After Class Writing: Bolter and Grusin’s “Remediation”

After today’s class, write at least 250 words summarizing your reading of Bolter and Grusin’s “Remediation” and the lecture on it. Include at least one example of “remediation” in an app or other technology that you use. Copy your summary into a comment made to this blog post before our next class.

13 thoughts on “After Class Writing: Bolter and Grusin’s “Remediation””

  1. Jay Bolter is a holder of the James and Mary Wesley chair in New Media at Georgia Tech, where he has been teaching for 25+ years. He studies the historical and current relationship between media and culture. In 1987, he and Michael Joyce created storyspace, a software application that helps people work together to, create, edit, read, and write hypertext fiction. Richard Grusin is the director of Center 21st century studies at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and the author of “Radical Mediation”. In the previous class, we read their article entitled, “Remediation”, in the article they shed light on three new terms, immediacy, hypermediacy, and remediation. Immediacy is described as the process of having a person experience a medium without the actual medium being present. An example of this is using a FaceTime app to make it look like your talking to face to face, but in reality, you are using a phone to complete this process and you forget about the phone. Hypermediacy makes sure that this process becomes opaque and you become used to having all this information through applications that help you do everything from shop to communicate with other people. Users should be able to recognize the medium is still a medium. Remediation is the way of how new media finds purpose doing the things old media has done, it’s similar to the content of the medium that McLuhan talked about. An example of remediation is to create a digital photo album and view it on the computer. When you do that you are combining the old media (photo albums) with a new media (computers).

  2. Jay David Bolter is a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology specializing in Literature, Media, and Communication. Richard Grusin is the Director of the Center for 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee. He specializes in Media, Digital Studies, Literature, and Cultural Theory. Together, they wrote a piece entitled, “Remediation,” which we analyzed and discussed in class.

    Bolter and Grusin are discussing the tendency of all media to fall in between two poles: immediacy and hyperimmediacy. Immediacy may be defined as the total erasure of the medium; the goal is to have the user feel as though he or she is directly connected with the stimuli. Immediacy promotes transparency. In hyperimmediacy, it is the antithesis of immediacy. It is the explicit promotion of the medium that is delivering the stimuli and it promotes opacity. The writers are saying that all media will be subject to a push-pull tendency because they are in between these two poles, and in so doing they will display a certain tension or tone. It struck me that this is analogous to the id, the superego and the ego. The id of the psyche is uninhibited and devoid of rules- one pole; the superego is comprised of the conscience and mores/rules- the opposite pole. The result is the ego, the consequence of the constant tension between the two poles.

    Both immediacy and hyperimmediacy are forms of remediation. Remediation means the act of borrowing and repurposing aspects of old media in order to supplement or create new media. An example of new media borrowing from old media is podcasts: podcasts act just like old radio broadcasts in terms of delivering content by audio, but they are new in their portability, availability and multimodality. Remediation works in both directions, too: old media will also borrow and appropriate new media technologies in order to enhance old media techniques and products. One example of an old media form using new media enhancements would be in television. Older televisions used cathode ray tubes (CRTs) as their internal picture tubes. CRTs were clunky, energy inefficient, and delivered mediocre visuals. New televisions use mostly LCD or plasma displays, which still deliver much the same content as old TV, but with less energy consumption and superior picture quality.

    Old media are essentially representations of an actual person, place, thing or idea. Old media could not actually deliver a person’s voice or an actor’s motions in real time and so they brought content indirectly to the consumer. New media has the capability of bringing the user much closer to the real thing, although as we discussed in class previously, we all exist in a virtual reality wherein there exists a time delay, so one can never really experience anything as it is happening, only after it’s happened. New media has appropriated much of old media and made it much more accessible as a result.

    Bolter and Grusin are highlighting the fact that all mediation is in fact remediation. They are saying that no media is really “new” because all new media takes from old media. In this way, media is on a spectrum of continuity and it escalates, or evolves, all the time.

