McLuhan Galaxy

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A repository of McLuhan-related news, conferences, events, books, articles, links & general information.
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Action At a Distance: Wells Hill – Experimental Dance Theatre Inspired by Marshall McLuhan & Glenn Gould

Mon, 11/20/2017 - 8:34pm

Action At a Distance: Wells Hill

Nov. 24 & 25 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 26, 2017, at 2 p.m. | Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, SFU Gold Corp Centre for the Arts, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia

According to Vanessa Goodman, a “weird Canadiana moment” inspired her latest work.

The Vancouver-based choreographer grew up in a Toronto house once inhabited by Marshall McLuhan and his family. At a 2011 commemorative plaque ceremony for the house, the McLuhans informed the Goodmans that Glenn Gould, among others, would visit to speak to the esteemed Canadian media critic.

“This struck me,” said Goodman. “Coincidentally, my parents lived in the same apartment building that Gould lived in before they moved into the house.”

This week, Goodman and her company Action at a Distance present the world premiere of Wells Hill. It’s a contemporary dance piece informed by the ideas and philosophies of the two Canadian cultural icons.

Part of the choreographer’s approach has been to look at how technology has influenced not just our thoughts and actions but also our physical movements.

“McLuhan predicted that technology was going to be an extension of our nervous system,” she said.

“And today we have these Pavlovian responses to our devices. Something lights up, like a notification, and we are automatically drawn to it. Our movements are so predetermined by our interactions with technology. For me, there’s a logic to finding those connections through dance.”

Gould’s ideas about performance, as well as excerpts from his recordings, are also incorporated.

In coming up with the piece, Goodman collaborated with seven dancers. They are Lara Barclay, Karissa Barry, Dario Dinuzzi, Bynh Ho, Arash Khakpour, Alexa Mardon and Bevin Poole.

“I gave them an excerpt of text by McLuhan, and I asked them to transpose it into emojis on their cellphone,” she said. “From there, I tasked them with developing those emojis into gestural phrases. And from there we developed them into larger movement phrases.”

Goodman has structured Wells Hill in two parts — pre- and post-internet.

“In the second half, the language of the piece is strongly linked to these emoji phrases, these new ways that we’re figuring out how to communicate. McLuhan was generating a lot of inspiration for his theories from Renaissance pamphlets. In a sense, we’re going back in time to use pictorial images to describe how we’re feeling emotionally. So there is that through-line in there.”

Goodman is also working with lighting designer James Proudfoot, projection artists Ben Didier and Milton Lim, and composers Scott Morgan (who records under the name Loscil) and Gabriel Saloman.

SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs commissioned the piece, which is co-presented by DanceHouse and SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts. The recipient of the 2013 Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award, Goodman has created works for the Dancing on the Edge Festival, The Gwaii Trust, and Vancouver Biennale. The Canada Dance Festival, The Magnetic North Festival, The Dance Centre, and The Chutzpah! Festival have all presented her work.

Although its original inspiration is in ideas, Wells Hill also works on a more visceral level.

“At its core, it’s really about the medium, which is the movement, and the message, which is that at the end of the day we have our bodies,” Goodman said.

“Anytime I start to feel overwhelmed by the vast amounts of information that’s out there on these two individuals (McLuhan and Gould), I come back to what my entry-point is, which is the physical, emotional conversation with the bodies, and the stagecraft. That is the base layer for the whole work.” Source: https://goo.gl/djwjiN

Marshall McLuhan’s Last House at 3 Wychwood Park, Toronto

Upon his return [in 1968 from his academic year at Fordham University in New York], the McLuhan family—with most of their six children grown and moved out—relocated from their quiet Tudor-style house at 29 Wells Hill Avenue, near Casa Loma, to 3 Wychwood Park.                                                             The McLuhans’ home was an Edwardian mansion designed by Eden Smith (who had built his own home on the same street) in a wooded area that had been conceived as an artists’ retreat at the turn of the 20th century by landscape painter Marmaduke Matthews. It was described as “baronial” by one visitor impressed by its oak paneling and high ceilings. As Marchand says, McLuhan loved the house dearly and “enjoyed showing it off to visitors with a simple-hearted pride.” Intellectuals and politicians and others were frequent guests, discussing ideas at the dinner table or outside on the elegant stone terrace. “Anybody who came to visit had a tour of the park,” McLuhan’s daughter Elizabeth told the Globe and Mail in 2008. “Nobody left without a walk around.”
It was McLuhan’s ritual that he and wife Corrine walked around the park daily. McLuhan was particularly fond of the park’s pond—created by Taddle Creek surfacing briefly on its southeasterly course through the city. He described the neighbourhood lovingly in a 1969 letter to a friend: “Our house is No. 3 and is the only house on a lovely pond in the heart of Toronto….The pond ripples outward into a heavily treed neighbourhood of twenty-two acres and fifty-four houses. The Park has no ‘roads’ or sidewalks, but simply these ‘Viconean’ circles of homes and people in a most unusual, dramatic relationship.”
Wychwood Park deeply affected McLuhan’s view of urban community. In Marshall McLuhan: Escape into Understanding (Stoddart, 1997), W. Terrence Gordon quotes McLuhan as writing:

Previously, I have only lived on streets, which sometimes have the quality of neighbourhood, but lineality is not compatible with community. The community character of Wychwood Park is a direct result of the circular compositioning of the houses, resulting from Wychwood pond. When houses interface by their circular or oval compositioning, a kind of social resonance develops that does not depend upon a high degree of social life or visiting among the occupants. Rather, there occurs a sense of theatre, as if all the occupants were, in varying degrees, on a stage. Something of the sort happens in any small village, and builders and planners could easily achieve rich community effects (even without a pond) simply by locating dwellings in non-lineal patterns.”

So McLuhan and neighbours, like architect Colin Vaughan, reacted strongly when they learned that proposed concrete apartment high-rises to be built on Davenport Road, immediately south of the park, threatened their neighbourhood. After seeking guidance from Jane Jacobs, who lived nearby in the Annex, they took their fight to City Hall. Ultimately, however, McLuhan and company were unsuccessful in convincing city council to halt the plans. (Source: https://goo.gl/Aeih7u)


Categories: Blog

The Medium is the Massage Multiple Media Website

Sat, 11/18/2017 - 11:33pm

  

This unique website that is dedicated to Marshall McLuhan’s best-selling book is comprised of 6 sections:-
1. The Lecture, which offers an audio capture of Marshall McLuhan’s lecture as delivered on May 7, 1966, at The Poetry Center of the 92nd Street YM-YWHA for the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts. McLuhan titled his lecture “The Medium Is the Massage”, a play on his famous aphorism, “the medium is the message”. You can hear the full lecture of 1 hour, 8 minutes by following this direct linkhttps://goo.gl/dtVDf2. This is followed by a large selection of quotes from the lecture, starting with these first 3:-
“I have been introduced quite recently as Canada’s revenge on the United States. You know, from the land of the DEW Line, the early-warning system.”

“[But, this is one of my themes tonight, as it were,] the artist as early-warning system for new media.

“[Another main theme of course will be that] the medium is the massage and not the message—it really works us over, it really takes hold and massages the population in a savage way.

**********

2. The Book which provides a large selection of quotes from the book “The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects” by media analyst Marshall McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore, and coordinated by Jerome Agel. It was published in March 1967 and became a bestseller with a cult following. Reversing the usual publishers’ procedure, a hardcover volume of the book was published after the paperback. More info via Wikipedia.

“The medium, or process, of our time—electric technology—is reshaping and restructuring patterns of social interdependence and every aspect of our personal life. It is forcing us to reconsider and reevaluate practically every thought, every action, and every institution formerly taken for granted.”

Direct link to this Book section: https://goo.gl/ZriLSt.
**********

3. The Film “This is Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Massage”, an experimental documentary produced by Ernest Pintoff and Guy Fraumeni, narrated by actor Edward Binnes and broadcasted on NBC TV (19 March 1967). For more information see my posting on this blog at https://goo.gl/3uCk8f.

Here is the YouTube video of the film: 

Direct link to this Film section: https://goo.gl/hr7d1s.

**********

4. The Magazine 4th edition of the multimedia magazine Aspen (1967) designed by Quentin Fiore and edited by and devoted to sixties media visionary Marshall McLuhan. Voluminous documentation of “Aspen Magazine – The McLuhan Issue” its contents is available via ubu.com/aspen.

Some quotes from Aspen Magazine #4 on Marshall McLuhan:

“McLuhan was able to say ‘The medium is the message’ because he started from no concern with content.” — John Cage, “Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)”

“A strange bond often exists among anti-social types in their power to see environments as they really are.”— Marshall McLuhan

Direct link to the Magazine section: https://goo.gl/KkYG3Q.

