Taktile Rezeption und lebensweltliche Umsicht. Film und Stadterfahrung bei Benjamin und Heidegger


Tactile Reception and Life-Worldly Circumspection.  Film and Urban Experience in Benjamin and Heidegger

In his famous essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Walter Benjamin compares the daily experience of buildings with the perception of films. His comparison relies on the peculiar concept of “tactile reception“, he opposes to the optically oriented traditional attitude towards art. The concept encompasses two essential traits: on the one hand, it designates the fact that films do not require a contemplative, focused attention, but a habitual, distracted approach, similar to that by which we perceive buildings in our everyday life-world. On the other hand, Benjamin’s concept points to a particular “chock-effect” produced by cinematic experience, through its constant change of perspectives and points of view. By this, it challenges precisely the same form of ambient perception required in numerous situations of our daily life in the modern city. The two determinations sketch out a unitary concept that shows obvious similarities to the phenomenological idea of a “life-worldly circumspection” (Umsicht), a specific manner of sight guiding everyday practical life.

Keywords: Tactile perception, Life-world, cinematic experience, praxis, architecture, Benjamin, Heidegger

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