  3. “Remediation,” is an essay written by Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin which was published in the year 1996 by a journal called Configurations. In their essay they talk about two logics called immediacy and hypermediacy and how media functions with these two logics. They also talk about another term called remediation. To discuss these terms, they use examples like film, television, and radio. Immediacy can be described as the erasure of media. It is where the medium becomes transparent, where you can see through it like glass. The idea of immediacy is that technology like virtual reality should look and feel real like the real world or come close to looking like the real thing. The other term Bolter and Grusin talk about is called hypermediacy. Hypermediacy is the opposite of immediacy and is not the erasure of media. It is not transparent, you cannot see through it and it is more apparent,. An example of this that is brought up by Bolter and Grusin would be of a desktop interface. When we look at a computer we can see that it has files, applications, a clock, etc. that almost represent like a real desk with paper files, bins, and a real digital or analog clock. The final term that they discuss about is called remediation. Remediation is a combination of new media and old media mixed together. There is never really anything new, it is more of an improvement of the old media. For example, Bolter and Grusin point out that “Encyclopedias on CD-ROM, such as Microsoft’s Encarta or Grolier’s Electronic Encyclopedia, off themselves as improvements on printed encyclopedias. So they provide not only text and graphics, but also sound and video and feature electronic searching and linking capabilities.” Another example of remediation in today’s world is email. Before email, we would send letters or documents via the post office. Even though we still do, we are using email more and more. It is making it easier for us because we can attach a document and not have to worry if our papers reached their destination on time or if they are getting lost.

  4. Jay David Bolter is the director media of Georgia Tech. He worked in the field of story space with Michael Joyce. In his article of “Remediation,” he mentioned what technology could achieve. It redefines itself in previous representation. The technology of representation has all the medications which are the remediation. A media exist about other media; remediation works in both direction, it uses older Computer Graphics to enable new stuff to fold into old stuff. Richard Grusin is the University of Wisconsin director; he argues that mediation all media tend to separate between two pulls. Immediacy is the archer of the medium. The medium becomes transparent when the other pull is in the hyper-mediacy. It’s the promotion of the medium. Compare to immediacy, hyper-mediacy is Less apparent and optic. It multiplies and escalates. Immediacy and hyper-mediacy draw the tension to the browning of repurposing than new media to the old media. It’s the side of one determination; our ideas don’t come single but multiple. Therefore, Jay David Bolter reveals that both Immediacy and hyper-mediacy made technology much easier and efficient.

  5. Jay David Bolter was born August 17th, 1951. He is a professor at the School of Literature, Media and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Bolter received his Bachelors in Greek, his Masters in Computer Science, and his Ph.D in Classics. The coauthor, Richard Grusin, was born on September 29th, 1953. He is a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Grusin received his Bachelors in English at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Ph. D at the University of California, Berkeley. The chapter in discussion is titled Configurations from their book “Remediation”. In this chapter, they discuss the hypermediacy and transparent immediacy. In hypermediacy, the goal is not to be transparent, but to be so apparent that the user may interact with the interface. “Its raw ingredients are images, sound, text, animation and video, which can be brought back to and made aware of the interface.” All of the facets of the medium are promoted so there is the ability to discern that the medium is just an interface. In immediacy, the goal is for the interface to be as transparent as possible. With an “interfaceless” interface, the user has no ability to discern that the interface they’re using is, in fact, an interface. Another term discussed was remediation: the fusion of old and new media. Remediation is seen in abundantly throughout our society. Just as much as the old media evolves into the new one, the new can effect and change the old media. Remediation, in essence, is an evolution of media.

  6. Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin mutually distributed “Remediation” in Configurations Volume 4, Number 3, Fall 1996. Bolter instructs at Georgia Tech University.
    Grusin is the Chair of English and also a teacher at Wayne State University. This work expresses that remediation is the joining of one medium into another medium. Remediation is the norm for new hi-tech media representing there is a continually remediating for advancing media using older technology. Examples include television, radio and older innovations. These older objects led the way for newer items such as plasma televisions or satellite radio.This work helps readers understand the idea that all media is overseen by two inverse finishes. These opposite ends are known as poles in which each has the pressure between them, similar to a magnet.
    The first pole is known as an immediacy is a layer of the medium. Media is transparent. Viewers can easily understand this concept and recognize it.This means it’s more apparent. The second pole is known as hypermediacy which is the promotion of the medium. Ideas are shady and cannot be viewed the easily. This concept can adjust in myriad forms. In general, all media has the tension between immediacy and hypermediacy. Both poles often borrowing and alternate new media from old media. This concept can be evolutionary and continuous.
    Remediation can go unnoticed or completely noticeable. In class, we agreed that art is a representation of an idea. The symbol is not the concept itself. For example, a radio is a depiction of a voice. The listener cannot see the person but use the radio as a one way medium for listening. Remediation has repurposed items making old objects to be used in an unlike but modern way.

