Remediation is the representation of one medium into another. The idea of remediation challenges the idea that "new" mediums and forms are being created, and instead argues that mediums are in a constant dialectic with other earlier mediums.
Definition and History:
Remediation is a term used by New Media theorists to argue that a medium is never truly "new", but everything is in a constant discourse with older mediums. This is also called "repurposing", and is common in the film industry. Bolter and Grusin aruge that "transparency, however, remains the goal" (46). Bolter and Grusin argue that remediation can be found in everything and that nothing is ever really new. The goal is for remediation to blend in.
Remediation has been studied by other scholars as well. Marshall McLuhan first coined the phrase "the medium is the message" in 1964 in his book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. This phrase was highly influential in Bolter and Grusin's Remediation: Understanding New Media. McLuhan's phrase "the medium makes the message" influenced them by making New Media theorists attempt to find the patterns within a medium, such as tracing remediation in different mediums.
The idea of remediation can be seen in everyday life. One example is the craze involving Jane Austen. Film adaptations such as Pride and Prejudice (2005) and Clueless (1995) are based on Austen's novels, Pride and Prejudice and Emma. Furthermore, Austen herself was influenced by the popular novels during her time when she was writing these books. Her writing style and themes were highly influenced by the sentimental novel and the discourse surrounding the French Revolution, including the ideas of Mary Wollstonecraft. Modern adaptations have also been further remixed and remediated. Clueless has been remediated by Iggy Azalea in her hit song "Fancy". Pride and Prejudice has been adapted into countless books that attempt to bring a modern take on Austen's original book, such as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Another example can be seen in the music industry. Popular songs are often remediated into other songs, and are often sung by artists other than the original artist. This can be seen in Kelly Clarkson's cover of Taylor's Swift's song Shake It Off. Additionally, other artists have remediated previous songs to make them their own. Nicki Minaj's song "Anaconda" draws heavily on Sir Mix-a-lot's song "Baby Got Back". These examples support Bolter and Grusin's argument, and the idea of New Media theory, that nothing is original, but everything is in a constant dialectic with earlier forms of media in the medium.
Azalea, Iggy. "Fancy". Online Video Clip. YouTube. 4, March 2014. Web. 28, October 2014.
Bolter, Jay David and Grusin, Richard."Immediacy, Hypermediacy, and Remediation". Remediation: Understanding New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000. Print.
Clarkson, Kelly. "Shake It Off". Online Video Clip. YouTube. 25, October 2014. Web. 28, October 2014.
Clueless. Dir. Amy Heckerling. Perf. Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, and Brittany Murphy. Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 1995. Film.
McLuhan, Marshall. Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man. Cambridge:MIT Press,1964. Print.
Minaj, Nicki."Anaconda". Online Video Clip. YouTube. 19, August 2014. Web. 28, October 2014.
Pride and Prejudice. Dir. Joe Wright. Perf. Kiera Knightley, Matthew Macfayden. Universal Studios ,2005. FIlm.
Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies. Austen, Jane and Grahame-Smith, Seth. Philadelphia:Quirk Books, 2009. Print.
Sir Mix-a-lot."Baby Got Back". Online Video Clip. YouTube. 16, November 2012. Web. 28, October 2014.
Swift, Tayor. "Shake It Off". Online Video Clip.YouTube. 18, August 2014. Web. 28, October 2014.