Reproduction of art in digital age discussed in the upcoming Geek Speak at BHSU

Author: Gustave Karinen/Thursday, October 13, 2016/Categories: 2016

Dr. Tim Steckline, professor of speech at BHSU, will illustrate and experiment with art transformations on a well-known and widely reproduced image, Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, in the upcoming Geek Speak lecture "999 Mona Lisas in the Age of Digital Reproduction:  A Tribute to the Life & Work of Walter Benjamin." The discussion will take place Thursday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110 at BHSU. Event is free and open to the public.

The mass reproduction of images and sounds is becoming common in the digital era. The upcoming Black Hills State University Geek Speak lecture will explore how mass reproduction, mechanical and digital transformations have affected how we perceive art.

Dr. Tim Steckline, professor of speech at BHSU, will illustrate and experiment with art transformations on a well-known and widely reproduced image, Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa, in his upcoming Geek Speak presentation.

Steckline's presentation "999 Mona Lisas in the Age of Digital Reproduction:  A Tribute to the Life & Work of Walter Benjamin" will take place Thursday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110. The event is free and open to the public. Walter Benjamin was a German Jewish philosopher and cultural critic, with numerous contributions to aesthetic theory, literary criticism, and historical materialism.

According to Steckline, people are becoming more image-based than idea-based. They are arguing with images, instead of ideas, says Steckline.

Steckline will discuss three themes in his presentation: the rising trend of collecting, "flâneurship" and the importance of wandering, and mechanical reproduction of art.

"With digital production we can now reproduce more things than ever. Once we have all the mechanical reproductions, we see replicas and alterations before we see original," says Steckline. "By the time we see the original, it doesn't matter anymore. The original becomes just another view of it."

Steckline adds that mechanical reproduction changes how we see the world today.

Adopting Benjamin's critical views, Steckline explains that for the intellectual, fresh and new experiences people need fresh and new experiences, to wander and be "flâneurs," meaning to stroll or dawdle.

Steckline will present the audience with various reproductions and alterations of the Mona Lisa painting. Steckline says he wants to leave it up to the audience to answer Walter Benjamin's question, "How many Monas change you Mona?"

The Geek Speak lecture series, sponsored by the BHSU University Honors program, features academic discussion and topics not normally discussed in the traditional classroom. The goal of the weekly lectures is to expose students to diversity within the disciplines.

For more information, contact Dr. Courtney Huse Wika, director of the University Honors Program and assistant professor of English, at 605-642-6918 or email Courtney.HuseWika@BHSU.edu.

In addition to the on-campus presentations, some Geek Speaks will also be presented at the Jacket Zone store in downtown Spearfish. The following on-campus Geek Speak presentations, which are held Thursdays at 4 p.m. in Jonas Hall, room 110, are scheduled for this semester:
  • Oct. 27, "Lawyers, Home Runs, and Money: The Long and Ongoing Corruption of Professional Baseball, America's Past-its-Time," Dr. David Cremean, professor of English
  • Nov. 3, "Are We All Related? Race and the Embrace of The Other," Jace DeCory, assistant professor of history and American Indian Studies, and Dr. Tim Steckline, professor of speech
  • Nov. 10, "Violence Against Native Women Occurring at Epidemic Rates. What is Being Done?" Dr.  Nikki Dragone, assistant professor of English
  • Nov. 17, "Supersymmetry, Superstrings and the quest for the Theory Of Everything," Dr. Parthasarathi Nag, professor of math
  • TBA:  The University Honors Student Capstone Defense
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