Future Cinema

Course Site for Future Cinema 1 (and sometimes Future Cinema 2: Applied Theory) at York University, Canada

Remediation and the aesthetics of catharsis and flow

In thinking about the relation between catharsis and flow, film and digital media; Bolter’s notable theory of remediation and its concomitant twin logics of immediacy and hypermediacy can be useful in furthering our discussion. Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin illustrate in their book Remediation: Understanding New Media, the ways in which old and new media invoke the logics of immediacy and hypermediacy in an effort to recreate themselves and each other. In other words, the twin logics of immediacy and hypermediacy reveal the paradoxical nature of Bolter & Grusin’s theory of remediation: the desire to multiply media, and at the same time, erase all traces of mediation. By addressing the relation between the logics of immediacy and hypermediacy in Bolter and Grusin’s theory of remediation, I intend to direct our discussion towards an understanding of how the respective processes of remediation in film and digital media lead to outcomes such as catharsis and/or flow? For instance, is Hollywood’s traditional representation of immediacy through transparency conducive to experiences of catharsis? Alternatively, can the riots of diverse media forms on web pages be considered advantageous to experiencing flow? In sum, how do the mediation and/or the illusion of non-mediation in film and digital media affect our experiences of catharsis and flow? Furthermore, does Bolter’s aesthetics of catharsis and flow reveal an epistemological shift in our cultural understanding of narrative?

If you are unable to access Bolter and Grusin’s book Remediation: Understanding New Media at the York University library, this article provides insight into their theory of remediation and the double logics of immediacy and hypermediacy.



Fri, January 18 2013 » futurecinema2_2012