By Susan H. Delagrange // Reviewed by Amber M. Stamper

Chapter Two

(Re)Vision and Remediation

“…digital remediation opens up a (visual/material) space within which to re-imagine the canon of arrangement, not as concerned merely with the order of written and spoken discourse, but as a visual practice, a techné of discovery and representation” (p.58)

multicolored tangle of cables

In Chapter Two, Delagrange describes the unique possibilities that digital media offers for rhetoric, specifically in terms of visual rhetoric and representation, which she finds may be particularly emphasized through digital multimodality and interactivity. Her hope is to affirm the “value and rigor” of multimodal work for scholarship and to encourage scholars to think beyond the “logocentric, linear print models of scholarship” which dominate the field, creating new standards of quality for academic digital work (p. 20).

Delagrange argues that the importance of such a project has to do with her understanding of “word-based, linear argument” as holding a place of superiority in terms of being the “most intellectually appropriate” for serious scholarship (p. 20). Though scholars have expressed great excitement about and interest in studying and creating digital work, it has not yet attainted the status of traditional print composition in our culture. Such a mindset limits not only our ability to appreciate digital media but also our ability to create innovative and rich work that receives the academic and pedagogical attention it deserves. What Delagrange offers as a strategy of approaching digital media is a restoration of rhetorical techné, or artistic knowledge, as a guiding principle.stained glass in nature with trees and sky

According to Delagrange, the defining feature of techné which makes it so valuable for digital media studies is that it is motivated by wonder. She defines four key traits of wonder-based techné: it is heuristic (“a recursive process of invention”), situated (“specific to the embodied and material conditions of a particular time and place”), mobile and strategic (“adaptable to changing circumstances and new challenges”), and ethical (“founded in specific beliefs and values, which may or may not be those of the community at large”) (pp. 37–39). Using visual rhetoric and the canon of arrangement as examples, Delagrange shows how a wonder-based approach might lead us to compose and think in different ways online. She encourages us specifically to ask what adopting wonder as a principle of inquiry might lead to in terms of textual creation. How might using wonder as a guide change the way we compose, research, read, and teach digital media?

Glowing analog devices soundport circuit-board