: Without question, Marshall McLuhan was one of the most influential thinkers :
: of the last 50 years, even though he is often overlooked on such lists. He :
: is one of the fathers of media and cultural studies, developing multi- :
: disciplinary theories that focused on things like television and advertising :
: long before we all realized how important these things were to in our :
: society. He has left an impressive legacy. McLuhan's Wake examines the :
: impact of his ideas, while also telling us the story of his life. :
: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0391328/ :
Marshall McLuhan multimedia collection:
1 documentary video from 2002 called "McLuhan's Wake", 1 45-minute television program/biography from 1999, an encoded-to-mp3 copy of Side A and B of Marshall McLuhan's out of print LP record from 1968, 4 Real Video files of the 2004 McLuhan International Festival of the Future, 2 lectures given by Terence McKenna discussing and elaborating the ideas of McLuhan, 1 casual recording of McLuhan with high-school students in the late 60s, 1 speech at an author's luncheon in 1966 and 2 interviews with Marshall McLuhan in 1970 and '71 as well as several audio-clips/pics/transcripts of his appearances on various Canadian Broadcasting Company programs from 1960-1981, 1 recent interview with his wife- Corinne McLuhan, and 20 miscellaneous pdf files about the diverse research and developments of this often misunderstood scholar's contributions to our world, including an introduction to the 1994 edition of "Understanding Media".
McLuhan's Wake Collector's Edition DVD:
Primitive Entertainment, Inc. - http://www.primitive.net/
National Film Board of Canada - http://www.nfb.ca/
Bit rate: 224kbps
Dimensions: 720x480 DivX with Subtitle files
* The Collector's Edition DVD includes the original feature-length documentary, along with exclusive supplemental interviews and features for McLuhan scholars and enthusiasts. NOTE: A great deal of these interviews and interactive features are not included in this torrent, but you can purchase the DVD here: http://www2.nfb.ca/boutique/ibeCCtpItmDspRte.jsp?a=b&formatid=51483&support=DVD
The opening sequence of McLuhanÆs Wake foreshadows the aesthetic quality of the rest of the film. It begins with a montage of video images û crashing seas, a dancing ballerina, the Challenger shuttle û edited together with audio from Marshall McLuhan and original New Age music. This rapid succession of heterogeneous images fades into a retelling of Edgar Allen PoeÆs The Descent into the Maelstrom, complete with animation, special effects and narration by Eric McLuhan. As did so much of the literature that Marshall McLuhan read, The Descent into the Maelstrom impacted his thinking. However, the 1840 Poe short story is even more significant according to McLuhanÆs Wake; the film suggests the marinerÆs struggle in the story provides a metaphor for McLuhanÆs own attempt to make sense of the swirling, whirling culture of media that could have swept him away so easily had he not identified the laws regarding them.
McLuhanÆs Wake is organized around McLuhanÆs last scholarly book, Laws of Media, which was published posthumously by his son. In this lesser-known publication of McLuhanÆs, he and his son argued that there are four laws of media: any medium amplifies or intensifies some situation; any medium makes part of the environment obsolete; any medium recreates or revives any older structure or environment; and any medium, when pushed to its limit, can reverse to create the opposite of its intended function. McLuhanÆs Wake explores this tetrad of enhancement, obsolescence, retrieval and reversal with examples from places so varied as an elementary school classroom, the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant, and a Jaguar car dealership.
The film assumes that viewers have at least a rudimentary understanding of McLuhanÆs theories. With its abundance of examples illustrating the laws of media, McLuhanÆs Wake makes the meaning of the tetrad extremely clear. The film also highlights McLuhanÆs better known theories on the effects of technology, including its numbing effect, its potential for creating a global village, its retribalization of man, and its incompatibility with a passive model of education. Excerpts of McLuhanÆs lectures and interviews illustrate these theories, edited together with interviews from scholars like Neil Postman and Lewis Lapham and narration from performance artist Laurie Anderson. However, the viewer rarely sees the people speaking, causing them to become disembodied. While McLuhan would likely be quite comfortable with this haunting quality of the film, it has the potential to overwhelm an audience of students unfamiliar with McLuhanÆs work.
McLuhanÆs Wake does acknowledge criticisms of McLuhanÆs theories, but it provides no specific explanation, and attributes them mostly to jealousy or lack of full comprehension. The film, which also loosely follows McLuhanÆs life chronologically, portrays McLuhan as having died without ever fully being heard. In this way, McLuhan was the real-life mariner who made sense of and escaped the vortex, only to be dismissed by his peers. The film does highlight the resurgence of McLuhan since the computer revolution, but does not acknowledge that much of this resurgence, at least in popular culture, may be a result of peopleÆs misunderstanding of McLuhan. However, the film does make clear that McLuhan himself believed that computers enabled authorities to exert more control over society. It also highlights McLuhanÆs strong objection to technological change on the basis of the resultant unpleasant effects on the human body.
Ultimately, McLuhanÆs Wake succeeds as a film. Although it is slow-moving at times, it captures the ideas and aesthetic style of McLuhan. However, because of the McLuhanesque qualities of the film, it falls short as an instructional video to introduce students to McLuhan. However, for students who already have some familiarity with McLuhanÆs work, the film can provide insights into McLuhanÆs thinking. Additionally, the web-based tools accompanying the video include ôUnderstanding McLuhan,ö a brief but useful biography of McLuhan, and an educatorÆs resource guide filled with discussion-provoking questions and possible assignments. McLuhanÆs Wake fills a long-time void for a film about Marshall McLuhan, whose relevance to our contemporary culture cannot be denied. Viewers should just be prepared to experience the film as they might any of his writings, as a psychedelic intellectual journey.
