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Culture, Technology, and the Creation of America's National Parks

by Richard Grusin

Richard Grusin's innovative study investigates how the establishment of national parks participated in the production of American national identity after the Civil War. The creation of America's national parks is usually seen as an uncomplicated act of environmental preservation. Grusin argues, instead, that parks must be understood as complex cultural technologies for the reproduction of nature as landscape art. He explores the origins of America's three major parks--Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon--in relation to other forms of landscape representation including photography, mapping, travel writing, and fiction.

Remediation: Understanding New Media

by Jay David Bolter Richard Grusin

Media critics remain captivated by the modernist myth of the new: they assume that digital technologies such as the World Wide Web, virtual reality, and computer graphics must divorce themselves from earlier media for a new set of aesthetic and cultural principles. In this richly illustrated study, Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin offer a theory of mediation for our digital age that challenges this assumption. They argue that new visual media achieve their cultural significance precisely by paying homage to, rivaling, and refashioning such earlier media as perspective painting, photography, film, and television. They call this process of refashioning "remediation", and they note that earlier media have also refashioned one another: photography remediated painting, film remediated stage production and photography, and television remediated film, vaudeville, and radio. <P>In chapters devoted to individual media or genres (such as computer games, digital photography, virtual reality, film, and television), Bolter and Grusin illustrate the process of remediation and its two principal styles or strategies: transparent immediacy and hypermediacy. Each of these strategies has a long and complicated history. A painting by the seventeenth-century artist Pieter Saenredam, a photograph by Edward Weston, and a computer system for virtual reality are all attempts to achieve transparent immediacy by ignoring or denying the presence of the medium.

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