This is an excerpt taken from a longer term paper on “negative representation” in Kant, Nietzsche, and Benjamin. It begins by continuing the discussion of Benjamin’s musings about film:
Benjamin sees this new technology as pushing the limits of our perception and activating truths before unseen and unknown. Like Freudian theory, it penetrates into the surface of reality, revealing “unconscious optics” and “managing to assure us of an immense and unexpected field of action” (236). He says that to ask whether or not the artistic forms of mechanical reproduction are an art is meaningless; the real question is how they change our conception of art itself. He writes, “The primary question – whether the very invention of photography had not transformed the entire nature of art – was not raised” (227). The question of the nature of art is also a question of the nature of the subject. Benjamin writes, “[Film] reveals entirely new structural formations of the subject” (236).