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]

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