Theory in a Digital Age: A Project of English 483 Students, Coastal Carolina University

How Do They Connect

            One of the very few things that fanfiction, Pokémon, and the Marvel comic series The Avengers have in common is that they have all been or are forms of remediation. They have other artists that have emulated the works of someone else. In his piece titled “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” Walter Benjamin says that this reproduction has the ability to transform the aura of art, to make it wither away. The aura he refers to mean the authenticity and originality of a work that produces something that cannot be recreated. Benjamin says that the aura has the ability to aura “withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art. This is a symptomatic process whose significance points beyond the realm of art.” Fanfiction and Pokémon both show large flaws in that argument.  Fanfiction shows that the inspiration that can be drawn from reading a book, watching a television show or a movie, playing a video game, can spark someone to dedicate so much of their lives to that book, movie, show or game. Pokémon shows that inspiration from a seemingly trivial childhood memory can be the reason for others to have been brought that same joy in the form of remediated video games.  

           Remediation has began changing the way that we look at different forms of art. Jay Bolter and Richard Grusin say that "we call the representation of one medium in another remediation, and we will ague that remediation is a defining characteristic of the new digital media"(45). Remediation allows for new things to be added and changed in the way we view an original piece of art, for the better. Remediation gives back the ability to recreate the aura however we see fit.

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