  7. Jay David Bolter is Professor and Director for New Media Research in the School of Literature at Georgia Tech University. Richard Grusin is Professor and Chair of English at Wayne State University in Detroit. Bolter and Grusin offer the thought of “remediation” as a state of mind about new media. The term “remediation” is “the formal rationale by which new media advancements refashion earlier media shapes.” Attempting to contextualize their hypotheses about new media inside the system of present-day distractions with what they term”promptness” and “hypermedia.” The want for instantaneous is a want for straightforwardness in media that demolishes or diminishes the impression of the media themselves in the watcher’s brain.

    The truth of hypermedia is simply the distraction with media and a hyper-familiarity with the media through which our data comes. These intellectual educators look at how each new medium refashions more seasoned media and how they are frequently refashioned themselves. For instance, they demonstrate that enlivened PC designs draw upon the custom of film and that film is presently beginning to draw upon the new offerings of PC graphics. Examples for both of these can be 3D cartoonist motion pictures that have PC looking illustrations and computer games like my own Sims Game app wherein light of what the player do they have the control over the “intelligent film” and the account. Another case they call attention to is the remediation that happens among TV and the Internet. The Internet utilizes designs set up by TV keeping in mind the end goal to decide how to engage watchers, and TV utilizes new systems of windowing pictures with tapes and writings it has acquired from Internet styles. Photography re-mediated painting, film re-mediated organize creation and photography, and TV re-mediated film and radio.

    In spite of the fact that the idea of remediation has been perceived for quite a while, computerized innovations are changing what it implies. New media are and will keep on doing accurately what their antecedents have done before. They will refashion different types of media, introducing themselves as new, enhanced variants. Advanced media “can best be comprehended through the manners by which they respect, match, and revise other media. Remediation, combined with cooperation will have a more prominent feeling of individual association in media. People will contribute significance, adjust and change methods for understanding media, and gather individual adaptations of that media. Remediation in this way won’t be left to a film re-displaying a novel, yet will be a device in the hands of people exploring the intervened world.

  8. TO: Professor Dr. Jason Ellis
    FROM: Ronald C. Hinds
    DATE: March 27, 2018
    SUBJECT: Remediation, Configuration

    Jay David Bolter, a Wesley Professor of New Media, and Director, Center for New Media Research and Education in the School of Literature, Communication and Culture at Georgia Tech University, and Richard Grusin, a Professor and chair of English at Wayne State University, provide much food for thought in their piece titled, “Remediation, Configuration.” I rather like the succinct review of it posed by “Choice,” MIT press, which states that “the authors lay out a provocative theory of contemporary selfhood, one that draws on and modifies current notions of the ‘virtual’ and ‘networked’ human subject.” My question is, at what point does even mediation either disappear or become obsolete if, theoretically, the media source becomes one with, say, the visual cortex of the human brain, possibly even enabling the brain to jettison its link to that media source?

    I understand mediation to be the presentation or use of a media format that exists, at least currently, outside of the user’s physiology; it engages the mind without biologically or neurologically usurping it. Remediation is the implementation of conformity, accessory, modification or other adjustment to a given media, either to and within itself or from another form of media either preceding or succeeding it.

    Remediation operates in two directions: For example, users of older media such as film and television can seek to appropriate and refashion computerized digital graphics to adopt in their own medium, just as digital graphics artists seek to refashion theirs by borrowing standards from film and television.

    Unlike other forms of media, virtual reality, or VR, immerses the visual and other perceptual features of its user in an artificial form of immediacy through a device that engages the senses, to the visual exclusion of all else outside the device, in realistic three dimensional landscapes, objects and motion. VR allowing the user’s imagination to detach itself from the very media engaging it.

    An interesting point to note is that from about the mid-1990s (the period during which Messers Bolter and Grusin’s work was first presented) the apparent goal of most if not all popular media was immediacy. In recent years, however, that goal has extended less and less to oral communication. Case in point: Today, just as computers are regarded as a far cry from being merely “numerical engines and word processors,” many people regard their cell phone and other mobile devices as not only so much more than just portable telephones but, in fact and increasingly, almost anything but a direct means of immediate oral communication. A considerably large portion of the population today eschews direct conversation almost altogether in favor of call screening and the sometimes more laborious and time consuming act of texting. The screening of calls is a form of anti-immediacy. Some still use Skype to enable some level of immediacy.

    We have to remember always that all media were once new. So for example the radio of 1924, with its tubes, ushered in the Television tubes et al and the Television heralded the arrival of the computer. Old media can parlay into and remediate itself into new media.