**********

5. The Record (Audio) section contains the LP recording of “The Medium is the Massage” by Marshall McLuhan, released by Columbia Records in March 1967, conceived and coordinated by Jerome Agel, and produced by John Simon. Listen to Side A and Side B via ubu.com.

“Drop this jiggery-pokery and talk straight turkey.”— James Joyce, “Finnegans Wake”

“This last week was like a total breakdown.”— Franz Kafka, “Diaries”

There ain’t no grammatical errors in a non-literate society.— Marshall McLuhan, see also “The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man”, p. 238

Direct link to the Record section: https://goo.gl/wr9jTi

 **********

6. The Website section where all the quotes by Marshall McLuhan and others are listed from “The Medium is the Massage” (the lecture, the book, the film, the magazine and/or the record, single and remix).

“And the nun thanked the lad who replied: That’s all right Madame, any relative of Batman is a friend of mine!”

“The mass media are turning the globe into a village and catapulting 20th century man back to the life of the tribe.”— Marshall McLuhan

“AS MCLUHAN SAYS, EVERYTHING HAPPENS AT ONCE

—John Cage, “Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse)”

Direct link to the Website section: https://goo.gl/MmZgcB

 The Back Cover Link to the Homepage: https://goo.gl/qVMYyS
Categories: Blog

Camille Paglia on Marshall McLuhan

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 11:24pm

A media creature through and through, Paglia has been cavorting in the limelight of network TV and sold-out lectures ever since her 1991 book, Sexual Personae (the first of two volumes), poked the eye of both conservatives and liberals. Intrigued by Paglia’s intellectual resemblance to Marshall McLuhan – patron saint of Wired magazine – Stewart Brand, the author of The Media Lab, caught up with Paglia in the court of a San Francisco hotel. [This interview by Stewart Brand occurred in 1993.]
SCREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS

Camille Paglia Speaks; Stewart Brand mostly listens

Brand: Have you mapped your success against Marshall McLuhan’s? Remember how that happened? Here was a guy, like you he was on the fringe of academia, Catholic oriented, basically a literary creature. He starts holding forth in an epigrammatic way about culture and media, and suddenly AT&T and everybody else wants to talk to him. Paglia comes along, does what you’ve done…

Paglia: Influenced by McLuhan. Neil Postman, who I had the Harper’s magazine discussion with, said something that was very moving to me. He said at the end of that evening, “I was a student of Marshall McLuhan and I have never been with someone who reminded me more of McLuhan. When you were sitting with McLuhan in the middle of the night, all you would see was the tip of his cigar glowing, and you would hear him making these huge juxtapositions. Even his writing never captured the way McLuhan’s mind worked. Your mind works exactly the same, the way you bring things together and they ssssizzle when you bring them together.”

Brand: So you read McLuhan in college.

Paglia: McLuhan was assigned in my classes. Everyone had a copy of his books. There were so many things that were happening at that moment – McLuhan, Norman O. Brown, Leslie Fiedler, Allen Ginsberg. There was enormous promise of something that was going to just blast everything open in cultural criticism. What the heck happened? It wasn’t just a conservative administration in the ’70s and ’80s. That’s not it. It was a failure on the part of the ’60s generation itself. You feel it a little bit in “Blow Up,” or just like reading about Jimi Hendrix and the way the women looked, the way the groupies looked – how fabulous the groupies were. They were so sexy and so ballsy! It was amazing how those ’60s chicks talked. This was the real feminism. Even women got less powerful. We have had a general cultural collapse.

Brand: What did you make of McLuhan?

Paglia: We all thought, “This is one of the great prophets of our time.” What’s happened to him? Why are these people reading Lacan or Foucault who have no awareness at all of mass media? Why would anyone go on about the school of Saussure? In none of that French crap is there any reference to media. Our culture is a pop culture. Americans are the ones who have to be interpreting the pop culture reality.

When I was in England earlier this summer for the release of the Penguin paperback of Sexual Personae, I was having fits because of no TV there. I felt like I was in prison. Then I got to Amsterdam, and Amsterdam was better because they had everything on satellite. That was interesting in a kind of sociological way. They have German TV and Italian TV and French TV, but it is still not equivalent to what we have. What we have is total domination by the pop culture matrix, by the mass media matrix. That’s the future of the world.

Brand: Is pop culture and mass media the same thing?

Paglia: For me, yes. I teach a course called “Mass Media.” I think that it should be required for every liberal arts graduate – the whole history of mass media, traced from the 1830s newspapers all the way to today.

The whole interview, published in Wired, is worth reading and can be found here: https://goo.gl/6AQhQ1.

Stewart Brand


Categories: Blog

McLuhan Salon #3: 2017 Harold Innis Lecture: Crisis in the Media

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 6:46pm

Dear All,
We are happy to team up with the Harold Innis Foundation at Innis College. On the evening of November 7, award-winning journalist and political commentator Andrew Coyne will deliver the 2017 Harold Innis Lecture: Crisis in the Media: Causes, Consequences and Cures. Coyne is a national affairs columnist for Postmedia News and a Fellow at University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy & Governance.

Join us for the 2017 Harold Innis Lecture! Further details and registration below. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Cheers! Paolo Granata

Crisis In The Media: Causes, Consequences &  Cures

On the evening of Tuesday, November 7, political commentator and journalist Andrew Coyne will deliver the 2017 Harold Innis Lecture, entitled “Crisis in the Media: Causes, Consequences and Cures.”

Andrew Coyne is a national affairs columnist for Postmedia News and a Fellow at University of Toronto’s School of Public Policy & Governance. Since graduating from U of T (BA 1983 Trinity College) and the London School of Economics, Coyne has led an expansive, award-winning career in journalism. He has contributed to such publications as Maclean’s, The Globe and MailThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalNational Review, and The Walrus.

  • November 7, 2017
    • 7:00 pm – Lecture
    • 8:00 pm – Q&A moderated by Innis College alumnus, Toronto Star journalist, and former managing editor for The VarsityJaren Kerr
    • 8:30 pm – Reception
  • Innis Town Hall | 2 Sussex Ave., Toronto
  • This is a FREE event, but online registration is required. | 

    Register for this free event at:
    http://alumni.innis.utoronto.ca/event/andrew-coyne

  • For more information contact the Innis Alumni Office at alumni.innis@utoronto.ca

This event is part of an annual lecture series, hosted by the Harold Innis Foundation, featuring acclaimed thinkers, whose discourse echoes that of Harold Adams Innis himself. Innis was one of Canada’s original thinkers, a professor of political economy at the University Toronto, and author of seminal works on economic history, media, and communications theory. His work contributed to the foundation of what is known as the Toronto School of communications theory, and in his writings he explored the role of the media in shaping culture and society.

 Harold Innis (1894 – 1952)


Categories: Blog

Library & Archives Canada, U of Toronto Libraries & Others Applaud Addition of Marshall McLuhan Documents to UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:56am

Library & Archives Canada in Ottawa, Ontario

By Gary Price, November 1, 2017

It is with great enthusiasm that Library and Archives Canada (LAC), the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL), and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) today welcomed news that the documentary heritage of Marshall McLuhan has been accepted for inclusion in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s prestigious Memory of the World Register.

The nomination for the inclusion of Marshall McLuhan’s legacy into the Memory of the World Register was made jointly by LAC and UTL with the support of CCUNESCO. The documentary heritage that will become part of the Memory of the World is comprised of his archival collection preserved at LAC and his research library held at UTL. Dating from the time of McLuhan’s undergraduate studies to his death, the documents include a wealth of correspondence and manuscripts of writings: books, articles, essays, and lectures.

Marshall McLuhan’s marginalia in his copy of Finnegans Wake, Fisher Library (click on image for expanded view)

Quick Facts

  • The Marshall McLuhan archival collection is preserved by LAC, and his research library is held at UTL’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. The two collections are interlinked.
  • Marshall McLuhan’s personal archive and library comprise approximately 50 metres of archival documents in multiple media and 6,000 published items (mainly books), many heavily annotated in his hand.
  • In over half a century after their publication, Marshall McLuhan’s books have sold over one million copies and have been translated into at least 17 languages.

Resources

Gary Price is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area.

The Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library is a library in the University of Toronto, constituting the largest repository of publicly accessible rare books and manuscripts in Canada. (Wikipedia)


Categories: Blog

Highly Recommended: The Critical Edition of Understanding Media, Edited by Terrence Gordon

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 7:15pm

Most readers who are interested in Marshall McLuhan own a copy of his most important book Understanding Media (1964) in one of its several editions, either in hardcover or paperback. So they probably feel that they don’t need another edition. However, I recommend the Critical Edition, edited by Terry Gordon, for its additional features which are worth the price of the book by themselves. Besides the full text of Understanding Media, these include:-

  • McLuhan’s Introductions to both the First and Second editions the book;
  •  An Essay on the Ryerson Experiment (1960) the purpose of which was “to provide the ‘same’ information in the identical wording, to four similar audiences, each of which had the ‘same’ motivation to seek out and remember the information presented. Given the same objective examination on that information, would the only systematic remaining, namely the different media used, make a statistically significant difference to the average scores of those audiences?” The four different mediums used were: television, radio, live lecture, printed text;
  • A short essay on how McLuhan’s Report on Project in Understanding New Media (1960) was transformed into  Understanding Media (1964);
  • An essay on the Critical Reception of Understanding Media by Terrence Gordon;
  • Plus introductions to all the sections, a Glossary, List of McLuhan publications and Indices.

Gingko Press’s Listing:

Understanding Media The Extensions of Man (Critical Edition) Edited by W. Terrence Gordon When first published, Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media made history with its radical view of the effects of electronic communications upon man and life in the twentieth century. This edition of McLuhan’s best-known book both enhances its accessibility to a general audience and provides the full critical apparatus necessary for scholars. In Terrence Gordon’s own words, “McLuhan is in full flight already in the introduction, challenging us to plunge with him into what he calls ‘the creative process of knowing.” Much to the chagrin of his contemporary critics, McLuhan’s preference was for a prose style that explored rather than explained. Probes, or aphorisms, were an indispensable tool with which he sought to prompt and prod the reader into an “understanding of how media operate” and to provoke reflection.In the 1960s McLuhan’s theories aroused both wrath and admiration. It is intriguing to speculate what he might have to say 40 years later on subjects to which he devoted whole chapters such as Television, The Telephone, Weapons, Housing and Money. Today few would dispute that mass media have indeed decentralized modern living and turned the world into a global village.

This critical edition features an appendix that makes available for the first time the core of the research project that spawned the book and individual chapter notes are supported by a glossary of terms, indices of subjects, names, and works cited. There is also a complete bibliography of McLuhan’s published works.

W. Terrence Gordon is Associate General Editor of the Gingko Press McLuhan publishing program, author of the biography Marshall McLuhan: Escape into Understanding and McLuhan for Beginners.

Reaction to the first edition was as highly charged as the book itself: “Marshall McLuhan is now a power in more than one land.” — The New Statesman  “Infuriating, brilliant and incoherent.” — Commonwealth Review  “His critics are infuriated by his ideas … but some think he foretells our real future.”
— Richard Schickel, Harper’s   “The medium is not the message …” — Umberto Eco   “What if he is right?” — Tom Wolfe   640 pages, Hardcover, 5 1/4” x 7 1/2” (133 x 191 mm),
English    –    ISBN: 978-1-58423-073-1     $ 24.95 About the Editor: W. Terrence Gordon was born in Montreal in 1942. He studied at the University of Toronto, where he received his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He is the author of 17 published books and over 130 articles in the fields of linguistics, pedagogy, rhetoric, semiotics, and intellectual history. Since 1972, Gordon has been on the faculty of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, teaching courses in linguistics, translation, the role of radio in World War II, and, of course, the work of Marshall McLuhan. Author of the highly successful McLuhan for Beginners, W. Terrence Gordon has edited a critical edition of Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media and McLuhan’s doctoral thesis, The Classical Trivium.

(Source: https://goo.gl/4GHV15 )

Sample Text From The Ryerson Media Experiment

The Ryerson Media Experiment in the maximized testing of the media was made possible by the following people:

  1. Roy Low, Department of Physics
    Carl Williams, Department of Psychology
    Isabel Macbeth, School of Radio & Television –
    James Peters, Department of English
    Gerald Kane, Depart of Radio
    William Sokira, Department of Radio
    Geofrey Jamieson, Department of Television

Mass Media and Learning – an Experiment

Introduction

A seminar on culture and communication has frequent cause to concern itself with the mass media.  The experiment here reported was the culmination of our first year effort.  While in a very real sense an interdisciplinary product, the responsibility for the design, analysis and presentation of results fell to the psychologists in the seminar as being most familiar with the techniques involved.

Most research on mass media is concerned with either of two objectives:  studies of the influence of one medium on attitude changes, and consumer research designed ultimately to help sell soap or whatnot.  Little if any work has been done on the degree to which various media facilitate or impede learning, if indeed they have any influence at all.  The question does not occur readily because the mass media themselves are seldom seen as educational devices.  The silent assumption that mass media exist primarily for entertainment and propaganda, which underlies most such research, automatically excludes research with an educational bias.

Problem

In its most general form, the problem investigated can be stated thus:  Is learning affected by the channel over which information comes?  If so, how and to what extent?  While we usually assume that television, for instance, is more compelling than radio in securing our attention, we also assume that we can easily compensate psychologically for this differential advantage.  Whenever our attention is really aroused, we can and do attend to the radio address, news or weather report with the firm conviction that we will end up with all the information we require.  An extra effort of attention, we assume, will easily make up for the fact that we could have gleaned the same information with less effort over television.

With these considerations in mind, the experiment was designed to provide the “same” information in the identical wording, to four similar audiences, each of which had the “same” motivation to seek out and remember the information presented.  Given the same objective examination on that information, would the only systematic difference remaining, namely the different media used, make a statistically significant difference to the average scores of those audiences?  Television and radio were obvious choices for an experiment on mass communication.  Since they are often contrasted with “real” situations, a “live” lecture audience was added.  The fourth medium chosen was the printed page since it is widely regarded as the essential carrier of Culture – with a capital C – and is most often thought of as being threatened by the newer media in terms of its continued existence…

Note: The full text of Report on Project in Understanding New Media (1960) can be downloaded from this blog here: https://goo.gl/6Hpgea.


Categories: Blog

McLuhan in New York: The Video of the Event, October 13, 2017

Thu, 10/19/2017 - 6:31pm

Harley Parker, Ted Carpenter, Marshall McLuhan, John Culkin, SJ (Click on image for enlarged view)

McLuhan in New York, sponsored by Fordham University and St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto at Fordham University, 13 October 2017

From Fall 1967 to Spring 1968, Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan spent one academic year in New York City as the Albert Schweitzer Chair of the Humanities at Fordham University, invited by John Culkin S.J., Chair of the Department of Communications at Fordham. McLuhan in New York took the city by storm. The vibrant New York intellectual and artistic vortex provided the right kind of environment to germinate McLuhan’s provocative and unconventional ideas, to capture the city’s imagination. McLuhan’s impact at Fordham was also instrumental in drawing worldwide attention to the idea that technological engagement plays a fundamental role in the structuring of human perception.

On Friday, October 13th, 2017, Fordham University at its at Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan hosted a public event with Eric McLuhan, Paul Levinson, and John Carey, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of McLuhan’s intellectual presence in New York City. The initiative’s goal was not only to pay homage to McLuhan and his intellectual legacy, but also to probe how McLuhan’s work is still pertinent to the general understanding of our media environment today.

The “McLuhan in New York” event is presented by the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University in New York and the Book & Media Studies Program at the St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, in conjunction with the Estate of Marshall McLuhan.

with:

Eric McLuhan, Independent scholar: The Lost Tetrads

Paul Levinson, Fordham University: The Omnipotent Ear

John Carey, Fordham University: The Responsive Chord, 2017 (Foward to)

Welcoming words:                                                                                                            Jacqueline Reich, Fordham University                                                                                Paolo Granata, University of Toronto

Video by Hopeton Campbell; Thanks, Claudia Rivera and Chris Vicari

Note: The audio problems have been corrected between 1hr 19 min 37 and 1hr 23 min 18 sec on this version of the video.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK8A2PQux3I&w=560&h=315%5D


Categories: Blog

FEEDBACK #1 – Marshall McLuhan & the Arts – A Touring Project, with Programs in The Hague, Berlin, Paris & Toronto

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 7:40pm
Marshall McLuhan by Yousuf Karsh (1967) (c) Karsh Estate
With Marshall McLuhan (CA), Peter Blegvad (UK), Disnovation(SW/DE), Harun Farocki (DE), Darsha Hewitt (CA), Mogens Jacobsen (DK), Willy Lemaitre (CA), !mediengruppe Bitnik(DE), MRZB (IT), Christof Migone (CA), Reynold Reynolds(US), Thomas Bégin (CA), Wolfgang Spahn (DE), Hito Steyerl(DE), Stephanie Syjuco (PH) & Angela Washko (US).
Exhibition: 22.09.2017 — 19.11.2017
Opening + performance: Thomas Bégin & Wolfgang Spahn
Friday 22.09.2017, 8 PM
2 locations: West Museumkwartier, Lange Voorhout 34 West; Groenewegje 136

Extras: 2-day Symposium Feedback 28.09 & 29.09
1-day Symposium Man and His World 21.10
1-day Symposium Radical Transdiciplinary Academics 5.11
Workshop Wolfgang Spahn 31.10
Workshop Reynold Reynolds 15.11 — 18.11
Museumnacht open air cinema 21.10
Book presentation Reynold Reynolds 19.11

Recursive exhibition and symposium project. Celebrating the synthetic practices of the Toronto School, featuring the radical experimental publishing work of Marshall McLuhan as art. Feedback brings artists, designers, scholars, and thinkers together to probe, encounter and contest the light-speed electronic information environments we inhabit today.

