅓ rpm. almost 33.3.

is it time to speak
  about what happens
   to the aura? no, not yet.

in the 1960s we were well into the era of the aural mechanical reproduction. shiny lacquered disks, LPs, rotating at 33⅓ rpm. almost 33.3. albums composed to be heard as wholes. track after track. after tra ck.af ter t ra ck. sequence better left untouched. concept albums. experience produced to be reproduced – and reproduced and re produced and repro duced – at home. experience magnetically composed. refined. unable to be repeated live. rock albums. art rock. artwor(oc)k. did it start with Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? place it on the turntable and we’ll see. no, not see. listen. as it spins.

 sshhhhh. listen. listen carefully. attentively. for after “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” you’ll need to flip sides. to experience the wholeness of it. from side A to side B.

and then – why not – on repeat.

the needle, the stylus – sapphire or diamond tips. vinyl disks – friction. friction? no. vibrations. rotations. sound stored, sound owned, sound unleashed. at home. groove after groove. af ter groov e a fte r gr o o ve. from classical symphony to symphonic rock and everything in between. it’s the late 1960s. LPs’ thriving time. gramophonic recreation bringing studio perfection to the personal location. material connection. to the sound. technological manipulation in perpetual rotation. at 33⅓ rpm. almost 33.3. leaving the sequence untouched. and if the needle skipped or scratched, that’s not too bad – it’s a mark of uniqueness.

but is it time yet
 to speak
  about the aura? no. no, it’s not.
   lift the needle. make the record stop. what does aura have to do with it all?

aura presupposes uniqueness. the authentic work of art. the here and now. a ritual. aura is the air that distinguishes original from copy. aura defies rep repro re production. when in 1948 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in E minor was released by Columbia records, you could have a whole symphony in your room. played in full. from side A to side B. gramophonic reproduction of art. played at 33⅓ rpm. almost 33.3.

 but in re production repro duction rep repro duction the aura was lost.

 and in the abundance of LPs that were released from then on, from classical to broadway to jazz, from musicals to soundtracks to rock, the aura again appears to be lost. or, maybe lost was an old sense of consumption while a new one emerged, based on art that was produced for re production reprodu ction rep repro duction. a shift that became the new norm. reproduction reproduced by infinity. but can technology define art? and, if it can, can it reproduce aura?

 now let’s take it from the start. the needle, the stylus – sapphire or diamond tips. vinyl disks – friction. friction? no. vibrations. rotations. sound stored, sound owned, sound unleashed. groove after groove. af ter groov e a fte r gr o o ve. at home and beyond. it’s the mid-1970s and a new shift is about to start taking hold. turntables and LPs as instruments of their own. sound stored, sound owned, now unleashed to create sonic experiences new for all. DJ practice. mixing, beat-matching, scratching. original creations made from countless recreations of what has been before. production from consumption. dance culture. hip hop. artistic new activities based on the possibilities of vinyls, LPs, and sound reproduction. re prod uc tion.

reproprore rep rep rep rod uct ion on on(rep)on
 reproprore rep rep rep rod uct ion on on(rep)on
  reproprore rep rep rep rod uct ion on on(rep)on
   reproprore rep rep rep rod uct ion on on(rep)on
    reproprore rep rep rep rod uct ion on on(rep)on
     reproprore rep rep rep rod uct ion on on(rep)on
      reproprore rep rep rep rod uct ion on on(rep)on
       reproprore rep rep rep rod uct ion on on(rep)on
        reproprore rep rep rep rod uct ion on on(rep)on

and now, now, it is time to speak about the aura. the aura of the aural mechanical reproduction. the turn of reproduction into a power for production

of works of art.
 a latent meta-aura.

“The history of every art form shows critical epochs in which a certain art form aspires to effects which could be fully obtained only with a changed technical standard, that is to say, in a new art form.”1

1.

Walter Benjamin, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, trans. J. A. Underwood. (Harlow, England: Penguin Books, 2018), 30.

Benjamin
,
Walter
.
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
. Translated by
J. A.
Underwood
.
Penguin Great Ideas
.
Harlow, England
:
Penguin Books
,
2008
.