Winter 2002 Abstracts

Intermedial Perception; or, Fluxing Across the Sensory

Hannah Higgins

This article argues for the cross-modal nature of intermedial perception particularly as it applies to Fluxus Events. Perception is both cultural and physiological. As such it has the ability to physically and conceptually link human beings to their environments. The admittedly brief survey of Events described here moves ‘across the sensory’ from sound to text to image, smell and proprioception. As an international phenomenon, Fluxus and its experiential dimension have implications for what Walter Ong calls the global sensorium.

Formal Analysis and Cultural Critique in Digital Media Theory

Jay David Bolter

Remediation is one example of an intermedia theory. If intermedia is about the relationships between media forms. Remediation constitutes a specific reading of that relationship. Remediation is concerned with the cultural or economic competition of various media forms. The competition takes the form of a dispute over the ‘real’ or authentic – not, of course, in any metaphysical sense, but rather in terms of how our culture (or segments of our culture) define the authenticity of experience offered by each of these media forms. Remediation offers a way of understanding how the borrowing of formal elements takes on cultural significance. Remediation could therefore serve as a ‘bridge theory’, showing that formal and cultural theories of media can be seen as two aspects of the same phenomenon.

Passages Across Thresholds: Into the Borderlands of Mediation

Johan Fornäs

This essay examines concepts of multimodality, intermediality and intertextuality within a wider cultural context of boundaries and transgressions. Earlier concepts of passages and thresholds may enrich today’s understanding of recent mixtures and flows across borders within contemporary digital media culture. Charting traces from Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project through the borderlands of a contemporary shopping centre, this study explores late modern thinking about flows across borders in media culture and cultural studies, in which contextualising, dialogic and critical interpretation assume crucial functions. The combination of ‘multi’ and ‘inter’ stresses plurality and interrelations rather than monolithic and essentialist reductions. The first section presents sociological, anthropological and philosophical ideas of passages and borderlands. The second part outlines important kinds of media passages through real and virtual spaces. The third segment discusses interrelations between multi- and inter-concepts that have taken on a crucial significance for cultural theory, suggesting new ways of understanding their mutual connections.

Bedfordshire University

Issues» 2002, Volume 8» Winter, Number 4» Abstracts