Exploding out of the wreckage of World War II the early cyberneticists Norbert Wiener and Claude Shannon, sketched out a future where even thinking could be automated. In the electronic information of global instantaneous mass-communication of the satellite and TV age, Marshall McLuhan saw the end of the rational tradition of enlightenment Humanism, and the emergence of a ‘Global Village’ and ‘Global Theatre’ where people would be caught up in their interconnectivity and develop new social art forms.

The pace of technological transformation, automation and globalization have resulted in massive human migration, precaritization, displacement and new transitional modes of existence. The Internet, built to maintain command and control of the US military in an extreme emergency has become a commercialized infrastructure where unprecedented new forms of communication and exchange are emerging. Publics are formed and dissolved algorithmically according to need, no longer at the level of opinion or knowledge, but according to advanced social cybernetics of politics and the advertising economy. The medium is the message.

Feedback is the second in a series of projects (first was Without Firm Ground, Flusser and the Arts, March 2006), which explore the potential for a synthesis of philosophy and theory in works of arts to fathom and understand the accelerating pace of social transformation brought on by technological and scientific progress. The exhibition will feature fourteen provocative and invigorating propositions from drawing to sound sculpture, from online performance actions to obsessive hardware hackery, which grapple with the substance of the information machine we live in.

Installed across two locations visitors will discover the series of Dew-line newsletter and Explorations journals, archive materials, video documentation of McLuhan and works by young artists from all over the world.

Marshall McLuhan (CA, 1911 – 1980) had already noted in the 1960s that the speed and pervasiveness of electronic communication were superseding the rational and reflective abilities of literacy. The technologies that brought us here are built through rational disinterested scientific method, but generate an immersive environment where we lose grasp of private identity and long for a pre-literate togetherness in a ‘Global Village’. His ‘Global Village’ came to exemplify the uncritical Summer of Love communality of the Hippies, but it was a misappropriation and misunderstanding of McLuhan’s meaning. For McLuhan, the ‘Global Village’ was a place of violent terror, where there was constant surveillance and where privacy was ‘merely ignored’, as he frankly describes in a famous interview with Canadian talk show host Mike McManus.
McLuhan rose to prominence as perhaps the most famous cultural critic of his age with an analysis that directly engaged with the transformations emerging with the introduction of electronic technologies. His involvement was gestural, reason alone would not suffice to grapple with the contemporary conditions, there was a techno-cultural revolution afoot, which was completely disrupting how human beings had perceived the world for hundreds of years.

Curators: Baruch Gottlieb & Marie-José Sondeijker
DEW Line Newsletter exhibit co-curated with Graham Larkin
Explorations exhibit co-curated with Michael Darroch with additional documentation from Simon Rogers.

The project Feedback #1, Marschall McLuhan and the Arts in The Hague is the first station of the exhibition symposia and workshops touring program, which will include programs in Berlin (2018), Paris (2018), Toronto (2019).                                           (Thanks to Paolo Granata)

See list & bios of participating artists here: https://goo.gl/urrqov

West Museumkwartier

Categories: Blog

New Book Announcement: Medien verstehen – Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media

Wed, 10/18/2017 - 4:53pm

EnglishMedia in its historical and technical diversity was the promise that Marshall McLuhan had given over 50 years ago with Understanding Media. Our digitally altered present requires the book to be read again today and to be examined against the background of current technical developments. The subject of the anthology is, (a) McLuhan’s idea of media as “environments”, his idiosyncratic language and argument, as well as his acceptance of the technical comprehension of perception…

German: Medien in ihrer historischen und technischen Vielfalt zu verstehen, das war das Versprechen, das Marshall McLuhan vor über fünfzig Jahren mit Understanding Media gegeben hatte. Unsere digital veränderte Gegenwart erfordert, das Buch heute erneut zu lesen und vor dem Hintergrund aktueller technischer Entwicklungen zu hinterfragen. Gegenstand des Sammelbandes sind u. a. McLuhans Idee von Medien als „Umwelten“, seine eigenwillige Sprache und Argumentation sowie seine Annahme der technischen Verfasstheit von Wahrnehmung.

The Editors

Till A. Heilmann(Dr.Phil.) researches and teaches at the Department of Media Science at the University of Bonn. Research focus: digital image processing; Algorithms and computer programming; North American and German-speaking media science. Selected publications: “Innis and Kittler: The Case of the Greek Alphabet”, N. Friesen (eds.): Media Transatlantic, 2016, pp. 91-110; “On the precedence of the operational chain in media science and at Leroi-Gourhan”, International Jahrbuch für Medienphilosophie 2 (2016): 7-29; “Data processing in ‘capture’ capitalism. On the expansion of the exploitation zone in the age of informal surveillance, “Zeitschrift fur Medienwissenschaft 2 (2015): 35-48.

Jens Schröter (Prof. Dr. phil.) is a professor of media culture at the University of Bonn: research interests: digital media; Photography; Intermediality; three-dimensional images; Media theory and value criticism; Audiovisual and audiovisual culture. Selected Publications: Handbuch Medienwissenschaft (als Hg.), 2014; 3D. History, Theory and Aesthetics of the Technical-Transplane Image, 2014; Auditive media cultures. Techniques of listening and practices of sound design (as Hg. With A. Volmar), Bielefeld: Transcript 2013. Wired. The Wire and the Fight for the Media, 2012.

The Publisher  – meson press publishes research on digital cultures and networked media. Our open access publications challenge contemporary theories and advance key debates in the humanities of today. We combine a rigorous peer-review with hybrid formats and collaborative production methods. As a cooperative, meson press is organized in a participated setup. This allows scholars to take part in a publishing venture by academics for academics and for everyone else who is curious about theory. In the hybrid environment of today’s scholarly publishing, form follows function in a new manner. (Source https://goo.gl/h59NoV )                                                (Thanks to Norm Frisen for this.)


Categories: Blog

McLuhan at Fordham: Panelists Look Back 50 Years Later

Tue, 10/17/2017 - 4:29pm

Marshall McLuhan in the March 1967 Saturday Review

 Fordham News   –   October 16, 2017

Twentieth-century media theorist Marshall McLuhan spent just one academic year at Fordham—his 1967-68 tenure as Albert Schweitzer Chair of the Humanities. But that year was a heady one, for both McLuhan and for a nation that would soon undergo profound cultural and political changes, panelists said on Oct. 13 at Fordham.

The University and New York City served as twin incubators for the Canadian philosopher and new media scholar’s always evolving theories, said McLuhan’s son, Eric. “It was a magical year,” he said. “Everything we predicted in ‘67 or ‘68 has come true.” 

Global Interconnectedness

Eric McLuhan joined two of his father’s protégés—Fordham communication professors John Carey, Ph.D., and Paul Levinson, Ph.D.,—at the Lincoln Center campus for a look-back, on the 50th anniversary of McLuhan’s tenure at the University. He referenced his father’s conception of the global village, a term the elder McLuhan coined to denote the interconnectedness of people throughout the world via ever-evolving technology; i.e., what became known decades later as the World Wide Web.

That particular academic year, McLuhan and his team of collaborators—son Eric, University faculty member John Culkin, S.J., the painter Harley Parker, and the anthropologist Ted Carpenter—conducted seminars, showed films and assigned independent projects to students that would echo and expand on McLuhan’s thinking. His ideas about technology and society were most conspicuously outlined in his aphoristic declaration that “the medium is the message.” For the students and their mentors, the semester amounted to a theater of experimentation, exploration, and prognostication.

Eric McLuhan suggested that his father’s prescience continues to resonate today, 37 years after his passing. It has never been more evident during an epoch when “fake news,” “media bubbles” and “social media” dominate the discourse, panelists agreed.

A Million Isolated Villages

Carey, who studied under McLuhan, recalled an instance when McLuhan said his theories were works in progress. He said, ‘Don’t take everything I say as gospel. A lot of what I say I’m just testing the waters and I may disagree with myself a week later,’” Carey said.

He suggested that McLuhan would likely have revised his conception of the global village given the ubiquity of the internet, which McLuhan had foreseen some 30 years before its advent.

