What makes new media so “new”? Some scholars define this phrase in terms of what media preceded it. In this way “remediation” or in general terms, the “act or process of correcting a fault or deficiency”(thefreedictionary.com) is essential to understanding new media as it exists today. Lev Manovich’s work, The Language of New Media discusses this word in terms of understanding new media as the remediation of old media. Manovich cites Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin’s study in which they “define medium as ‘that which remediates'”(Manovich, 95). Consider the use of “desktop”, “bookmark”, “pages”, etc. These are all physical relics of old media. The use of these terms and the physical existence of them are evidence of the remediation of old media. New media, quite like Thomas Edison, simply builds upon preexisting ideas and concepts and formulates new inventions.
In Manovich’s words remediation functions by, “translating, refashioning, and reforming other media, both on levels of content and form,” (95). We understand new media in terms of old media and how it builds towards a new invention but it’s important to emphasize the pressure on new media to stay current. Old forms are adapting to stay a primary presence in the emerging technological world. Remediation is therefore a never ending cycle, bound to repeat in an infinite loop.
Source: Manovich, Lev. The Language of New Media. 2002. 43-234 Print.
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