Reversed Remediation. How Art Can Make One critically Aware of the Workings of Media
A Critical Display of the Workings of Media in Art
By Saskia Isabella Maria Korsten
JIn this paper I distinguish between the theories of remediation and reversed remediation and apply this theoretical foundation to new media art that exemplify what I call ‘reversed remediation’.
This aesthetic strategy subverts Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin’s notion
of ‘remediation,’ which serves a historical desire for immediacy.Countering
Marshall McLuhan’s fear of the narcotic state that the user of a medium can
enter when becoming a closed system with the medium; reversed remediation
offers a chance to wake up the viewer. It creates a state of critical awareness
about how media shape one’s perception of the world. (Art)works that employ
reversed remediation destabilize remediation mechanisms, by making media
visible instead of transparent. It makes critical awareness possible because it
lays bare the workings of media instead of obfuscating them.
multiplying of technologies, is the central operational method for both
remediation and reversed remediation. In remediation, hypermediacy is used to
enable a seamless transition between different media in order to render all
media transparent. This soothes the user into immersion. In reversed
remediation, hypermediacy is used to display the incongruities between media in
order to frustrate immersion. This fosters critical awareness. For example, in
Evelien Lohbeck’s artwork noteboek, this happens when one wants to
manipulate a drawn duration bar but suddenly realizes that an analog
environment is inserted into a digital environment. One’s attention is thus
called to the irreconcilable incongruity between different registers of media.
In reversed remediation, hypermediacy is used to display the incongruities between media in order to frustrate immersion. This fosters critical awareness