“He talked about the fact we were in a global village, that essentially we were all getting the same thing and that meant we were one village even though we were the world,” Carey said. “I think the Internet has totally shattered that. We’re not in a global village anymore. We’re in a million isolated villages of our own choosing. And I think he would observe that were he here.”

Inside Looking Out

Paul Levinson, Marshall McLuhan, and Eric McLuhan in 1978.
(From McLuhan in an Age of Social Media)

Although McLuhan’s tenure in the media capital of the world was short, it shaped him profoundly, his son said. From his home base in Toronto, McLuhan was able to peer into the United States regularly and see his neighbors “more clearly than the people involved in it could see themselves.”

“Now he found himself on the inside looking out, and he learned a lot,” he said.

Levinson, the author of Digital McLuhan and McLuhan in an Age of Social Media (the latter first published in 1999), said McLuhan was always probing. He was a person who declined to make value judgments, preferring instead to keep exploring.

During a Q and A, Levinson was unequivocal in response to a questioner asking who, today, has inherited McLuhan’s mantle as a far-sighted inquisitor.

“It’s ipso facto impossible for there to be another McLuhan,” Levinson said.

Richard Khavkine  Source: https://goo.gl/APnUz5


Categories: Blog

Gerald O’Grady, Marshall McLuhan and Spiral Perception

Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:22pm

Gerald O’Grady, Ph.D.

Founder/Director of Media Study (Buffalo) and Initiator/Director of Center for Media Study (S.U.N.Y. Buffalo, Buffalo, NY) Dr. O’Grady came to the University at Buffalo in 1967 as a medieval specialist in the Department of English. He had become interested while at Rice University in Texas with the new media as a code of communication; at UB he was the initiator and Director of the Center for Media Study in 1972, and he founded the independent, not-for-profit media center Media Study (Buffalo).

His concept of the wide-ranging effects and possibilities for “new media” was universal in scope, presciently forecasting that with the advent of film, video and television cameras, broadcast industries and computer technologies there was to be a dramatic change in the way people throughout the world would receive information, do business and communicate with each other. He was particularly sensitive to the need for artists to be supported and to work with the advanced thinkers of the scientific communities to encourage cross-fertilization of ideas that would enable the flourishing of the new art forms…. His mission was the preparation of artists and teachers of media whose mode of personal expression would grow from a cross-disciplinary base of general education, and further, to bring the public an awareness and understanding of a new era of media literacy.

Gerald O’Grady, Ph.D., was the founder and Director of two public-service organizations: The Media Center in Houston, Texas and the Center for Media Study at the University at Buffalo (then known as the State University of New York at Buffalo) and Director of its Educational Communications Center which served 128 departments. Most recently, he has been Visiting Scholar in the Department of Afro-American Studies at Harvard University where, as Fellow of the W.E.B. DuBois. Institute for Afro-American Research, he worked on the Films of the American Civil Rights Movement.

He has produced documentaries on arts and on social issues for PBS, and his projects have been supported by the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Markle Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1979, Dr. O’Grady has edited, independently published and contributed essays to over 30 catalogues for film retrospectives or series including The Films of the Civil Rights; Remembering Malcom X; and Czech Filmaking, 1963-1990 for Joseph Papp’s The Public Theater; on the Brazilian filmmaker Nelson Pereiros dos Santos for the Film Society of the Lincoln Center; on Theo Angelopoulos for the Museum of Modern Art in New York; on Dziga Vertov for the Collective for Living Cinema (NY); on MIZOGUCHI Kenji for the Cinématheque Ontario (Toronto); on David MacDougall for Media Study/Buffalo; and Articulate Energy: The Emergence of the Abstract Film in America for Harvard University and Anthropology Film Archives.

In 1974, O’Grady coordinated the November 21-22 conference entitled “Educational Communication Centers and the Television Arts” which was conducted at the State University of New York at Albany. The conference host was William Mulvey, director of SUNY at Albany’s Educational Communications Center. The purposes of the gathering, as set forth in the program, were threefold: first, to present the latest developments in the video arts and their related technologies and systems; secondly, to suggest ways in which the facilities of communication centers within colleges and universities might be prepared to serve developing video artists on their own campuses and surrounding communities; and finally, to indicate ways in which centers might stimulate activity in all of the arts and humanities.” Presentations included: O’Grady on defragmenting overspecialized media course by engaging interdisciplinary processes in contemporary media education; Mulvey on educational productions; Steina Vasulka screened videotapes “illustrating the history of the generated image”; Filmmaker and Video Artist, Tom Dewitt showed his new work “Fall”; and Gerd Stern, president of Intermedia Systems Corporation, talked on “the present state of communications systems and some possible directions for evolution” … (Read the rest at https://goo.gl/TkYQff )

What the above account does not mention was the influence of Marshall McLuhan on Gerald O’Grady, who started his academic career as a medievalist in English literature (like McLuhan) but switched to media and film studies after his encounter with Marshall McLuhan around 1967. In this segment of a video O’Grady discusses his late 1960s encounter with Marshall McLuhan whose perceptual mode was a spiral in form, influenced by Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticists. On spiral perception see The Spiral Structure of Marshall McLuhan’s Thinking by Izabella Pruska Oldenhof and Robert K. Logan. (Available at https://goo.gl/mLySK3 )


Categories: Blog

Recently Published: A New McLuhan Book From Brazil

Sat, 10/14/2017 - 8:54pm

It is great to see Marshall McLuhan’s influence continuing to spread outward from the English-speaking world to other countries where books by and about him are being published in their local languages. On September 17 I announced two new books about McLuhan having been published in Poland, following on my announcement of the first Polish translation of The Gutenberg Galaxy on August 17. Now we can add Brazil to the list.

McLuhan and Cinema

was published in the spring in a dual language edition, Portuguese on one side, English on the other, by Wilson Oliveira Filho.

With a preface written by Eric McLuhan and Andrew McLuhan, Wilson Oliveira Filho
UNESA’s professor, researcher and coordinator of Audiovisual Production undergraduate course launched at MEA (Media Ecology Association) 18th annual convention the bilingual book “McLuhan e o cinema “/” McLuhan and cinema” by the Brazilian publish house Verve. In Brazil, the book was launched at Oi Futuro art Gallery in Rio de Janeiro with a video homage to McLuhan and his galaxy of thoughts. The book covers from McLuhan’s performance on Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”, references to Cronenberg’s characters to live audiovisual performances ( live cinema and Vjing art), and web audiovisual phenomena like YouTube. The book tries to draft McLuhan as a cinema theorist and how the media thinker helped us to understand films beyond the message, the moving medium beyond narratives and the image of McLuhan as a media-film-ecologist. Wilson is also a musician and a multimedia artist. With his partner, Márcia Bessa created in 2012 the DUO2x4 developing several artworks in Brazil.

The following is an excerpt from the Preface to the book written by Eric and Andrew McLuhan:
Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (Marshall McLuhan, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964) appeared over half a century ago, and movies and cinema have been transformed many times in that period. This book is an attempt to comment on some of these transformations, building on the original observations by
Marshall McLuhan.

Let’s take stock of some of those changes. Within a decade of the appearance of Understanding Media, it was obvious that movies on television had quite a different effect from movies in the theatre. It was discovered that the difference was in no way related to the size of the screen. The movie on television had the effect of television – not that of film. The effect, in other words, was not produced by the content, but by the way in which the new medium acted directly on the sensibilities of the audience; and so
movies made from novels did not have the effect of the novel, any more than movies on television had the effect of movies.

One of the classic examples of the film effect familiar to everyone is the roller-coaster ride: as the camera in the front car ascends the first and steepest hill, suspense builds. Then it reaches the climax and begins its downward acceleration, and every member of the audience feels the result in the pit of the stomach. Some people even become nauseous. The same scene, shown on television, has no such dramatic effect whatever. Experiments with side-by-side presentations of this scene on large television screens and film images of exactly the same proportions have demonstrated that screen size is not a factor…                                                                                                                                                                                                            **********

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Introductory Note – Don’t explain; explore and… be grateful 13

introduction Presenting an image of McLuhan 15

1. The gliding camera as an extension of man: McLuhan extending Vertov 37

2. “Tommy, can you hear me?”: memory, sensoriality, and the extensions 52

3. McLuhanian characters and objects in David Cronenberg 71

4. “Boy, if life were only like this!”: the screen is the message 89

5. Documentary beyond the rear-view mirror: on McLuhan’s Wake 109

6. Networked-memory: YouTube, a McLuhanian archive beyond images and things 121

7. McLuhan-Performer: extending/understanding live cinema 136

Conclusion Cinema as McLuhan’s extension 157

References 164


Categories: Blog

Marshall McLuhan at Fordham University (1967): Inaugural Lecture

Thu, 10/12/2017 - 7:39pm

On the day before the McLuhan in New York Symposium at Fordham University (see https://goo.gl/ebgGnc ), scheduled 50 years after Marshall McLuhan’s arrival in New York City to spend the 1967-68 academic year at Fordham as the Albert Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities, I will be publishing his recorded lectures from that time. This first one is his inaugural lecture on The Technological Unconscious on September 18, 1967. The introduction is made by Father John Culkin SJ and Harley Parker of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto and Edmund (Ted) Carpenter, who accompanied McLuhan from Toronto, also speak. To commemorate that year, I will be also posting other of McLuhan’s recorded lectures from that year over the coming weeks. Stay tuned…

Description:
Marshall McLuhan touches on many concepts during his talk. During the 1967-1968 academic year, McLuhan, the Albert Schweitzer Chair in Humanities, oversaw an alternative curriculum of lectures, film showings and independent study assignments for students. Within two months of his appointment in 1967, he is hospitalized and underwent the longest brain surgery the world has known until that date (2 1/2hours and removal of benign brain tumor.

