Tuesday, May 3, 2011

PROMPT: McLuhan on His Use of "Haptic"

[supplement to forthcoming Enemy Sessions 05] Writing to Edward T. Hall (21 February 1961) McLuhan notes that he has been unable to convey his point concerning television as a haptic medium:
“What I have become pretty sure of, experimentally, is that tactility has less to do with skin than the interface of sense and faculty. That is the meeting of sight and sound constitutes touch, as it also constitutes translation or metamorphosis. This term “interface”, is now used in chemistry, is very helpful. It draws attention to that mysterious aspect of culture that is both metaphoric and metamorphic. Language as a store of perception is also a means of exchange of perceptions, and such an exchange is also a translation of one experience into another…And is there not, in the metaphoric activity of exchange and translation, both enrichment and acceleration of the interplay of sense and faculty exactly comparable to road as closure for wheel?”

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