Media and Remediation

Although most definitions of medium (or media) emphasize that it is a middle term or transmiting device of some sort, Bolter and Grushin argue that in our present state of media (or IT) history, one is always experienced, used, and defined by its relation to other media:

WHAT Is A MEDIUM? We offer this simple definition: a medium is that which remediates. It is that which appropriates the techniques, forms, and social significance of other media and attempts to rival or refashion them in the name of the real. A medium in our culture can never operate in isolation, because it must enter into relationships of respect and rivalry with other media. There may be or may have been cultures in which a single form of representation (perhaps painting or song) exists with little or no reference to other media. Such isolation does not seem possible for us today, when we cannot even recognize the representational power of a medium except with reference to other media. [Bolter & Grushin, p. 65; emphasis added]

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Last updated: 20 July 2002