    I recall that on or around April 20, 1964, a science program on television rather boldly predicted, “By 1969, every home in America will have a videophone.” However, the videophone was not released commercially until 1989 and quickly exited the market before the end of that year. By the late 2000s Skype, Apple’s Face Time, and Google Video Chat became the erstwhile heir apparent to the ill-fated video phone and actually became widely popular until the earlier part of the following decade. Today Google Video Chat has all but disappeared and Skype is much more nominally used and, even then, mostly for business conferencing (although, in 2016, it was famously used by The Monkees on their 50th Anniversary Tour to bring an otherwise unavailable Mike Nesmith onstage with the group to actually perform remotely with them in real time).

    It would seem to me that immediacy has become a desire and, consequently, a requirement of mainly that media which serves people individually rather than in communal settings such as in communications. It all boils down to the fact that all media tend to operate between 2 poles. Immediacy acts as the erasure of medium. The medium becomes less apparent. It is rendered transparent. Hypermediacy is the promotion of the medium and means that it is more apparent or opaque. Both of these concepts draw attention to the borrowing and reprocessing vis-à-vis of old media and new media.

    It was once thought that photography and cinema would satisfy the culture’s desire for immediacy. Now we think that synthesized images derived from point to point matches to photographs can quench our desire for immediacy. Messers Bolter and Grusin take us down memory lane when they refer to André Bazin’s and Stanley Cavell’s, “The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of the Cinema (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press 1979, p.23), which states that “photography offered its own route to immediacy: The photograph was transparent and followed the rules of linear perspective; it achieved transparency through automatic reproduction; and it apparently removed the artist as mediating agent between the viewer and reality of the image.” Dr. Mario Slugan, Post Doctoral Associate Fellow at the Department of Film & Television Studies and the Department of German Studies, refers to pictures as “conglomerates of the physical medium carrying the image and the image understood as an array of visual information.”

    In 2018, and before, I observed that we refrain from using the nomenclature of cell phone. We refer to them as mobile devices.

    Media has increasingly become synonymous with technology. Therefore, Bolter and Grusin have wet our appetites with their treatise on Remediation, Configuration. We can only use these ideas as building blocks for the future.


    Bolter, J. D. & Grusin, R. A. (1996). Remediation. Configurations, 4(3), 311-358. Retrieved from Downloaded on 25 March 2018.
    Bolter, J.D., Grusin, R.A. “Remediation: Understanding New Media” Downloaded on 25 March 2018.

    Bazin, A., & Cavell, S. (1979). The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of the Cinema (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press 1979), p.23

    Keywords: Hypermediacy, immediacy, linear perspective, mediation, remediation

  9. Jay Bolter is the chair of New Media at the Georgia Institution of Technology. He worked with Michael Joyce to create a commercial application called Storyspace in 1947. Storyspace is a software for building interactive fiction with hypertext, similar to Apple’s Hypercard software which helped users who are not expert coders to build different kinds of software. Richard Grusin is the director for the center of 21st Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin. Grusin published “Radical Mediation” in 2015. Bolter and Grusin argue that all media operate between two poles in their essay “Remediation.” The two poles include immediacy which is trying to make the median transparent or less apparent, and hypermediacy, which is making the median more apparent. Immediacy and hypermediacy draws attention to repurposing a new media out of old media, also known as remediation. Remediation is when new media borrows from old media such as painting, photography, radio, television and film to refashion them accordingly. It can work both ways, old media can be folded new media and vice versa. Bolter and Grusin believed that all mediation is remediation, we tend to always take from old media in order to create new media since we’re all surrounded by older media and rely on them to work and learn. It would be impossible to come up a completely new media that is not built based on an older media.

