“Our culture wants both to multiply its media and to erase all traces of mediation: ideally it wants to erase its media in the very act of multiplying them.” -Bolter, J. David, and Richard Grusin. “Introduction: The Double Logic of Remediation.” Remediation: Understanding New Media.
In this day and age, the term remediation has come to describe the process of media change. More specifically, it is a collaboration of immediacy (the “right now” factor and desire of media to be transparent) and hypermediacy (which calls attention to the form of media itself). As new media develop through this process, they also tend to imitate each other at moments of media change; old media must find ways to become “newer” and new media must rely on interfaces of old media in order to appear comfortable and familiar.
If this doesn’t make much sense to you, let’s look at a concrete example of the process of media change. The other day I was online shopping for a new mp3 player to replace my ancient Zune. I hadn’t looked in this market of electronics in years and was astounded by all the updated models available for purchase. The original iPod Mini was forever gone as I had once known it to be.
Instead, I found the newest version of the iPod- an updated model of the iPod Nano. It features a beautiful, colorful touch-screen, a slimmer body than ever before, and new fun applications.
To keep up with our fast-developing digital age, and to avoid their product becoming obsolete, Apple incorporates a component of newer media (the touch screen feature) into an older medium, to replace the basic scroll pad that has been used in the past. This is obviously an attempt at an old medium trying to become “newer.” But it is also important to note the similarities in both appearance and function that the new iPod Nano shares with its older cousin. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel, Apple only refines it. This here is a perfect example of a new medium using older and familiar features of past media. No media works alone today as both old and new media must develop together.
Our 4th mini-project of the semester was to do a “media translation” of an object or document that has its original life in print. The goal was to translate it using the unique functions of new media. I chose to create a promotional webpage for my friends’ band, Shoes and Laces, for what was an upcoming show at Bear Creek Music Festival. I was inspired by the band’s print poster for a past show that I had hanging on the wall in my living room. And this is where I began the process of adaptation.
In Katherine Hayles’ text on translating media from print to electronic text, she makes clear three important points. The first is that the meaning of a text is always tied to its material/mediums; you cannot separate one from the other. The second is that digital texts are much more complicated than print texts because they involve a process, a process in which we are still trying to understand. Lastly, remediating a print document into a digital document involves a process known as translation; an artful process which involves understanding how the original text has meaning and how the new medium can create this same meaning using its different functions.
I referenced these 3 point as I attempted to create an electronic form of this print poster using basic HTML, or hypertext markup language. As Kimberly Amaral explains in Hypertext and Writing: An Overview of the Hypertext Medium,“hypertext is a system of non-sequential writing” which mimics the non-linear way our brains process information. When hypertxt incoporates hyperlinks to point you to a variety of different mediums, hypermedia has been created. In order to utilize this property of HTML, I incorporated text, images, links, and color in my electronic poster. All together, these properties of HTML allow the reader to choose his/her own path on the web, one that is circular and non-permanent.
Hayles’ claim that text cannot appear the same in different mediums is made evident through this mini-project. On my webpage, I included “clickable” images/banners that link the viewer to the Shoes and Laces website and the Bear Creek website, which is a component that obviously can’t be accomplished through print form. This concept blends into the step of translation that must be done. Instead of taking up room on a print poster explaining with text what Bear Creek Music Festival is, I am able to simply link an image to a website in electronic form.