Into the Aura

Eighty-five years after Walter Benjamin theorized the aura in the work of art, how do we understand that "strange weave of space and time" in an era of digital connection, when art seems to be everywhere and nowhere at once? Join students at the Rhode Island School of Design as we explore the life and the afterlife of the aura as it resurfaced, transformed, and disappeared during the volatile period after the Second World War, in which a new generation of artists reimagined the possibilities of the avant-garde and its ability to transform society. Into the Aura is a podcast created by students in the Spring 2021 art history seminar "Neo-Vanguards," taught by Dr. Sean Nesselrode Moncada at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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Tuesday Jun 08, 2021

In this final episode of Into the Aura, we revisit the central question of the series: can the aura survive the processes of reproduction? We consider the present status of reproduction in the digital age, from Google Earth to Instagram, before revisiting Sol LeWitt's theories of conceptual art and asking ourselves, is there ever art without process? This episode is presented by Daniel Grimme, Nate Krohn, and Max Pierce.

Friday Jun 04, 2021

Data, numbers, algorithms: are these works of art? In this episode we take a look at the historical and artistic presence of information in our lives, from the meteorologically-oriented sculptures of Nathalie Miebach; to the pulse-driven portraits of Sandra Llano-Mejía and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer; to the pioneering achievements of Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace. This episode is presented by Amelia Shafiei, Skylar Perez, and Cole Maisonpierre.

Into the Aura: Public Art

Wednesday Jun 02, 2021

Wednesday Jun 02, 2021

When does art become public? This episode of Into the Aura looks at a range of artworks, both inside and outside the museum gallery, that address public sites and public audiences. We consider the place of monument, in the case of Anish Kapoor's Cloud Gate, and the incorporation—or conscription—of the spectator in the work of Marina Abramovic, Yayoi Kusama, Graciela Carnevale, and more. This episode is presented by Tianxing Xu, Frank Fang, and Chris Cao.

Monday May 31, 2021

What is a body? Is it natural? Is it political? These questions are posed in this episode of Into the Aura, which looks at the work of two pivotal feminist artists, Ana Mendieta and Cecilia Vicuña. Blurring the lines between performance, installation, and activism, these two artists challenge our ideas of what art looks like and who gets to make it. This episode is presented by Sasha Karpova and Veronica Bello.

Friday May 28, 2021

What happens to the aura when the work of art is not an object, but an event? This episode considers examines the place of performance art in the neo-vanguards and how it reorganizes the relationship between artist and viewer. We look at the work of Carolee Schneemann, Laurie Anderson, and Adrian Piper, asking where the work of art is when it comes to performance. This episode is presented by Daphne Knouse, Ciara Moore, and Hannah-Rose Albinus.

Wednesday May 26, 2021

Tacky, gaudy, pre-packaged, vulgar: what is the place of kitsch in the avant-garde? In this episode, we continue our conversation about commodity culture by focusing on two artists whose work is inextricable from the category of kitsch—Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons. This episode is presented by Sharlene Deng, Dana Zeng, Yavya Jain, and Erica Yun.

Into the Aura: Pop Art

Monday May 24, 2021

Monday May 24, 2021

Is there an aura in Andy Warhol's screen prints of soup cans and Marilyns? This week we take a close look at the complicated world of Pop Art, which brought art down to the level of consumer object—and elevated the commodity to the realm of the avant-garde. This episode is presented by Leslie Gonzalez, Gage Wenderski, and Naiya McClay.

Friday May 21, 2021

What exactly is the aura? How does it function in a work of art? We begin our journey Into the Aura with the writing and thinking of Walter Benjamin, who first theorized the aura in a fraught historical moment marked by political extremism, social anxiety, and technological revolution. This episode is presented by Catherine Kim, Kyoung Hoon Kim, and Henry Hong.

Into the Aura: Introduction

Thursday May 20, 2021

Thursday May 20, 2021

A trailer for Into the Aura, an art history podcast created by students at the Rhode Island School of Design, which explores the fate of the "aura" in neo-vanguard art of the past fifty years.

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