[-empyre-] The Presence of Things (Aura)


I'm not quite sure what aura means myself. Sometimes you encounter something
and it feels like it has a very strong presence. So maybe it's better to
call aura the atmosphere or presence of something. I personally prefer the
word presence. You know it when you see it/experience it. Sure, there is
also the physicality aspect (electro-magnetism) of all things, but that
alone doesn't create a strong presence. It is an emotional, somewhat
transcendent quality inherent in a being, an object, a piece of art (no
matter what medium). Some people call it also the energy of something or

Digital arte facts have of course presence. Some have more of it, some have
less. There are various parameters that determine such a presence, or the
lack of it. I'm interested in those parameters.


On 6/19/03 5:25 AM, "Simon Biggs" <simon@littlepig.org.uk> wrote:

> On 18.06.03 16:38, "roya.jakoby" <roya@girlfish.net> wrote:
>> The tradition of museum's and gallery culture as we know it today is founded
>> in the exhibition of objects which were taken away from the various imperial
>> colonies. Most of these objects had originally spiritual (cultural) meaning
>> -  I like to call this cultural meaning aura, because it is far more
>> meaningful than 'value' in this particular context. The objects usually lost
>> their 'aura' when they were exhibited outside the culture that originally
>> produced it (they lost their meaning when taken out of their cultural
>> context), the only thing that was left of it was some abstract notion of
>> value for the exhibiters and those who viewed it. Museums try to restore the
>> original aura of objects constantly, they do this by various means, one of
>> the methods is to add subjective and monetary value to the objects (and the
>> artists, though that's a saga in itself).
> -----
> I don't think there was anything in my analysis that is contrary to what you
> say here. This still fits with the argument that the aura is projected by
> the viewer onto the object and that it is a culturally determined (and thus
> contingent) system of value. It doesn't matter what the origins of that
> value is, whether religious, ideological or aesthetic. It is also possible,
> even common, for objects existing within one culture and then shifted to
> another to still have an aura, but an aura determined according to different
> values. Thus we see the object change its value and meaning.
> I was not seeking to make any moral judgement about this process or any
> specific examples. Just point out that aura is a relative thing, culturally
> determined, and not a function of the object.
> best
> Simon
> Simon Biggs
> simon@littlepig.org.uk
> http://www.littlepig.org.uk/
> http://www.greatwall.org.uk/
> http://www.babel.uk.net/
> Research Professor
> Art and Design Research Centre
> Sheffield Hallam University, UK
> s.biggs@shu.ac.uk
> http://www.shu.ac.uk/schools/cs/cri/adrc/research2/
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