McLuhan’s appointment came about through communications professor John Culkin, S.J., a longtime colleague of McLuhan’s and himself a media expert. John Culkin (b. 1928), who was a Jesuit priest until 1969, first met McLuhan at a seminar Brandeis University in 1963, while he was working on his doctorate at Harvard, where one of his projects was to write a clear explication of McLuhan’s ideas. (He found this difficult until he was directed to McLuhan’s fourteen-chapter Report on Project in Understanding New Media (1960): see page 255-6).

In 1965 Culkin was appointed Director of the Centre for Communication at Fordham University and was instrumental in arranging for McLuhan’s appointment to the Albert Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities at Fordham in 1967-8. Culkin later founded in New York City the Centre for Understanding Media, and a graduate-school program in media studies at the New School for Social Research, both of which are explicitly based on McLuhan’s work. He is acclaimed to have invented the field of Media Literacy [and was also an important influence on the field of Media Studies known as Media Ecology). Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,100 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools.
(Source: YouTube https://goo.gl/m66VBa)

Fordham University, Keating Hall, Bronx, NYC


Categories: Blog

Call for Papers: The 19th Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association (MEA), University of Maine, Orono – June, 2018

Wed, 10/11/2017 - 7:09pm

Senses of Time, Space and Place

CALL FOR PAPERS 

Since 1950, when Canadian economic historian Harold Innis grounded his communication history theory in the ebb and flow of time-biased and space-biased media from ancient to modern civilizations, time and space have been a key concept in what later became media ecology in the 1970s. Marshall McLuhan applied the time/space concept to perception to understand the temporal characteristics of oral culture; the spatial nature of visual scribal and typographic culture, and the elimination of time and space in electronic media culture. Walter Ong featured time and space as central to the modes of consciousness in orality and literacy. Neil Postman attributed the decline in rational print culture discourse to the shortening attention span of television culture. For James Carey, too, time and space were critical elements of the equation of communication and culture. Joshua Meyrowitz explored the shifting sense of place in media cultures. And theorists from Jean Baudrillard to Paul Virilio contemplated postmodern and posthuman senses of time, space and place.

With this as context, we invite paper and panel proposals that address one or more of the three core themes. Although we encourage submissions that touch upon, or align with, the convention theme, papers, abstracts, and panel proposal submissions from all areas of Media Ecology are welcome. A maximum of two submissions per author will be accepted. Authors who wish their papers to be considered for the Top Paper or Top Student Paper award must indicate this on their submission(s). The top papers will be published in Explorations in Media Ecology. All submissions will be acknowledged. The language of the convention is English.

Please note that paper and panel proposals do not need to be related to the overall conference theme.

Please submit all papers, and paper and panel proposals to the submission page for MEA 2018, at https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=mea2018

. Please send questions only to the convention coordinator, Paul Grosswiler, at <paulg@maine.edu>

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 1, 2017.

Guidelines for Submission

For manuscripts eligible for MEA award submissions:

1.     Manuscripts should be 4,000-6,000 words (approximately 15 to 25 double-spaced pages)

2.     Include a cover page (or e-submission page) with your academic or professional
affiliation and other contact information.

3.     Include a 150 words abstract, with the title. Use APA, MLA or Chicago style.

4.     Papers should be written in English.

For Paper and Panel Proposals:

1.     Include title, 250 words abstract, and contact information with your
proposal

2.     Outline, as relevant, how your paper or panel will fit with the convention theme

3.     Presenters should be prepared to deliver their papers in English.

4.     Authors with papers submitted as part of a panel proposal or as a paper proposal that wish to be considered for Top Paper or Top Student Paper must send completed paper to the convention planner by April 1, 2018.

MEA 2018 Featured Speakers

Neil Postman Award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity

Renee Hobbs  –  Communication Studies Professor Renee Hobbs is an internationally recognized authority on digital and media literacy education. Through community and global service and as a researcher, teacher, advocate and media professional, Dr. Hobbs has worked to advance the quality of digital and media literacy education in the United States and around the world. She is founder and director of the Media Education Lab at the University of Rhode Island, whose mission is to improve the quality of media literacy education through research and community service.

Walter J. Ong Award for Career Achievement in Scholarship

Susan J. Drucker  –  is professor and coordinator of the media studies program in the Department of Journalism/ Mass Media Studies at Hofstra University. She is an attorney and teaches courses in media law and media ethics. She is the author and editor of eight books and over 100 articles and book chapters, including American Heroes in a Media Age (1994) (with Robert Cathcart) and Global Media Heroes (2008) (with Gary Gumpert); Huddled Masses: Immigration and Communication (1998); Voices in the Street: Gender, Media and Public Space (1997), Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Communicating Baseball (2002), and two editions of Real Law @ Virtual Space: The Regulation of Cyberspace (1999, 2005) and Urban Communication Reader (2008) (with Gene Burd). Her next book is Convergence Regulation.


Categories: Blog

Marshall McLuhan & Expo 67: One Day Symposium, The Hague, Netherlands

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 10:18pm

(Click on image for expanded view)

The 1967 International and Universal Exposition or Expo 67, as it was commonly known, was a general exhibition, Category One World’s Fair held in MontrealQuebec, Canada, from April 27 to October 29, 1967. It is considered to be the most successful World’s Fair of the 20th century with the most attendees to that date and 62 nations participating. It also set the single-day attendance record for a world’s fair, with 569,500 visitors on its third day. (Wikipedia)
**********

One-day Symposium at Museumnacht, The Hague

‘Man and his World’ with Baruch Gottlieb, Shailoh Phillips & others

In the middle of the cold war, there were signs of a thaw. Electronic media and the first digital computers were bursting into public consciousness conjuring visions of unlimited technological possibilities. Perhaps the most prominent public thinker on the social and cultural transformations at hand, Marshall McLuhan was invited to consult on a prototype of a future techno-utopia. This project, unprecedented in its scope, and radical in its Humanist spirit of inclusiveness, was perhaps that last great gesture of unadulterated hope in a better world through the advancement of science and technology, of medium and its message, it was ‘Man and His World’ EXPO 67.

The international symposium series which accompanies the recursive touring exhibition ‘Feedback: Marshall McLuhan and the Arts’ brings together specialists and generalists, artists, philosophers and critics to discuss the insights of Marshall McLuhan and the Toronto School and examine the pertinence for understanding our conditions today.

Our discussion, recalling the name of that great celebration of human reason and a hope for a peaceful and prosperous world ‘Man and his World’, will re-examine and recontextualize the techno-social aspirations of the late 60s, in the current conditions of the anthropocene where hopeful notions technological and scientific progress are facing intractable challenges. What has happened to our relationship to technology? What promises have been fulfilled, which proved to be unrealisable, and what hopeful scenarios for the present of ubiquitous networked light-speed computation can we imagine today?

The presentations will be in English and suitable for artists, students, art and culture enthusiasts and anyone with a wide interest.

Program:

12:00 — 13:00 Doors open:

Exhibition Feedback #1: Marshall McLuhan and the Arts

13:00 — 13:05 Marie-José Sondeijker — introduction

13:05 — 13:45 Dr. phil. Baruch Gottlieb

Lecture: ‘Man and his World in the Anthropocene’

13:45 — 14:30 Coffee Break

14:30 — 15:00 Guided tour through the exhibition

15:00 — 16:30 Dr. phil. Baruch Gottlieb & Shailoh Phillips

Workshop: ‘McLuhan’s Ecology: the planet as a work of art’

16:30 — 17:30 Public Discussion:

‘The environment of pervasive media’

17:30 — 18:00 uur Round up & Drinks

Baruch Gottlieb is trained as a filmmaker at Concordia University, has been working in digital art with specialization in public art since 1999. He is active member of the ‘Telekommunisten’, ‘Arts & Economic Group’ and ‘Laboratoire Déberlinisation artist collectives’. He currently lectures in digital aesthetics at the University of Arts Berlin and is fellow of the Vilém Flusser Archiv. Curator of ‘Feedback #1: Marshall McLuhan and the Arts’, he writes extensively on digital aesthetics, digital archiving, generative and interactive processes, digital media for public space and on social and political aspects of networked media.

