#MED104 – Learning Portfolio – 1.2: Bolter & Grusin – Remediation (Critical Reading)

Assignment 1 (Learning Portfolio): Week 2, Activity 1.2

Document the process of critical reading.
Conduct a critical reading of the Bolter & Grusin chapter, by annotating/highlighting it, taking notes and finally writing a summary.

In your learning portfolio, write your summary (250 words) of the article which addresses the following points:

  • Identify thesis (argument);
  • identify relevance (what is/is not relevant for this unit);
  • clarify terms (try and define terms that are unfamiliar or contested)


Remediation is defined as borrowing or repurposing media that is already in existence in some form. Bolter and Grusin (1999) present different types of persistent remediation using examples in film, art, television, animation and the web. The thesis of their paper is that remediation is a significant feature of new digital media (1999, p. 49).

Despite the year of publication, this reading remains relevant. For example, the authors refer to films where the objective was to design a faultless space between old and new media, akin to the viewer being situated within a virtual reality (1999, p. 48). As technology advances, this type of remediation will attain higher degrees of success in its attempt at transparency. However, its origins will linger, as much of the new media we see today is based on historical elements, providing us with a greater understanding of the ways we have engaged with media.

There are different degrees of remediation. It can be transparent in nature, without seeking to rival the original, intended medium. Another objective may be that the digital medium can be considered an improvement on the old version. Then, there is an aggressive form, where new media takes the original out of its context, entirely absorbing its predecessor.

The authors argue that new media will always correlate with old media, no matter how major the changes. Although the ultimate goal of remediation is transparency, new media will never achieve this realisation, as this correlation will always exist. Each time media is reused, repurposed or refashioned, there will be traces of where the ideas for its creation originated.


Bolter, J.D. (1999). Immediacy, hypermediacy, and remediation. In J.D. Bolter & R. Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media (pp. 44-50). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Retrieved from http://edocs.library.curtin.edu.au/eres_display.cgi?url=dc60264672.pdf


About Maha @ Uni

Studying online, and want to keep a record of my progress and experiences...
This entry was posted in Digital Media, Media, Media production, New media, Refashioning, Remediation, Repurposing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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