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Remediation: Understanding New Media 1st Edition

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262522793
ISBN-10: 0262522799
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Editorial Reviews


The authors do a splendid job of showing precisely how technologies like computer games, digital photography, film television, the Web, and virtual reality all turn on the mutually constructive strategies of generating immediacy and making users hyperaware of the media themselves...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. Clearly written and not overly technical, this book will interest general readers, students, and scholars engaged with current trends in technology.


About the Author

Jay David Bolter is 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.

Richard Grusin is Professor and Chair of English at Wayne State University in Detroit.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1st edition (February 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262522799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262522793
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #525,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
In Remediation, Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin analyze new technologies and their implications for American society. Although the book emphasizes the ways in which new media can be conceived in terms of recent literary and cultural theory, the theoretical discussions do not pervade the work. Therefore, the book can still be quite useful to those who don't wish to delve too deeply into theory. In fact, Bolter and Grusin acknowledge the different emphases of the book's chapters in their introduction and offer readers a guide to help them make the most of their experience with the book, with respect to the readers' goals. The three sections of the book discuss the authors' theory of remediation, the place of new media in American society, and the place of the Self within the context of new media.
In the first section of the book, Bolter and Grusin offer the notion of "remediation" as a way of thinking about new media. What they term "remediation" is "the formal logic by which new media technologies refashion prior media forms" (273). Bolter and Grusin attempt to contextualize their theories about new media within the framework of modern preoccupations with what they term "immediacy" and "hypermediacy." The desire for immediacy is a desire for a transparency in media that obliterates or lessens the perception of the media themselves in the viewer's mind. The reality of hypermediacy is the preoccupation with media itself and a hyper-awareness of the media through which our information comes. Bolter and Grusin place the logic of remediation within the context of our historical preoccupation with these trends.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chantal M. tremblay on April 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book was most enligthening, it explained in a very structured form, what it is we were doing when creating content for new medias. As Moliere said, "doing prose without knowing it", I have used my newly acquired epistemology of remediation extensively to better explain to our young designers what it is they were doing when "re-mediating" clients'content for a new media application, be it Web, Multimedia apps or art-tech.The authors are themselves professors/researchers an use a very didactical stream of thoughts which has been exceedingly usefull to me, to better convey concepts for which I had a feeling, but nowhere near the "theory of remediation" that the authors convey.
As an art/tech buff, who happens to earn a living with technical content remediation and hard core applications programming, the book reconciled me with a new perpesctive on the similarities between these activities. Grusin and Bolter are challenging us to excellence in remediation whatever the final purpose.
The most important concept that the authors brought to me, was that more and better remediation has often nothing to do with more technology, and much more to do with better and more effective (or intelligent) ways to communicate.
In my view this book is a must reading, and a reference book for anyone producing content with a certain degree of awareness. If you believe that the new media demand a "different" attitude,this is a textbook for you.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Alan R. Clinton on January 29, 2015
Format: Paperback
“Bolter and Grusin’s Remediation is a book typical of its genre and time, except worse, implicitly reassuring digital humanists that ‘nothing really has changed’ while also suggesting that everything has. In order to do so, Walter Benjamin’s seminal "Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" is invoked only to be dismissed for encouraging a ‘utopian’ desire for unmediated reality and/or claims of either ‘a new form of democracy’ in the digital age or the alleged ‘technological determinism’ of Marxism. How conservative are these ideas? Well, I cannot speak for Grusin, but shortly after the publication of this book Bolter held a six-figure endowed chair at Georgia Tech in which he was responsible for overseeing the ‘Brittain Fellows,’ who, despite their illustrious title, were underpaid ‘full-time’ teachers. When I asked as their elected representative for better working conditions, Bolter attempted (unsuccessfully) to have me fired for spurious, unrelated reasons.”
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11 of 24 people found the following review helpful By VideoGordo on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
McLuhan once said that in great books there is usually a great deal of redundancy. Remediation demonstrates that such can be said for "other" sorts of books also.

The basic function of this book is to reinforce an already apparent bias in favour of new media as: easy to understand; easy to reconcile with; defined in childishly simplistic tautologies; remediating to the general population when left unexamined.

Without being too blunt, this work is mostly a manual of guiding principles for new media industry functionaries. The intervening decade since it was published, with its social media patterns in mind, has made this one of the least prophetic ever written in the field of media science. Furthermore, any sound extrapolation of active patterns at the time of its publication speak enough as it is to its uselessness as a serious contribution to the subject.

The basis of this book is the idea that new media, digital media, and our new media environment somehow have an intrinsic capacity to "remedy" one's perception of one's self and body. A new bodily awareness born of ablation? A new boldly misguided unawareness born of foolishly optimistic assumptions, I would argue.

No clear-thinking observer of media science could possibly find this book contributory or instructive in the discipline. The premise is almost goofy, and misreads all that we can extrapolate from established models while comprehensively failing to introduce or illustrate a new method of dealing with the subject that can be taken at all seriously. So much so that it is tempting to read this book as a sarcastic satire of the childish bewilderment native to our contemporary western media circumstance.

Media act on media, media act on people.
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