Shailoh Phillips is a media artist, researcher and mediator. After initial training in cultural anthropology, philosophy and cultural analysis, Shailoh shifted her practice into the interstices between technology, arts and design education. For 10 years, she has been working on building interactive installations, workshops and games with organizations such as MIT Media Lab, Rijksmuseum, VPRO, Bouwkeet and Open Set. In 2017, she graduated (cum laude) from Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, with an MA in Education in Arts and Design. She specializes in playful exercises in collective critical thinking, decolonizing institutions, and training digital literacy skills. (Source: https://goo.gl/vajS2v )

 The American Pavilion of Expo 67 designed  by R. Buckminster Fuller


Categories: Blog

Reuters Reporter on Drug War Awarded the 2017 McLuhan Fellowship, Philippines

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 7:40pm

McLuhan Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism Awarded to Manny Mogato, Philippine correspondent for Reuters (Right)

By Margaret Claire Latug, GMA News  –  September 28, 2017

The Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility on Thursday presented a prestigious fellowship to Manila-based reporter Manuel Mogato, who has chronicled some of the most explosive events under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration for international news agency Reuters.

Mogato received the plaque for the 2017 Marshall McLuhan Fellow at an awards ceremony held at the AIM Conference Center in Makati City.

A year ago, Mogato and co-correspondent Karen Lema ran a story on Duterte likening himself to Adolf Hitler and saying he would “be happy” to deal with the Philippines’ criminals just as the latter did to millions of Jews.

The President’s remark drew international criticism from world leaders, Jewish groups and the United Nations.

A few months later, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) raised concern for Mogato’s safety after hackers were able to deface his Facebook page, which NUJP chair Ryan Rosauro said could lead to physical harm to Mogato.

This August, Mogato, together with fellow Reuters reporter Claire Baldwin, came out with a special report using detailed insider accounts of two senior Philippine National Police (PNP) officials who claimed that most of the killings of criminals under the Duterte’s administration were “state-sponsored.”

The interviews exposed police officers supposedly receiving payoffs for every drug suspect and other “troublemakers” killed.

The Reuters report also found tracks leading to the existence of a so-called Davao Death Squad which was said to “augment and assist” these killings.

Established in 1997 by the University of Toronto and the Canadian Embassy in Manila in honor of the Canadian philosopher, author and media theorist Marshall McLuhan, the fellowship is awarded to a journalist “embodying outstanding qualities in the field of investigative journalism.”

As this year’s recipient, Mogato is set for a two-week lecture tour of Canadian media and academic organizations and, later, a number of Philippine universities.

Previous McLuhan Fellows include Probe Team’s  Cheche Lazaro, VERA Files’ Yvonne Chua, TV’5 Ed Lingao, and MindaNews’ Carolyn Arguillas.

Former Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Raffy Lerma also bagged the Award of Distinction for 2017.

Both journalists join the ranks of the Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Fellows, a community of journalists and media practitioners poised to take part in programs of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance, the CMFR said.

Apart from Mogato and Lerma, two other panelists for this year’s JVOJS were Malou Mangahas of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and Aie Balagtas See of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, both formerly of GMA News Online. — BM/MDM, GMA News (Source: https://goo.gl/4y1D6a )

Reuters’ Manuel Mogato (third from left) receives a plaque as 2017 Marshall McLuhan Fellow on September 28, 2017


Categories: Blog

McLuhan Salon – Bad New Days & Ahuri Theatre, October 15, 2017, Toronto

Mon, 10/02/2017 - 5:09pm

McLuhan Salon #2: Flashing Lights

We are pleased to partner with Bad New Days and Ahuri Theatre for our second McLuhan Salon this fall to take place Sunday, October 15 at The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen St W) at 2:00 PM.

First, we are treated to an innovative play Flashing Lights where Marshall McLuhan makes cameo appearances, and then to a McLuhan Salon discussion lead by a stimulating panel, including Flashing Lights director Adam Paolozza, author Guillermo Verdecchia, actor Dan Watson.

Created by award-winning Bad New Days (The Double) and Ahuri Theatre (This is the Point), “Flashing Lights: A High Tech  Fable About our Digital Lives  “is an original play exploring how digital technology is radically shaping human evolution. It tells the tale of an unremarkable guy who inexplicably becomes famous. His dizzying rise and fall effects everyone around him, in particular, his family; his savvy wife and their child”.

The play weaves a hyper-realistic, absurd narrative, with the use of everyday technology like smartphones and tablets, into an atmospheric theatrical style that responds to our anxiety about the future and the speed of technological advancements. Drawing on the ideas of Marshall McLuhan, Sherry Turkle, Jean Baudrillard and other theorists, Flashing Lights speaks to the growing anxiety about the future and to the vertiginous feeling that time itself is speeding up. Will humankind’s frail, flesh, and blood selves be able to keep up?

This new play has been created collaboratively by award-winning theatre artists Adam Paolozza (Dora Award Spent & The Double), Guillermo Verdecchia (Governor General’s and Chalmers Award Winner), Ken MacKenzie (Kim’s Convenience, Brantwood), Dan Watson (This is the Point, What Dream it Was), Liz Peterson (Performance About A Woman, Capitalist Love Duets) and Miranda Calderon (Butcher, Taking Care of Baby).

FLASHING LIGHTS
Co-Produced by Bad New Days & Ahuri Theatre
The Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. West
Sunday, October 15, 2:00 PM: SHOW + McLUHAN SALON
Tickets Pay What You Can Afford $5 | $20 | $45 | $60
Book 416-538-0988 | www.theatrecentre.org 

 * * * * * * * * * *

The McLuhan Salons

are curated by Paolo Granta and David Nostbakken, and sponsored by the St. Michael’s College – the McLuhan’s intellectual home in the University of Toronto – and its popular Book & Media Studies program, in conjunction with the Estate of Marshall McLuhan and several high-level academic and cultural institutions. The series is generously supported by the William and Nona Heaslip Foundation. Register Now

“Since Sputnik put the globe in a ‘proscenium arch,’ and the global village has been transformed into a global theater, the result, quite literally, is the use of public space for ‘doing one’s thing'”. – Marshall McLuhan From Cliché to Archetype, 1970


Categories: Blog

University of Toronto English Prof Fred T. Flahiff: Student of McLuhan & Biographer of Sheila Watson

Thu, 09/28/2017 - 10:39am

Professor Fred T. Flahiff (1933 – 2017)

By Lynn Crosbie   –   September 27, 2017  Professor. Critic. Author. Friend. Born July 7, 1933, in Vancouver; died March 9, 2017, in Toronto, from complications following a stroke; aged 84.

“What a world, what a world,” was Fred’s refrain, sounding something like a honeyed mantra: What sweet sounds he takes with him.

He was Professor Flahiff to me when we met during my first year of PhD studies at the University of Toronto when he was acting chair of the English Department, and my “Jane Austen and the Brontes” instructor.

He would become Fred the night his friend, and mine, Professor Leslie Sanders and I burst in on him – surprising the dearly modest man in his pyjamas and robe, and he would remain close to my heart for almost 30 years, and still.

Fred meant a great deal, if not the world, to so many of his students. At the beginning of each year, and this is unheard of, he held a personal meeting with everyone. He was an exceptionally dedicated professor.

While considering the somewhat Eliotic Dr. F.T. Flahiff, it occurs to me that a great professor does not teach you information, but how to think – about the information at hand; about everything.

Fred called his students “Miss” and “Mister”; He never taught without a suit and tie. He was nonplussed by students who wore hats indoors; he had a large laugh and a love of the absurd.

When asked how to write an exam, he said, “Astonish me.”

“I feel like a little bird sometimes,” he told me, of lecturing, “singing on a branch.” When I became a professor, I understood him: how much of what we say is just ambient noise; how much, in his case, was as clear and lovely as, to cite Shelley’s praise of the skylark, “a star of Heaven.”

There is much to say about Fred: about his crush on the city of Rome and the actress Angela Lansbury, his piety, and vast, protean mind; about his collection of signed movie-star glossies, including, which amused him to no end, Claudette Colbert in The Egg and I; about his cherished Jack Shadbolt illustration of novelist Sheila Watson.

His cooking was terrible and endearing (macaroni with onion quarters and corn) and he had an acute love of cinema – a few years ago, he gave a Trampoline Hall lecture about his strange and persuasive respect for The Godfather: Part III.

He loved opera, Stanley Kubrick, writer Sheila Watson, his niece Theresa and near-son, Matthew Bronson, who lived in the flat below him.

