Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Remediation: Thinking about Media Change

21st century geared-up the vital revolutions globally in science, health, education, and communications. Gradual development of modern tools shaped our lives on new itineraries. Remediation in communication process is neither a new phenomenon and nor a modern term to explore astonishingly as Marshal McLuhan quoted the concept of remediation in 1964 in his book “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man”. However, technological inceptions and contemporary communication gadgets developed an incessant debate on remediation. Old (or passive) & New (or active), immediacy & Hypermeidacy are common themes for media scholars.

‘What is new about new media comes from the particular ways in which they refashion older media and the ways in which older media refashion themselves to answer the challenges of new media.’ (Bolter & Grusin, 199:15).

New media (as we called, Digital media, Multimedia, Networked and Mobile media) encompasses all kinds of digital, computerized or networked information and communication. Old media was operated in competitors’ threat free atmosphere without fear of cross dialogue in form of consumers’ commentary for correctiveness and transparency. Newspapers, Radio, TV and Telephone worked as independent media which, now turned on a single podium of internet (web).

 New media supports to micro which enables the macro media. Balance, credibility, research and decency of information with freedom of choice and instant availability are the basic characteristics of new media. Remediation brought a larger scale convergence at technical, institutional, professional and cultural levels with additional features of interactivity, participation and customization.

Bolter and Grusin described the phenomenon as, ‘both new and old media are invoking the twin logics of immediacy and hypermediacy in their efforts to remake themselves and each other.’ (199:5) The outcome of the process of remediation, in their account, is a dialectical conversion between ‘immediacy’ as “to erase all traces of mediation” and ‘hypermediacy’ is a “style of visual representation whose goal is to remind the viewer of the medium.” (1999:272)

The simulation mechanism is spreading its wings. Apart from old and new media contention, we know the realities and practicing remediated media in contemporary world. This is McLuhan’s message. We shaped the tools first but are now being shaped.

--Bolter, J. & Grusin, R. (1999). Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press.
1. Convergence [ Accessed on: 25-10-2010]

Friday, 22 October 2010


Cyberspace is a virtual digitized space created through advanced information technology in computer world as we enter into a different arena with the artifacts, practices and relationships spinning around the computing. It is a non-physical terrain created by the application of computer networks where, we tend to fall and create a ‘second world’ with familiar spatial images and encourages the sense of recognition and symmetry among individuals.

The word “cyberspace” first appeared in science fiction author and novelist William Gibson’s award-winning, Neuromancer (1984). According to Gibson, cyberspace is a ‘consensual hallucination’. It gives a sense of a different world through computers in the form of matrix with the bodiless consciousness living in it. ‘It can also explicate as conceptual space where, computer networking hardware, network software and users converge.’ (Gauntlett, 2004: 220)
Nicole Stenger (1991) described the concept of cyberspace as quoted by Featherstone & Burrows that ‘cyberspace is like Oz- it is, we get there, but it has no location’; it ‘opens up a space for collective restoration and for peace....our future can only take on a luminous dimension!’ Furthermore, they narrated the Sherman & Phil Judkins’s (1992) description about cyberspace that it as ‘truly the technology of miracles and dreams’ with the liberation ‘to play God’; through the creation and imbue of inanimate objects.’ (1995: 135)

‘Cyberspace is imaginary space, it has non-physicality, it is a spatial metaphor’ (Miller, 1999), and Michael Benedikt summarized the notion of cyberspace in his book Cyberspace: First Step (1991) as, “a new universe, a parallel universe created and sustained by the world’s computers and communication lines. A world in which the global traffic of knowledge, secrets, measurements, indicators, entertainment, and alter-human agency takes on form: sights, sounds, presence never seen on the surface of the earth blossoming in a vast electronic night.”

The mystification of parallel world comparative to real one, where, we physically exist seems as techno-jargon produced by and for our emerging digital culture. Advanced technological inceptions are strengthening the virtual world and sustaining the concept of second life in cyberspace. 

--Featherstone, M. & Burrows, R. (eds.) (1995). Cyberspace/cyberbodies/cyberpunk. London: Sage.
--Gauntlett, D. and Horsley, R. (eds.) (2004). Web.Studies. 2nd Ed. London: Arnold.
--Miller, L. (1999). Architecture of Cyberspace. [Online]. Available from. [accessed on: 17-10-2010]
1.The New Planet. [Accessed on: 17-10-2010]

Friday, 15 October 2010

Media and Cyberculture

Media and Cyberculture is a vital contemporary subject to address in modern studies. Both terms are important to define categorically. Media is globally renowned term with a simple definition that “the medium to communicate the message from source to destination” and we used different medium in daily life according to our gratifications however, the “Cyberculture” needs to explore extensively. The most familiar and easy definition of cyberculture can be quoted in following words, “The culture that emerges from the use of computers for communication, entertainment and business” but the phenomenon is not so simple to rely on few ordinary words.

‘Culture is one of the two or three most complicated words in the English language.’ (Williams, 1983:87) Study of cyberculture is still an evolving field. Complex relationship between technology and our use of it is changing the cultural landscape as a result of this complex relationship. ‘To define cyberculture is to engage in obsolescence.’ (Read & Gessler, 1996:306)

Different renowned scholars defined the cyberculture through various aspects.‘The study of various social phenomena associated with the internet and other new forms of network communication. Online communities, online multi-player gaming, the issue of online identity, the sociology and the ethnography of email usage, cell phone usage in various communities; the issues of gender and ethnicity in Internet usage; and so on are the vital examples of different characteristics in cyberculture.’ (Manovich, 2002:16)

The above video portrayed the concept of cyberculture cinematically to understand the actuality between the real and virtual world.

“Significance of cyberculture, no longer distinct from what is implicit to culture in the frame work of post-industrial society. With technology as its supramedium, “cyberculture” is the contemporary and transpicuous paraphrase of what the term, revolving around a new industrial model in the late 19th Century.” (Ricardo, 2009:1) Cybercultre is molding the new ways in technological inceptions, identity, new form of sociability and even people-to-people democracy. The Chronology of computer mediated communication (CMC) is attributed in several phases such as making the virtual world then moving the real into the virtual world and finally integrating the virtual and the real worlds and currently majority of people experienced these phases where such technologies are in access.

These changing technologies greatly impact the ways in which we relate, communicate and socialize with each other and shapes a culture.

Personal identification is another question to address in cyberculture as online persona may be different than the real world. Through cyber means of communication people have relationships they could not have any other way.

Online Identification is another core aspect to evaluate in cybercultre as a person has different masks to identity him/herself online. The use of technology can mask our identities as well as heighten them. There are profound implications and possibilities with the ability to manipulate and present one’s identity online.

"Life in the real world is far more interesting, far more important, far richer, than anything you'll ever find on a computer screen”. (Stoll, 1995: 13)

Currently, people around the globe merged in a common culture known as 'cyberculture' and media is core tool for shaping it universally.


--Manovich, L. (2002). The Language of New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press.
--Read, W. D. & Nicholas Gessler, N. (1996). Cyberculture’ in David Levinson   and Melvin Ember (eds.), Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology. New York: Henry Holt and Co.
--Ricardo, F.J. (eds.) (2009). Cyberclture and New Media. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
--Stoll, C. (1995). Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway. New York: Doubleday.
--Williams, R. (1983). Keywords. London: Fontana.