“Immediacy Depends on Hypermediacy”: The World at our Fingertips

Using both visual and textual evidence, David J. Bolter and Richard Grusin discuss culture’s longing for hypermediated forms of immediacy in their work “Introduction: The Double Logic of Remediation.” Amongst many arguments, Bolter and Grusin raise two points regarding humanity’s want for immediacy and remediation. They describe the remediation of art and media as something similar to postmodernism. When artists incorporate other forms of art into their own, they are “presenting themselves as refashioned and improved versions of other media” (13-14). Isolation of a singular medium is almost never illustrated which can make society wonder if originality can exist any longer. Linda Hutcheon argues that postmodernist art is the parody of a modernist cultural art form with the inclusion of avant-garde or innovativeness. If hypermedia is a multimedia combination of art mediums for the sake of immediate surreal perception, and both the remediation of art and postmodernism combine art forms, then is art possible without the inclusion of the past?

Another point brought to light is the matter of society’s desire for immediate sense intake, whether that be through experience or technology. I question whether the hyper realistic perception of mixed medias is a factor in both the lazy ethic of today’s society and depression because of media’s tendency to make everything immediately accessible. When experience is at humanity’s fingertips with photography, audio, film and more, people gain the belief that nothing in reality is as beautiful as the mediums put together in technology. A phenomenon contributing to this in social media is GoPro Ariel Drone cameras which are used to capture life unseen to the human eye without technology. Visuals captured with these drones are edited with filters using impossible shades and combined with music and angles that create a hyperreal video illustrating the life someone is living. This is consistently seen on the accounts of Instagram travelers who attempt to influence people into seeing the world, but in turn also result in people feeling numb to their outside surroundings which do not live up to video. It too, much like Bolter and Grusin imply, affects people’s energy levels and therefore results in the lazy ethic today: “To fulfill our apparently insatiable desire for immediacy, ‘live’ point-of view television programs show viewers what it is like… to be a skydiver or a race car driver hurtling through space…‘Webcams’ on the Internet pretend to locate us in various natural environments—from a backyard bird feeder in Indianapolis (Fig. I.2) to a panorama in the Canadian Rockies” (4). If the world in the mountains is available to us through webcams, and virtual reality can be seen through wires and head-displays, humans lose their motivation to wander and gain wisdom and experience in the world. Consequently, humanity is fed and recharged by temporary, unrealistic immediate media and feels inescapable depression from the rush of the world and life.

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