c y b o r g m a n i f e s t o 2 . 0
:: t e c h n o l o g i e s
:: r e m e d i a t i o n
Bolter and Grusin claim in "Remediation: Understanding New media" that all media and technologies are always in a dialectical relationship with their economical, historical and social contexts. This allows them to say that, without falling into the trap of technological determinism, not only does a society produce new technologies but similarly do new technologies shape society. Drawing on the ideas of Bruna Latour, they say that our highly technologised society in fact consists of and produces constantly multiple hybrids of technologies, subjects and language; in short, cyborgs.
Next, they go on to argue that all mediation in our society is really remediation and that henceforth all (re)mediations are in themselves 'real as artifact in our culture, though not as autonomous agents' (cf. Baudrillard's notion of the simulacrum as creating 'hyperreality'). Because mediation are real, they imply a process of simultaneously reforming society as well. This argument effectively does away with any idea of a virtual is being less value than and opposed to a real. The real reform can be social or political, but as Bolter and Grusin show with the fact that what is hypermediate for one person may be immediate to another, one needs to be careful to always take into account the specific context within which the medium operates. Taking this argument further to the workings of hypertext for instance, it is important to remember that positive social change is never inherent to any medium. Or to speak with Ani DiFranco: "a tool is only then a weapon if you hold it right".
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