How did Benjamin's theories Impact Graphic Design?

  • Michael Vinegrad

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Since Walter Benjamin's suicide in 1940, much academic discourse has been generated from readings of the essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Benjamin, 1955/2015). This thesis juxtaposes this with a critical analysis of crucial examples from graphic design and art derived from Russia, Europe and Ukraine, linked with organisations, including The Bauhaus, De Stijl and Constructivism. These movements share a common denominator, which can be religious, intellectual, political and economic, all of which are premised on a relationship with technology. This thesis aims to show the extent of the impact of the above on graphic design.
The thesis presents an alternative interpretation concerning a historical timeline of graphic design and the impact of technology through the lens of Benjamin's essay and an alternative historical snapshot of graphic design. It explores the history of graphic design through the lens of Benjamin's technology theory. Critical Discourse Analysis analyses the impact of art and technology on Graphic Design and examines the symbiotic relationships between graphic design and Benjamin's technology theory.
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (Benjamin, 1955/2015) will be referred to as: 'the art essay.'
Date of Award27 Feb 2023
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorAlex Coles (Main Supervisor) & James Dyer (Co-Supervisor)

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