remediation ftvms326 Adela Lee ID:1355751
For my creative exercise, I have made an audio visual storybook. I have remediated the text medium of the storybook ‘The Sneetches’ by Dr Seuss into an audio version. Through remediation into an audio storybook, the visual has been changed, instead of pictorial, into photographs of the holocaust
I have chosen Dr Seuss as my mediated because it is a popular childhood storybook that most will have come across in pastimes. Dr Seuss is trademarked for bright colourful pictures of fictional creatures in a fictional land, all narrated by his joyous catchy rhymes. Although the narrative of ‘The Sneetches’ is not made to represent the Holocaust explicitly, through remediating this medium of text/picture book can it have a broader cultural meaning.
The audio has been chosen for the mediator as it is the popular trend in the digital age, starting from cassettes to now the internet. They are effective because verbal storytelling has more impact to the emotions than reading a book. Through using the audio, it can then impact the telling of the Holocaust event. Furthermore, the verbal has meaning in terms of Holocaust in itself. Hitler is known to be one of the most influential speakers in history, when he singularly persuaded millions upon millions in fascism. Through this aspect too, it can give a deeper meaning to the use of audio as the mediator to tell the story.
The visual medium has been changed, through remediation, into archival photographs of the Holocaust. The viewer has expectations of bright colours and caricature creatures due to the knowledge of the original picture book version. As there appears the reality of photographs, the audience will further see they are photos that we have been exposed to in media, ever since the event itself. Through connection between the original and new version, there is an ironic interplay (Bolter, Grusin 13). This ironic interplay will disturb the emotions, which will be the intention of this project. Through disturbance can the discourse of the mediation of history be started.
Using my voice as the recording, complimented by the chosen photographs, this gives a more personal perspective of the Holocaust. Because the storybook was not meant for the Holocaust specifically, I have accentuated the content of the words by matching photographs to words. With my voice, there is storybook music too. As the voiceover runs through with the music, it feels like an audio storybook. With music, there are visual and audio effects of page flipping to show passing each page. Focusing on the overall style and atmosphere of this slide, it feels like a real audio storybook that we would find in a Dr Seuss digital library, through the voice over, music and special effects all matched with visual effects and visual content. The remediation is a virtual reality because it is as though we are facing the original medium of the storybook, in a digital form. It has “…offered new gains of access to the older media…” (Bolter, Grusin 14) while being transparent in trying to show remediation. However, because the audio storybook is in itself, a supposed ‘improved’ version of the physical storybook, the notion is that it is “translucent rather than transparent.” (14)
Although the narrative and photographs are deliberately made to match its contents, they are still very different contexts and separate. This is another part of remediation. The book is a story of fictional creatures bullying each other, while the photographs are of the holocaust being a serious historical event. Used together in the same media space however, they are made to connect in context, and even further make a personal perspective of the absurdity prejudice is. Through the viewer having recognition for both the storybook and photograph medium and “…simultaneously aware of the individual pieces and inappropriate setting” (14), we can feel the message of prejudice and absurdity.
“Virtual reality adopts the romanticism of the first, in that it allows the viewer to pass through Alberti’s window in an active search for reality to examine, and in some cases to manipulate, the objects of representation”. (Bolter, Grusin 22) Through the virtual reality established by remediation, we are witnessing the historical event in a “first-person point-of-view cinema” (17), and the archive photographs define a reality because they are the medium that will represent memory. The issue however, is the representation of this historical event in media. The holocaust is something that wants to be both remembered and forgotten. Mass media uses this event through films, documentaries, photographs and memorial sites; continuously this sensitive topic comes to life, more real and graphically through digital media. The discourse is, how far can representation of the Holocaust go before it becomes exploitation. Using graphic visuals in an innocent medium of the children’s storybook, representation becomes disturbing. The children storybook represents future generations that will produce prosthetic memory of the Holocaust, but in turn will only remember graphical disturbing images of this event. Ending the slide with colour photos of the logo, Auschwitz and the real Sneetches ending page, I conclude on a more positive representation of the future.
- Bolter, J. David ; Grusin, Richard A. “Remediation”. Configurations 4.3,(1996): pp.311-358. Project Muse. Print. 24 September 2012