Remediation is the act of utilizing existing material to create something new. Most commonly seen in media, this process can take place within a single medium—sampling another artist's song in your own, for example—or across multiple outlets. However, almost anything is arguably remediated. Being inspired by other works are essentially forms of remediation. So that leads to the question: is anything, in fact, an original work?
Definition & History Edit
Remediation has two purposes: 1) to fix or critique the original work and 2) to revise something into another medium and deepen its meaning. Remediation can be seen in everything from forms of inspired work to critical satires and parodies. Throughout history, people have remediated various mediums such as movies, music videos, books, and historical moments, just to name a few. Inventions, such as the first car designed by Henry Ford, has also been remediated to the modern models on today's roads. He has been quoted to state that if it were not for the inventions of his predecessors, his design for the common car would not have come to fruition and been as successful as it was.
It can be argued that everything is a result of remediation throughout the course of history. From music, to movies to tech inventions, almost all things are created based on certain existing ideas. Each newly created modern technology is inspired by and built upon the technologies of the past. Movements in art and film are stacked like building blocks in the same evolution of thought and creation. Often enough, remediation results in the creation of something new, but other times it is merely an improvisation of the original concept.
1. "Ew"- a Jimmy Fallon and Channing Tatum; remediating the concept of "dumb girls" obsessing over certain topics. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIhU3mQTp1U 2. The following is a link to a spoof trailer for Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror film "The Shining". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ca7IHRdy7u4
In this trailer, we notice that the tone and message of the trailer are quite different than in the original trailer for the film. Although "The Shining" is an intense thriller, we now see it as a romantic comedy or family friendly film. This is an example of remediation because it takes existing material to create something new. The new version of the trailer leads us to believe that the film is happy and inspiring, even though the movie is far from it.
3. Movies remakes are also a form of remediation. In this case, the original meaning is mostly preserved but perhaps conveyed in another manner. An example would be the American Version of "The Ring" and the original Japanese version of "Ringu"
4. Another form of remediation can be in the form of mixing different sources and synthesizing it into a brand new concept. Remixes of songs created by DJs are an excellent example:
5. Even the modern personal computer is a result of remediation: Apple's Macintosh is hugely inspired by the Xerox Alto ; some would even argue that the former is a rip-off of the latter.
6. The film, "Everything is a Remix," analyzes the long history of remixing and remediation in popular culture. While the act wasn't fully recognized and put to use in its purest form through William S. Burroughs' cut-up period, the act of remixing has been used since the beginning of human creation and collaborative creation.
Resources and Further Readings Edit
Text-to-Visual Remediation - Discussion of the type of remediation that occurs when you translate text into a series of images while paying attention to the purpose and the audience.
Remediation: Understanding New Media - Study of how new media gain their cultural significance through remediation.
What's New, New Media? - More discussion of the topic from another wikia, including a look at its "Double-logic."
Remediation - Further discussion with more examples that argue that remediation is based on the idea of Marshall McLuhan, the famous media theorist.
Understanding Media - Marshall McLuhan's book on media theory that proposes the idea that "the medium is the message," meaning that the media affects society, not the content they carry.