Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Linking Remediation with Manovich's New Media

In our last class, we talked about remediation and how it is a way of "assimilating the new technology with the old". Throughout history, we have seen older technology being replaced with new, and consequently, people that have encountered the new technology have dealt with the issue by applying knowlege of the old to deal with the novel. The use of new ways of technology continue striving for "immediacy" but now aim at establishing "hypermediacy", meaning we want to achieve a compelling experience while at the same time not becoming too transparent. The interface and our relating to the interface is necessary, especially when something goes wrong.

So, in a way, this last concept that I mentioned works itself into Manovich's book and his explanation of "new media". Manovich begins by giving us a tour of how film technology has created some form of a "virtual reality", with the way a camera operates in filming and the different techniques used. This is similar to what the computer does for us on a daily basis. However, he makes a good point when he mentions that computer technology has a shortcoming which film has an advantage: new media designers have to learn how to merge database and narrative into a new form (Manovich, xxviii). As long as that is not implemented and the research is not done which will remediate this situation, film, in my opinion and possibly in manovich's, film technology will be regarded as superior. Sure computers create some form of virtual reality for us but they have yet to offer some type of experience that still makes us aware of the "interface", meaning, we are still on planet Earth and we are human beings interacting with a machine which we control. Manovich also points out and realizes that much of new media relies on older (8) and so far in his introduction paralleles filmography to computers.

It is important to understand that in the process we should not detach from reality. rather, our goal is to achieve knowledge necessary to engage simultaneously between immediacy and hypermediacy. But then again, as I mentioned in a previous post, the more power someone has, the more he/she wants it. It's an addiction...


  1. In addition to this post, I wanted to add to the idea that Manovich uses the remediation principle in his book. The progression we see in a film, with the cameraman cranking his camera and showing us a sequence of events that build up to the end of the story is the same concept that is utilized in computers with the loop in computer programs. Manovich proposes that this could be the new narrative form for computer technology. It sound like a valid argument and a logical comparison. The only shortcoming I see here is that while a movie can provide an experience that is set in a certain way and the transparency comes together with its reflective quality, the computer does not have that capability because its purpose targets transparency too much, the applications become more complicated, and the experience becomes a confused mess of a reflective quality interfering with transparency. In the computer programmer's quest for creating a unique experience, his/her project results in failure to achieve the intended purpose. Ialso don't think that Manovich is clear as to whether computers will replace cinema or if computers will continue to be used as a backup system for the film industry. So far, his first few pages talk about parallels between film and computer technology, which lead me to think that heavy remediation is present and that the computer technology that is being advertised or promoted as something novel is an avenue that has already been exploited and a recycling process is in the works which only attempts to revive it. There is more to come...

  2. The problem is computer technology has made things so easy for us that we now place our faith in this technology instead of reverting back to the old ways. Computer graphics are, according to Manovich, purely mathematical and therefore subject to manipulation. It is has become so easy to edit digital images as opposed to photographic ones for example and now the love we once had for a camera has been replaced by editing software tools.

  3. I liked how you linked remediation to this reading. I agree that at times old technology is simply replaced with new technology. However, we could look at it another way--old technology is being improved. So in a way it is an assimilation between the old and the new--using new techniques to improve the old.

  4. Yes, excellent connection, and indeed, the distinction between database and narrative is a central one for Manovich.