- Define Remediation
Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin explore the concept of remediation in their work Remediation: Understanding New Media. According to Bolter and Grusin, remediation is “the representation of one medium in another,” and they argue that it is “a defining characteristic of the new digital media.” To acquire cultural significance, new media may revise, repurpose, remix, reference, and/or compete with older media. Remix, one of the tools students use most often in remediation, is altering a work from its original state by adding, removing, and/or changing pieces of the item.
Forms of Remediation: Straightforward Representation
Older media can be represented in digital form without apparent irony or critique, as exemplified by The Collection Online from the Guggenheim.
With this type of remediation, transparency is key: “The digital medium wants to erase itself, so that the viewer stands in the same relationship to the content as she would if she were confronting the original medium.” Remediation in this case enables media to be shared with a larger audience and viewed apart from the limitations of place and time that exist in the real world.
Forms of Remediation: Enhancement
Other times, remediations may pay homage to older media but also work to enhance or improve upon them.
For example, “Snow Fall” by John Branch, is a multimedia webtext that uses graphic, video, and interactive elements to compose a feature news article. Published by the New York Times in 2012, “Snow Fall” highlights the potential of digital composing environments and tools to make stories come alive. Here’s what Branch said about “Snow Fall” in an interview for the Digital Rhetoric Collaborative:
Forms of Remediation: Transformation
Remediation may also “try to refashion the older medium or media entirely, while still marking the presence of the older media and therefore maintaining a sense of multiplicity or hypermediacy.”
Pinterest presents a good example in terms of remediating cookbooks and cooking magazines, as the above example shows. Recipes (or links to recipes) are remediated into pins that feature visually stunning food photography. Site users can then like, share, comment on, or save these pins to return to later.