RENEW 2013

The 5th International Conference on the Histories of Media Art, Science and Technology

Riga / October 8 – 11, 2013

"Paradigm Shift" Participants


Reversed Remediation in a Revealed Simulation

Session:Paradigm Shift

Panel:Panel A (Paper session)


Venue:Stockholm School of Economics, Soros Auditorium

In this paper I would like to couple my notion of ‘reversed remediation’ to Baudrillard’s fear of simulation and Lévy’s process of virtualization and apply this theoretical foundation to a new media artwork that exemplifies this coupling. On the Rewire conference I have presented reversed remediation as an aesthetic strategy subverting Bolter and Grusin’s notion of ‘remediation,’ which serves a historical desire for immediacy. Countering 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. (Art)works that employ reversed remediation destabilize remediation mechanisms and foster critical awareneness, by laying bare the workings of media instead of obfuscating them. For the Renew conference I would like to couple reversed remediation to simulation and virtualization by analyzing Claerbout’s art work ‘Villa Corthout’ (2001). In this video five simultaneous registrations at five different locations of a boy and a girl by the pool are displayed, which are all copies of that exact original moment and at the same time simulating a possible original moment. Claerbout uses the remediation technique of hypermediacy in a way that actually reverses remediation, breaking the spell of immediacy by making the familiar feel unfamiliar. One can become aware of the simulation one is absorbed in and be enabled to scrutinize this position, once one is propelled out of immersion. Claerbout may portray or reveal ‘our time’ as a construct of simulated originals or as an actualized virtuality of multiplied timespaces.

Saskia Korsten is a new media scholar and interdisciplinary artist. In her work, she maintains
a keen interest in posing and developing questions about the systems in which she is a part.
By reversing mechanisms and theories, she tries to grasp notions and possibilities otherwise
lost in methodology.

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