Fred grew up in Vancouver, with his adored parents and two brothers – the rough, broad-voweled accent of this city popped up occasionally in his lofty, lovely voice.

He moved to Toronto in the 1950s, where he completed his graduate work at, and was hired by, the University of Toronto.

He never married; he had no children, except the hundreds and hundreds of students who moved in and out of his life; who loved him, truly. The bookshelf in his dining room-slash-office was covered with tacked-up photographs of former students’ children, often sitting with a beaming Fred.

Fred’s thesis, its defence presided over by a harried Marshall McLuhan, having rushed back from shooting Annie Hall, had to do with place. Place, as he perceived it in Shakespeare and Milton, those great writers of artistic blueprints, wherein one’s location and identity is fixed and central in the former, and moveable, fluid in the latter: “All places thou.”

I learned about Austen and Brontë this way, and I learned about humanity, through the notion of who we are and what we value; and through other of his piercing insights – “The world will come to you,” he assured me, in my youth, and it did.

He radiated that life is strange and beautiful: One would leave his small, gorgeous orbit, feeling invested in the possible.

Lynn Crosbie is one of Professor Flahiff’s former students. (Source: https://goo.gl/J4aAFU)

Sheila & Wilfred Watson with Marshall McLuhan

F.T. Flahiff first met the renowned Canadian author Sheila Watson when they were both graduate students in Marshall McLuhan’s graduate seminar at the University of Toronto. The two formed a connection that, 40 years later, compelled Watson to entrust her biography to FlahiffAlways Someone to Kill the Doves: A Life of Sheila Watson was released in 2005. (Source: https://goo.gl/GmVKyt )


Categories: Blog

When John Lennon & Yoko Ono Met Marshall McLuhan, 1969

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 7:32pm

By Richard Metzger

Although John Lennon and Yoko Ono were undoubtedly two of the very most famous and talked about people of 1969, Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan was no slouch in the worldwide fame department himself. And so it was an inspired pairing indeed, organized by the Canadian Broadcast Corporation, when the peace-promoting Beatle and his avant-garde artist wife met up with the celebrated intellectual and author of The Medium is the Massage and Understanding Media on December 19th.

Lennon and Ono were in snowy Toronto doing press to bring attention to their “War is Over” billboard and poster campaign. Huge posters and billboards had been posted in twelve countries proclaiming “War is over! If you want it. Happy Christmas from John & Yoko.” The campaign was launched in the major cities of New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Rome, Athens, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Helsinki. There were over 30 roadside billboards put up in Toronto alone and a large billboard hung next to the US Armed Forces recruitment office located on New York’s Times Square.

McLUHAN: “Can you tell me? I just sort of wonder how the ‘War Is Over,’ the wording… The whole thinking. What happened?”

JOHN: “I think the basic idea of the poster event was Yoko’s. She used to do things like that in the avant-garde circle, you know. Poster was a sort of medium, media, whatever.”

 YOKO: “Medium.”

JOHN: “And then we had one idea for Christmas, which was a bit too vast, you know.”

YOKO: “We wanted to do it.”

JOHN: “We wanted to do it, but we couldn’t get it together in time.”

YOKO: “Maybe next year.”

JOHN: “And to do something specifically at Christmas. And then it got down to, well, if we can’t-do that event…”

YOKO: “We did this.”

JOHN: “…what we’ll do is a poster event. And then how do you get posters stuck all around the world, you know. It’s easier said than done. So we just started ringing up and find it out. And at first, we’re gonna have… We had some other wording, didn’t we, like, ‘Peace Declared.’ And it started up, there’s a place in New York, where you can have your own newspaper headline, you know. There’s a little shop somewhere in Times Square. And we were wondering how to, sort of like, get it in the newspapers as if it had happened, you know. And it developed from that. Well, we couldn’t get the front page of each newspaper to say war was over, peace declared or whatever.”

McLuhan’s full interview of John Lennon can be found on this blog here: https://goo.gl/atCrAf

The following Tuesday reporters in Ottawa were astonished to find out that the Lennons had met, in private with then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, father of the country’s current PM Justin Trudeau. Confronted afterward by a crush of reporters, microphones and TV cameras, Lennon was asked: “Did you find him to be a beautiful person?”

“I think he is,” the Beatle replied:

“If there were more leaders like Mr. Trudeau, the world would have peace.”

High praise indeed coming from John Lennon. He later told friends that Prime Minister Trudeau had said how important it was for him to understand what young people wanted and that he’d hoped to meet up with them again in more casual circumstances. After meeting with Trudeau, the Lennons had an appointment with Canada’s Health Minister about softening the penalties for cannabis possession.

Whereas the Trudeau meeting was off-limits to the media save for one photographer, John and Yoko’s fascinating discussion with Marshall McLuhan was captured on film for posterity.

Source: https://goo.gl/UChUhs


Categories: Blog

McLuhan in New York – at Fordham University, Friday, October 13, 2017

Sun, 09/24/2017 - 10:00am

(Click on image for larger view)

From Fall 1967 to Spring 1968, Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan spent one academic year in New York City as the Albert Schweitzer Chair of the Humanities at Fordham University, invited by John Culkin S.J., Chair of the Department of Communications at Fordham. McLuhan in New York took the city by storm. The vibrant New York intellectual and artistic vortex provided the right kind of environment to germinate McLuhan’s provocative and unconventional ideas, to capture the city’s imagination. McLuhan’s impact at Fordham was also instrumental in drawing worldwide attention to the idea that technological engagement plays a fundamental role in the structuring of human perception.

On Friday, October 13th, 2017, Fordham University, at its Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan, will host a public event with Eric McLuhan, Paul Levinson, and John Carey, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of McLuhan’s intellectual presence in New York City. The initiative’s goal is not only to pay homage to McLuhan and his intellectual legacy, but also to probe how McLuhan’s work is still pertinent to the general understanding of our media environment today. Teri McLuhan will be a special guest. Eric McLuhan will also present his latest book The Lost Tetrads of Marshall McLuhan (2017).

The “McLuhan in New York” event is presented by the Department of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University in New York and the Book & Media Studies Program at the St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, in conjunction with the Estate of Marshall McLuhan.

With: Eric McLuhan, The Lost Tetrads – Independent scholar

Paul Levinson, The Omnipotent Ear – Fordham University

John Carey, The Responsive Chord – Fordham University (Clarification Addendum: Tony Schwartz is the author of The Responsive Chord; John Carey will be speaking about the book on this occasion because he wrote the Forward to the 2nd edition of the book published earlier this year. See https://goo.gl/kuZjVc )

Welcoming words: Jacqueline Reich, Fordham University, Paolo Granata, University of Toronto
Greetings: Teri McLuhan

Tony Schwartz, Marshall McLuhan, and John Culkin at Tony Schwartz’s famous basement studio on W 56th Street in New York, 1967

(Click on image for larger view)

Eric McLuhan, PhD, is an internationally-known and award-winning lecturer on communication and media, Dr. McLuhan has over 40 years’ teaching experience in subjects ranging from high-speed reading techniques to literature, communication theory, media, culture, and Egyptology. He has taught at many colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. In addition to co-authoring “Laws of Media” in 1988 and working closely for many years with his father, the late Marshall McLuhan, he has also been deeply involved in exploring media ecology and communications.

Paul Levinson, PhD, is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. His nonfiction books, including The Soft EdgeDigital McLuhanRealspaceCellphone, New New Media, McLuhan in Age of Social Media, and Fake News in Real Context have been translated into 12 languages. His science fiction novels include The Silk Code (winner of Locus Award for Best First Science Fiction Novel of 1999), Borrowed TidesThe Consciousness PlagueThe Pixel EyeThe Plot To Save SocratesUnburning Alexandria, and Chronica. He appears on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, the History Channel, and NPR.  His 1972 LP, Twice Upon a Rhyme, was reissued in 2010.  He was listed in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Top Ten Academic Twitterers” in 2009.

John Carey brings 25 years of experience in media-industry research and product development to his teaching at the Gabelli School of Business. His clients have included Google, American Express, AT&T, NBC Universal, The New York Times, Primedia, A&E Television Networks, Digitas, The Online Publishers Association, PBS, Cablevision, Rainbow Media, Scholastic and XM Satellite Radio, among others. Professor Carey has served on the advisory boards of the Adult Literacy Media Alliance, the Annenberg School For Communications and Fordham’s Donald McGannon Communication Research Center. He was a commissioner on the Annenberg Commission on the Press and Democracy, has been an invited lecturer in more than a dozen countries and has presented his research to the boards of major media companies in the United States. Before coming to Fordham, he taught at Columbia Business School and at New York University.

Fordham University School of Law, 150 W. 62nd St. New York, Room 7-119


Categories: Blog