"Art is a Weapon!" Friedrich Wolf

The figure of Cassandra

Focusing on the present rather than the past - the example of housing statistics

Praise for Potemkin

Renaissance use of art for political power

Kitsch and popular German cinema


A time of manifestos: multiple movements

The politics of Dada


"The Art Scab," George Grosz and John Heartfield

Criticism of Expressionism

Criticism of Kokoschka and the Dresden Academy

Preservation of original artwork from class warfare unimportant


"The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," Walter Benjamin

A work of art has always been reproducable

Acceleration - keeping pace with speech, technology of sound reproduction

The concept of the "aura" - presence in time and space

Critique of the "cult of beauty":

The secular cult of beauty, developed during the Renaissance and prevailing for three centuries, clearly showed that ritualistic basis in its decline and the first deep crisis which befell it. With the advent of the first truly revolutionary means of reproduction, photography, simultaneously with the rise of socialism, art sensed the approaching crisis which has become evident a century later. At the time, art reacted with the doctrine of l’art pour l’art, that is, with a theology of art. This gave rise to what might be called a negative theology in the form of the idea of “pure” art, which not only denied any social function of art but also any categorizing by subject matter.

An aesthetics of montage rather than performance:

Guided by the cameraman, the camera continually changes its position with respect to the performance. The sequence of positional views which the editor composes from the material supplied him constitutes the completed film. It comprises certain factors of movement which are in reality those of the camera, not to mention special camera angles, close-ups, etc.

User-generated content

For centuries a small number of writers were confronted by many thousands of readers. This changed toward the end of the last century. With the increasing extension of the press, which kept placing new political, religious, scientific, professional, and local organs before the readers, an increasing number of readers became writers – at first, occasional ones. It began with the daily press opening to its readers space for “letters to the editor.” And today there is hardly a gainfully employed European who could not, in principle, find an opportunity to publish somewhere or other comments on his work, grievances, documentary reports, or that sort of thing. Thus, the distinction between author and public is about to lose its basic character. The difference becomes merely functional; it may vary from case to case. At any moment the reader is ready to turn into a writer.

Sound film as spectacle: normalizing the avant-garde

Mechanical reproduction of art changes the reaction of the masses toward art. The reactionary attitude toward a Picasso painting changes into the progressive reaction toward a Chaplin movie. The progressive reaction is characterized by the direct, intimate fusion of visual and emotional enjoyment with the orientation of the expert.

Freudian psychology and film

Mass as a matrix - and the transformation of quantity into quality

Distraction and art - new tasks and "aperception"

Brechtian cinema Kulhe Wampe

Essays on photomontage

Essays on visual education

Degenerate Art

Beauty without Sensuality

The Aesthetics of Exposition and Spectacle - Albert Speer

Pre-1933 Nazi Posters

Nazi Posters 1933-1945

New Graphic Sensibilities

Nazi Cinema - from mainstream to experimental

Veit Harlan Jud Süß (1940), Die goldene Stadt (1942), and Kolberg (1944/1945)

Leni Riefenstahl Triumph des Willens (1935) and Olympia (1938)