The Work of Chicken in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction
n 1935, Walter Benjamin predicting the end of the work of art as it was known in the face of the ability of technology to meticulously reproduce work with little regard for actual skill. However, even Benjamin could not have foreseen the far-reaching effects of the industrial revolution on the very food we eat. For example, the chicken, a staple of the human diet for centuries, has undergone tremendous transformation. The new ideal of what "chicken" means to the modern diet is completely divorced from the actual beast. Boneless, skinless, breaded, fried... chicken-as-sustenance has steadily become abstracted from chicken-as-animal. As a testament to Benjamin's prescience, the following is a visual synopsis (created with the latest technology supporting a lack of skill) of the breakdown of the reference point of "chicken."
By: Gavin Mueller
Published on: 2004-03-24