  10. “Remediation” is an article by Richard Grusin and Jay Bolter. The meaning of remediation for those who don’t know can be defined as ‘settling (disputes, strikes, etc.) as an intermediary between parties; reconcile’ or the meaning could be to bring about (an agreement, accord, truce, peace, etc.) as an intermediary between parties by compromise, reconciliation, removal of misunderstanding, etc, or ‘effecting (a result) or convey (a message, gift, etc.) by or as if by an intermediary’. In the text, the writers keep referring to lines from a futuristic film called Strange Days. One quote is “This is life. It’s a piece of somebody’s life. Pure and uncut, straight from the cerebral cortex. You’re there. You’re doing it, seeing it, hearing it . . . feeling it.” Lenny is touting a black-market device called “the wire” to a potential customer. The wire is like version virtual reality. It is an advanced technological item that deserves people with short attentions spans attention. It fits over the wearer’s head like a skull cap, and sensors in the cap somehow make contact with the perceptual centers in the brain which reminded me of the making of an animated movie I know of called “Monster House”. Creating this movie, the cast had to undergo with motion capture.
    Back to the text, while its recording, “the wire captures the sense perceptions of the wearer; in its playback mode, the device delivers these recorded perceptions to the wearer.” much like the an episode of “Black Mirror” we had discussed in class, people had the choice to be ingrained with a chip enabling them to record during real time which is similar to this.
    All media tent to operate between two poles. The two poles are immediacy which can be defined as the quality of bringing one into direct and instant involvement with something, giving rise to a sense of urgency or excitement, and hypermediacy which is a sort of an antonym of transparent immediacy in that hypermediacy’s goal is not transparency, but rather to be very apparent so that the user may interact with the interface. “Its raw ingredients are images, sound, text, animation and video, which can be brought together in any combination” In hypermedia settings, the user is continually brought back to and made aware of the interface.

  11. Jay David Bolter is a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology. In his essay written with Richard Grusin called Remediation they argue that all media tends to operate between two poles. The first pole being immediacy, where the median becomes less apparent, so if you’re playing a game with your microphone on and communicating with other players you don’t even think about the fact you have the mic on at all. The second pole is hypermediacy, where the median becomes more and more apparent, a perfect example is the example given by Bolter and Grusin with the desktop interface where they have all the apps for a person to click on to access their files. The person must interact with these mediums in order to get their desired outcome. Bolter and Grusin want us to see how all media exhibit attention between hypermediacy and immediacy. They also talk about Remediation which is how new media finds its way through old media. So in a sense everything is a remix because everything we see has already been done in some type of way and they we see it now may be just reskinned. In order for media to keep on going it needs to look back on old technologies it can try and progress more. Every piece of media exists in relation to other pieces of media.

  12. Jay David Bolter is the Wesley Chair of the New Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology as discussed in class. During 1987 he worked with Michael Joyce to create the Microsoft Story Space. Bolter collaborated with construction of new digital media forms. As the member of the Augmented Environments Lab he developed AR applications to stage dramatic and narrative experiences for cultural heritage and informal education. Richard Grusin is a faculty member at College of letters and science in University of Wisconsin. He has gained his PhD at the University of California. Grusins’ research interests include new media theory, American studies and digital culture. In collaboration both Bolter and Grusin wrote a passage titled, “Remediation”. In this passage both authors argue that media tends to operate between two pols. First pole is immediacy, it’s the eraser of the medium. What this means is that the medium becomes less apparent and people are able to see it through it. The second poll is hypermediacy, it’s the promotion of the medium. This means that medium is more apparent, and that people can’t see through it, as it multiplies and escalates. They discuss that all media exhibit attention between two thing, between immediacy and hypermediacy. Both draw attention to borrowing and reporting the new media do to all of the media, this is what both authors call remediation. New media borrowed from the old media such as photography, television, and more fold of on itself. All the new media is only becoming the representation. Remediation is the analogy that goes from looking at the old trends and using them in new trends.

    All mediation is remediation. We are all surrounded by old media, there is no way you can’t out something without looking at the old media. All media exists to relation to new media. Remediation works from all directions.

  13. One of the two authors of the article “Remediation” is Jay David Bolter. He was born on August 17th 1951.Bolter is currently a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, where his subjects of instructing are literature, communication and media. The professor was also active in the field of story space with Michael Joyce. The co-author of this article is Richard Grusin. Grusin is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin. He was born on September 29th ,1953. In this article, the authors discuss about immediacy, hypermediacy and remediation. All three terms have some form of effect on old media and new media. Also, while discussing about these three terms, the authors bring up a multitude of different media such as virtual reality headsets, films, paintings, photographs, television, etc. The logic of immediacy is involved with the example given of virtual reality. Immediacy is a logic that calls for a lively feel. It should essentially eliminate the thought of one using a device because the concept for virtual reality is for someone to feel as if they have stepped into a new and real world. The logic of hypermediacy however, steps away from that concept. Hypermediacy is where one is using a form of media and can distinguish between the media and the real world. A perfect example give was about the windowed computer. The windowed computer is both automatic and interactive and each time the user returns to the interface of the computer, they realize the distinction. Remediation is simply both old media and new media. It is the idea that old media is being built upon/ further developed.

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