The Medium is the Massage; with Marshall McLuhan.
Long-Playing Record 1968.
Produced by John Simon.
Conceived and co-ordinated by Jerome Agel.
Written by Marshall McLuhan, Quentin Fiore, and Jerome Agel.
Columbia CS 9501, CL2701.
Encoded to 192kbps mp3 and posted at: http://www.ubu.com/
The Medium is the Massage
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects is a book co-created by media analyst Marshall McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore, and coordinated by Jerome Agel. It was published by Bantam books in 1967 and became a bestseller and a cult classic.
The book itself is 160 pages in length and composed in an experimental, collage style with text superimposed on visual elements and vice versa. Some pages are printed backwards and are meant to be read in a mirror (see mirror writing). Some are intentionally left blank. Most contain photographs and images both modern and historic, juxtaposed in startling ways.
The book was intended to make McLuhan's philosophy of media, considered by some incomprehensible and esoteric, more accessible to a wider readership through the use of visual metaphor and sparse text. In its artistic approach it is considered cutting edge, even by today's standards.
The book's title is actually a mistake according to McLuhans' son, Eric. The actual title was "The Medium is the Message" but it came back from the printer with the first "e" in message misprinted as an "a". McLuhan is said to have thought the mistake to be supportive of the point he was trying to make in the book and decided to leave it be. Later readings have interpreted the word in the title as a pun meaning alternately ômassageö, ômessageö, and ômass ageö. Its message, broadly speaking, is that historical changes in communications and craft media change human consciousness, and that modern electronics are bringing humanity full circle to an industrial analogue of tribal mentality, what he termed "the global village". By erasing borders and dissolving information boundaries, electronic telecommunications are fated to render traditional social structures like the Nation state and the University irrelevant. Prejudice and oppression are also doomed by the unstoppable pressure of instant, global communication.
While today it looks like a black and white copy of Wired magazine, and its prose reads more or less like boilerplate for any of the heady techno-utopian pronouncements of the 1990s, it should be noted that it presaged the development of the original ARPANET by two years, and preceded the widespread civilian use of the Internet by almost twenty. For this and other reasons McLuhan is often given the moniker "prophet."
There is also an LP based on this book, put out by Columbia Records in the late 60s and produced by John Simon, but otherwise keeping the same credits as the book. It is fairly strange.
Terence McKenna - 'Riding Range With Marshall McLuhan' and 'Shamans Among The Machines':
"Though the glory of our humaness is our spontaneous creativity, we too- as creatures of physics and chemistry and memory and hope, tend to fall into repetitious patterns. And these repetitious patterns are the death of creativity. They diminish our humaness- they diminish our indiviuality, make each of us somehow like cogs in some larger system. And we associate this cog-like membership in larger solus systems with the machines that we inherit from the age of the internal combustion engine and the age of the jet engine... you know, Marshall McLuhan said that we navigate our way into the future like someone driving who uses the rear-view mirror to tell them where they're going. It's not a very successful strategy for navigating into the future."
"Computers are minds that work in the realm of computation; and human minds are minds that work in the realm of generalization, spatial co-ordination, understanding of natural language, so forth and so on. Are these kinds of minds so different from eachother, pilgrims, that there is no bridge to be crossed? I would submit not- that infact the bridge between the human mind and the machine mind is symbolic logic, mathematics."
"I'm a full going, full hard-charging McLuhanist. And I really believe that the strengths and weaknesses of the world we've inherited, are strengths and weaknesses put there by print- and by the spectrum of effects which McLuhan called the "Gutenberg galaxy". The spectrum of effects spun off from print- and if you're not used to thinking in McLuhanist terms, it may not seem immediately obvious to you that phenomenon as different as the modern notion of the democratic citizen, the modern notion of interchangeable parts on an assembly line, the modern notion of comformity to canons of advertising- these are all spectrums of effect created by the linearity and the uniformity of print. It actually, in the late 15th century, reconstructed the medieval psyche into its proto-modern form. And we have lived within that print-constellated cultural hallucination for about 500 years- until the advent of various forms of electronic media in the 20th century."
"... print just a convulsive 500 year episode in the Western mind, that opened that narrow window that permitted the rise of moderm science, modern mathematical approaches to the analysis of nature- and then obliterated its own platform, its own raison d'etre, by allowing the growth, the appearance of the electronic technologies. And my... sort of supposition about all this... I'm not an apocalypterian or a pessimist- I may be an apocalypterian, I'm not a pessimist. I think that this is all very good. Obviously, continuing to run Western civilization on the operating system inherited from print, produces various forms of political and cultural schizophrenia, which allowed to run unchecked would become fatal; would create cascades of chaos and political destabilization that would become uncontrollable. Governments resist change, governments cling to technologies and social formulae that are already tried and true. In that sense then, all governments are incredibly anti-progressive forces."
"The shaman is like a designated traveller into higher-dimensional space. The shaman has permission to unlock the cultural cul-de-sac of his or her people, and go behind the stage machinery of cultural appearances, and has collective permission to manipulate that stage machinery for purposes of healing..."
... and more...
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