Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin offer a theory of mediation for our digital age that challenges this assumption. They argue that new visual media achieve their cultural significance precisely by paying homage to, rivaling, and refashioning such earlier media as perspective painting, photography, film, and television. They call this process of refashioning "remediation," and they note that earlier media have also refashioned one another: photography remediated painting, film remediated stage production and photography, and television remediated film, vaudeville, and radio [1]


In every day life, mediation is when a third party gets involved to solve a problem or dispute between two other people. There are various examples in sports, politics, and education where mediation is necessary. In literature, mediation seems to be the disruption of the form of media which the consumer is using with the communication lines between the author/ producer and the consumer.

As stated by Blakesly, Mediation is the representation of an object, a formative interface whereby the object of contemplation is structured and presented by some intervening medium. In this sense, it refers to the symbolic act itself and thus would include writing.

Bolter and Grusin note that it is a primary characteristic of modernism to direct attention to the process of mediation itself, as an experience of representation (54). Transparent immediacy becomes a reaction against the power and function of mediation. So, for instance,

Transparent digital applications seek to get to the real by bravely denying the fact of mediation; digital hypermedia seek the real by multiplying mediation so as to create a feeling of fullness, a satiety of experience, which can be taken as reality. [2](Bolter and Grusin 53)


Immediacy is the perfection, or erasure, of the gap between signifier and signified, such that a representation is perceived to be the thing itself. It is a consequence of what Kenneth Burke calls "naive verbal

thumb|300px|right realism" whereby the symbol is simply perceived to be a window to the real. In Remediation, immediacy (or transparent immediacy) is defined as a "style of visual representation whose goal is to make the viewer forget the presence of the medium (canvas, photographic film, cinema, and so on) and believe that he is in the presence of the objects of representation" [3] (Bolter and Grusin 272-73).

In other words, immediacy is the element of media that makes it so the actual media itself is no longer apparent to the user. The user becomes completely immersed in the form of media they are using such as the television or computer screen. The goal is to shorten the distance between the media and the consumer.

Vertigo and Camera AnglesEdit

The camera angles used in the film Vertigo help to increase the immediacy of the film. "The Camera's Eye" in this film is an embodied camera view. The camera doesn't exist outside of the space. In the film we see the main male character, James Stewart, and then the viewer sees what he sees. The viewer virtually sees through James Stewart's eyes. What the viewer sees through James Stewart's eyes represents the traditional male gaze. This main male character is fixated on a female character. The women can be seen as an object because the camera never embodies her. In this concept of the embodied virtual self the line between mind and body is blurred. This relates to the "idea of the self" which is a concept introduced in Remediation by Bolter and Grusin.


The idea of remediation reminded me of the online version of Frankenstein we read because according to the chapter, remediation is supposed to be a “new and improved” version of the original text. I guess this is what the online version of Frankenstein was striving for because of the numbering of the paragraphs for each chapter, easy access to the volumes and chapters. Also, I think the fact that the hyperlinks were included was a way of further improving the text because it provided background information on the author and linked major ideas and themes in the book, which a reader cannot get/do while reading the physical form of the book. Another thing that was pointed out in the chapter was the ability to search in the remediated forms of encyclopedias, which I personally always find useful. It is much easier to click on the “find” option and type in a word and immediately be directed to it than to refer to the index and flip through pages to find what you are looking for[4]

Relation to Class Assignments and TextsEdit

Second LifeEdit

thumb|300px|right|Welcome to Second Life VideoThis virtual digital world where almost anything is possible is a perfect example of immediacy. Users create an avatar and are able to travel through the virtual world of second life where the destinations are endless. Often times second life users become so immersed in the world of second life that they forget that they are playing a computer game and feel as if they are the actual avatar on the screen.


This is an example of a remediated text. Frankenstein was originally written in 1818 by Mary Shelly. Not only is there a 1832 edition but Frankenstein can also be found in eBook form or on the web. There are many forms of this book. The online edition of Frankenstein is also an example of hypermediacy. The reader can involve themselves with the two versions of the Frankenstein text (1818 and 1832 edition) as well as the variety of study aids on this web page as well. Examples of these are information about the author, character analysis, plot summaries and interpretations. Having the Frankenstein text and a web page with the study aid up on the computer screen at the same time would be an example of hypermediacy. The user is immersed in two parts of the media at the same time. Therefore this makes the element of the media more evident to the user.

Patchwork GirlEdit

Patchwork Girl by Shelley Jackson is a remediated text of Frankenstein. There are many similarities in both the works but ultimately they are different stories and are presented through different medias. Frankenstein can be found in print form and in digital text on the world wide web while Patchwork Girl is a CD hypertext. This is somewhat of an interactive game where the reader chooses what to read and when to read it. Hypertexts are a form of non-linear text and can be read piece by piece while books are linear and are usually read from cover to cover.

Do Androids Dream of Electric SheepEdit

This book is another example of a text that has been remediated. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a novel that was written by Philip K. Dick and first published in 1968. The digital representation of this book can be seen by watching the movie Blade Runner. This movie is a science fiction film that is based loosely off of the book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Blade Runner in itself is a remediated film. When the film was first released the producers had to go back and change the film and add voice overs. The film was also remade again when it was made suitable for public televisions and the aspects of a R rated movie were removed. There is a directors cut of the film as well and then a final cut.


  1. Digital Rhetoric/Remediation and Remix
  2. Review of Remediation
  3. Review of Remediation
  4. Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation