Friday, April 1, 2011

INVENTORY : When this circuit learns your job, what are you going to do?

Trinity Hall Rowing Oar 1936

Trinity Hall Rowing Oar 1936
McLuhan's prized possession. [ click image for detail ]

TORONTO IS A HAPPENING ! ?

TORONTO IS A HAPPENING ! ?
Toronto in the 50s personified McLuhan’s technophobia. It was a boring, forgotten city of three-quarters of a million people. Theall calls it an "overgrown village" adding it was a "somewhat idyllic…still semi-colonial, marginally contemporary city…a sedate, stuffy city where on Sundays the major department store drew curtains across its windows, stores did not sell cigarettes, and people could not have wine or other alcoholic beverages with a restaurant meal…There was no television; the only radio network, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)…was government owned."

The Tool Kit

The Tool Kit
Literally, Understanding Media is a kit of tools for analysis and perception. It is to begin an operation of discovery. It is not the completed work of discovery. It is intended for practical use. Most of my work in the media is like that of a safecracker. In the beginning I don’t know what’s inside. I just set myself down in front of the problem and begin to work. I grope, I probe, I listen, I test — until the tumblers fall and I’m in. That’s the way I work with all these media.

I’m perfectly prepared to scrap any statement I ever made about any subject once I find that it isn’t getting me into the problem. I have no devotion to any of my probes as if they were sacred opinions. I have no proprietary interest in my ideas and no pride of authorship as such. You have to push any idea to an extreme, you have to probe. Exaggeration, in the sense of hyperbole, is a major artistic device in all modes of art. No painter, no musician ever did anything without extreme exaggeration of a form or a mode, until he had exaggerated those qualities that interested him.
- McLuhan Hot + Cool, Stearn, 1967: 58, 62-63

' The Tool Kit ' in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man consists of the seven chapters in Part One. They detail seven general principles of media in shaping culture and society. Understanding Media was conceived and written as a companion to a volume that had appeared a short while earlier, Understanding Poetry (1960) by Cleanth Brooks and Robert Penn Warren. It was the first American text to employ techniques of Practical Criticism. From the first, McLuhan continued to insist that Understanding Media was not a finished product but a group of beginnings, a tool kit and some preliminary forays into new territory.

ITOOWKWTHIGO

ITOOWKWTHIGO
Barry Day - I'm The Only One Who Knows What The Hell Is Going On - The message of Marshall McLuhan, Lintas London (1967)

THE NEW AMERICAN VORTEX : "The Case of the Missing Anecdote"

THE NEW AMERICAN VORTEX : "The Case of the Missing Anecdote"
This unpublished work is a collection of published and unpublished essays assembled by McLuhan ca. 1949. It appears that "The New American Vortex" was the intended title for the book, in addition to being the title of the lead essay. This sub-series consists of manuscripts and typescripts of the articles to be included in the work and a proposed table of contents.

UNPUBLISHED manuscript 'Prelude to Prufrock' - National Archives of Canada

UNPUBLISHED manuscript 'Prelude to Prufrock' - National Archives of Canada
This unpublished work is an anthology of early McLuhan essays on English literature, and seems to have been written in the 1940s. The sub-series consists of manuscripts and typescripts of short essays on Scott, Austen, Crabbe, Lamb, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Browning, Byron, Keats, and Shelley, and is divided in two parts, each part consisting of separate drafts of the essays.

RAZUMIJEVANIJE MEDIJA

RAZUMIJEVANIJE MEDIJA
" If I stopped to explain everything I said I’d never get anywhere, besides there has to be something for ' The Reader ' to do.”

TRIBAL MOOD MUD : " Self-amputation forbids self-recognition "

TRIBAL MOOD MUD : " Self-amputation forbids self-recognition "
Thunder 10: Television. Back to tribal involvement in tribal mood-mud. The last thunder is a turbulent, muddy wake, and murk of non-visual, tactile man.

GRUNGE

GRUNGE
"I find pop culture monstrous and sickening ...
I study it for my own survival."

“the study of effects rather than the assertion of values.”

“the study of effects rather than the assertion of values.”
"He preferred 'put-ons' to 'put-downs'. "

" Society always prefers somnambulism to awareness.”

" Society always prefers somnambulism to awareness.”
In Dagwood Bumstead, McLuhan saw the archetypal American man as a hen-pecked husband and failed father : “He is an apologetic intruder into a hygienic, and save for himself, a well-ordered dormitory. He attempts to eke out some sort of existence in the bathroom or on the sofa (face to the wall) ... He is a joke which the children thoroughly understand. ”

'working title' for The mechanical bride

'working title' for  The mechanical bride
' The Guide to Chaos ' ( the other working title) was ditched for being 'too anarchistic' ... American Everyman : Dagwood Bumstead = emasculated drone

rip-off technique


" If you study symbolism you will discover that it is a technique of rip-off by which figures are deliberately deprived of their ground."

Don Theall : "...Such a poetic technique permits McLuhan to merge figure and ground to study their interplay in communication and to involve his audience in participating actively in the process of understanding."

SCENES FROM A DOWNWARDS PARABOLA INTO SLEEP

SCENES FROM A DOWNWARDS PARABOLA INTO SLEEP
Film by Etrog, Text by McLuhan

FAMOUS FOR BEING FAMOUS

FAMOUS FOR BEING FAMOUS
" To reward and make celebrities of artists can be a way of ignoring their prophetic work, and preventing its timely use for survival." - M.M.

SUSTAINABLE PULSING, DISPERSED, NON-LINEAR ATTACKS

SUSTAINABLE PULSING, DISPERSED, NON-LINEAR ATTACKS
"My approach to the media is never from a point of view but is in fact a 'swarming' "...

JIM +MAC @ THE KELLY

JIM +MAC @ THE KELLY
" Our wholemole millwheeling vicociclometer, a tetradomational gazebocroticon ... autokinatonetically preprovided with a clappercoupling"

"AMERICAN ADVERTISING" in HORIZON OCTOBER 1947

"AMERICAN ADVERTISING" in HORIZON OCTOBER 1947
A pivotal piece for McLuhan, his first attempt at cultural anthropology and treating popular culture seriously (... but not too seriously ! ) and a prelude to The Mechanical Bride in 1951.

Québécois Edition

Québécois Edition
" The TV image is the first technology to project or externalize our tactile sense." (1961)

Les prolongements technologiques de l'homme

Les prolongements technologiques de l'homme
Le fait essentiel de la communication, c'est la communication elle-même et ses " média " (langage, argent, imprimé, mode, télévision ou cybernétique), plutôt que le message communiqué. Le "message", c'est à dire le contenu de la communication, n'est qu'un leurre qui détourne l'attention pendant que le "médium" exerce une action d'autant plus profonde qu'elle nous échappe. Cet ouvrage analyse d'une façon intuitive et parfois familière la nature des technologies qui constituent notre "environnement"; elles sont les prolongements de nos organes physiques et de notre système nerveux, destinés à en accroître la force et la rapidité.
"Nous sommes tout à coup désireux de voir les gens et les choses se montrer tels qu'ils sont. Il faut voir dans cette attitude nouvelle une foi profonde en l'harmonie fondamentale de tout l'être. C'est avec cette foi que j'ai écrit le livre que voici". - Marshall McLuhan

post-humanism

post-humanism
" When this circuit learns your job, what are you going to do? "

Contraexplosion

Contraexplosion
"Joyce had essentially discovered the tetrad once he had seen through the television form. He even organized the large-scale structure of the WAKE on the tetrad: Book One deals with the amplification of technology. Book Two is concerned with the obsolescence of technologies. Book Three deals with the retrieval of forms, and Book Four is modeled on its "flipping-into-its-opposite" feature of technologies."

McLuhan Letter to Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, May 11, 1964

McLuhan Letter to Jaqueline Tyrwhitt, May 11, 1964
"... Joyce is quite explicit that (page 501) as the alphabet ends its cycle we move out of visual space into discontinuous auditory space again. This he mentions as the return to "Lewd's Carol", that is, through the looking glass into the world of non-Euclidean space once more, lewd, ignorant, tribal, involved totally as in group singing... "
[ click image above to see/read the whole letter ]

magical priesthood : ELIOT, JOYCE, LEWIS + POUND

magical priesthood : ELIOT, JOYCE, LEWIS + POUND
" Talk about blind spots in regions of maximal impact! Looking at The Diabolical Principle just now I read loud and clear that art must be totally environmental. It must be the content of nothing whatever. Ergo, the VORTEX = the totally environmental .… Lewis wants nothing less for Art than the power to create total environments for Life and Death. There must be no art as content of some other set of skills or interest.…I find it a bit staggering to confront Lewis as a man who really wanted to be Pontifex maximus of a magical priesthood. I suppose Yeats, Joyce and Pound had similar aspirations. Their priesthood was to create new worlds of perception. They were to be world engineers who shaped the totality of human awareness. Their pigments and materials were not to be paint or words but all the resources of the age. Such were the Pharaohs. They made of the world a perception Lab .… The mode of great Art. The environment as ultimate artefact."
McLuhan to Wilfred Watson, 4 October 1964

high definition pro + con paperback

high definition pro + con paperback
With a bonus McLuhan rebuttal

ergonomically challenged

ergonomically challenged
McLuhan designed 'The Tripod Chair' in July 1965 and a prototype was manufactured in August 1966 for display at the Canadian Pavillion at Expo '67

McLuhan's CORPORATE SYMBOLIST POEM

McLuhan's CORPORATE SYMBOLIST POEM
“If you take away the dateline from any newspaper whatever, you have a quite handsome surrealist poem. … The dateline presents a plausible pretext of rationality, meaning, connection.”

" Doctor, your diagnosis is different from all the other doctors "

" Doctor, your diagnosis is different from all the other doctors "
"Well, the autopsy will show that I was right."

“ There’s Money In Comics ”

“ There’s Money In Comics ”
Stan Lee : " DON’T WRITE DOWN TO YOUR READERS! It is common knowledge that a large portion of comic magazine readers are adults, and the rest of the readers who may be kids are pretty sharp characters. They are used to seeing movies and listening to radio shows… a great deal of thought goes into every story; and there are plenty of gimmicks, sub-plots, human interest angles…. "

McLuhan : " This happens to be true. In the matter of intellectual quality there is little to choose between Dare Devil Comics and Gone With the Wind and between the claims made for the romantic movie of our day, just as in the emotional pattern there is little or no difference between the ‘middle-brow’ and the ‘low-brow.’ The difference is mainly in the amount of lush verbiage and opulence of turnout. There is no question of perception or taste in the genteel movie or novel or in the pulps. But the superiority of the pulps is in their absence of pretentiousness, and the readers of this form of entertainment are altogether undeceived by it. They are never under the impression of having bought or read anything with ‘class.’ "

De mens in het elektronisch tijdperk

De mens in het elektronisch tijdperk
S T R O O O O O M V E R S N E L L I N G !!!

unpublished

unpublished

MEME HOUSE

MEME HOUSE
Eric McLuhan is more specific about the role Menippean satire plays in creating awareness among an otherwise oblivious public.

As an active form, a Menippean satire goes to any extreme necessary in order to frustrate objectivity or detachment on the part of the reader. … Cynics, and Diogenes in particular … were often referred to as ‘laughing philosophers,’ for they refused to take seriously any political, private, social, intellectual, or other kind of pretentiousness. (McLuhan, 1997, p. 5)

Instead they create what Eric McLuhan calls the “cynic effect” – a satirical response that creates new awareness by awakening the dulled perception of the reader. Thus, Menippean satire is not merely humour or irony, but humour or irony with a specific intentionality.

Joyce Portrait

Joyce Portrait
by Wyndham Lewis

VORTOGRAPHS - Alvin Langdon Coburn

VORTOGRAPHS - Alvin Langdon Coburn
In 1916, Coburn met Ezra Pound, who introduced him to the short-lived Vorticism movement in Britain. These new visual aesthetics intrigued Coburn and, provoked by his growing spiritual quest, he began to re-examine his photographic style. He responded by making a bold and distinctive portrait of Pound, showing three over-lapping images of differing sizes. Within a brief period he moved from this semi-representative image to a series of abstract images that are among the first completely non-representative photographs ever made.

To make these images Coburn invented a kaleidoscope-like instrument with three mirrors clamped together, which when fitted over the lens of the camera would reflect and fracture the image. Pound called this instrument a "Vortescope" and the resulting photographs "Vortographs". He made only about 18 different Vortographs, taken over a period of just one month, yet they remain among the most striking images in early 20th century photography.

blast/counterblast

blast/counterblast
" Self-amputation forbids self-recognition "

Throwing realism out with the bathwater ...

Throwing realism out with the bathwater ...

" Give me a place to stand, and I will move the earth." — Archimedes

" Give me a place to stand, and I will move the earth." — Archimedes
" Today, Archimedes would have pointed to our electric media and said, " I will stand on your eyes, your ears, your nerves, and your brain, and the world will move in any tempo or pattern I choose." We have leased these "places to stand" to private corporations."

turntablism

turntablism
" In his own case, Edison's determination to give the phonograph, like the telephone, a direct practical use in business procedures led to his neglect of the instrument as a means of entertainment. Failure to foresee the phonograph as a means of entertainment was really a failure to grasp the meaning of the electric revolution in general. In our time we are reconciled to the phonograph as a toy and a solace; but press, radio, and TV have also acquired the same dimension of entertainment. Meantime, entertainment pushed to an extreme becomes the main form of business and politics. Electric media, because of their total "field" character, tend to eliminate the fragmented specialities of form and function that we have long accepted as the heritage of alphabet, printing, and mechanization. The brief and compressed history of the phonograph includes all phases of the written, the printed, and the mechanized word. It was the advent of the electric tape recorder that only a few years ago released the phonograph from its temporary involvement in mechanical culture. Tape and the l.p. record suddenly made the phonograph a means of access to all the music and speech of the world. Before turning to the l.p. and tape-recording revolution, we should note that the earlier period of mechanical recording and sound reproduction had one large factor in common with the silent picture. The early phonograph produced a brisk and raucous experience not unlike that of a Mack Sennett movie."

Clip On Narcissus : The Agenbite of Outwit

Clip On Narcissus : The Agenbite of Outwit
" The point of the Narcissus myth is not that people are prone to fall in love with their own images but that people fall in love with extensions of themselves which they are convinced are not extensions of themselves. This provides, I think, a fairly good image of all of our technologies, and it directs us towards a basic issue, the idolatry of technology as involving a psychic numbness."

KROKER REMIX

KROKER REMIX
"A superstar today is just another word for a sitting duck." - Marshall McLuhan

THIS IS NOT A PIPE : “... it was hand-rolled along the thigh of a Tahitian maiden ..."

THIS IS NOT A PIPE :  “... it was hand-rolled along the thigh of a Tahitian maiden ..."
" Cigarettes are for people who don't enjoy tobacco ..."

" Outtragedy of poetscalds!, Acomedy of letters " [ FW 425.24]

aspen 4

aspen 4
"It is really more fun to join in the quest for discoveries than to try and classify and evaluate the processes in which I am involved."

MAGISCHEN of wychwood park

MAGISCHEN of wychwood park
'Tis optophone which ontophanes. List! Wheatstone's magischen lyer. They will be tuggling foriver. They will be lichening for allof. They will be pretumbling forover. The harpsdischord shall be theirs for ollaves."

THE DOWNLOAD DOWNLOW

THE DOWNLOAD DOWNLOW
" hierarchitectitiptitoploftical, with a burning bush abob off its baubletop and with larrons o'toolers clittering up and tombles a'buckets clottering download. "

A book with no table of contents, no index, no organization, no discussion, no argument...

A book with no table of contents, no index, no organization, no discussion, no argument...
" ...Without the countervailing balance of natural and physical laws, the new video-related media will make man implode upon himself. As he sits in the informational control room, whether at home or at work, receiving data at enormous speeds — imagistic, sound, or tactile — from all areas of the world, the results could be dangerously inflating and schizophrenic."

NO MSG ... BUT YOU'RE USUALLY HUNGRY AN HOUR LATER

NO MSG ... BUT YOU'RE USUALLY HUNGRY AN HOUR LATER
The pictographic and ideographic nature of Chinese characters renders Chinese thinking, among other things, 1. analogical 2. nonlinear 3. concrete 4. holistic 5. intuitive 6. in harmony with nature.

Achtung Baby !

Achtung Baby !
"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent" — Wittgenstein

CHERRY + GREY

CHERRY + GREY
Voted most likely to start a Centre for Culture and Technolgy

I'M FEELING LUCKY !

I'M FEELING LUCKY !
" One chap googling the holyboy's thingabib and this lad wetting his widdle. "

L'ETRANGER

L'ETRANGER
"The road to understanding media effects begins with arrogant superiority. If one lacked this sense of superiority, this detachment, it would be quite impossible to write about them. It would be like an octopus attacking the great pyramids."

post information studies

post information studies
"Deception is the new discourse. Electric light only offers a convincing illusion of daylight, its 'content' being all the activities that are now permitted to take place after dark. As such it represents a complex simulation of experience that passes virtually unnoticed at a time when digital technology is in the process of rendering itself invisible. Hardware and software are converging to the point of total dematerialization. The old configurations of data streaming will eventually vanish into one another, leaving the replication of sound and vision as the sole industry standard for communication. Information ceases to be an intelligible part of the environment, but functions as an element instead: boundless, formless, creating vast artificial ecosystems out of networked systems."
from "The Future is Back" by Ken Hollings 19 Feb 2010

FOLLOW THE HIDDEN GROUND

FOLLOW THE HIDDEN GROUND
'The electric light escapes attention as a communication medium just because it has no 'content'. And this makes it an invaluable instance of how people fail to study media at all.'

mars[HAL]9000 : " Tomorrow is our permanent address."

mars[HAL]9000 : " Tomorrow is our permanent address."
McLuhan at a Kubrick '2001' sneak preview :
fell asleep ... awoke ... snuck out ... left early.

McLuhan Discordian Stamp : "It's nice to have the avant-garde behind you."

McLuhan  Discordian Stamp : "It's nice to have the avant-garde behind you."
The Magnum Opiate of Meereschal MacMuhun
The Winnipigeon

maelstrom brothers

maelstrom brothers
" We were the first that ever burst
into that silent sea ... "

A CONSCIOUS STRATEGY OF GROUCHO DALI-ISM :
" Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted."

A CONSCIOUS STRATEGY OF GROUCHO DALI-ISM : <br>" Quote me as saying I was mis-quoted."
" I satirize at all times, and my hyperboles are as nothing compared to the events to which they refer."

patron saint

patron saint
Detachment and ambivalence encourages simultaneous contradictory or paradoxical approaches to the same material.

WHAT IF HE'S RIGHT ? !

WHAT IF HE'S RIGHT ? !
He sits in a little office off on the edge of the University of Toronto that looks like the receiving bin of a second-hand book store ... he doesn't seem to care what he wears. If he feels like it, he just puts on the old striped tie with the plastic neck band. You just snap the plastic band around your neck and there the tie is, hanging down and ready to go, Pree-Tide.

project 69 : "NEW MEDIA ARE NOT BRIDGES BETWEEN MAN AND NATURE; THEY ARE NATURE."

project 69 : "NEW MEDIA ARE NOT BRIDGES BETWEEN MAN AND NATURE; THEY ARE NATURE."
Report on Project in Understanding New Media prepared for and published by The National Association of Educational Broadcasters for the Department of Education, Washington, D.C., 1960

CLASSROOM WITHOUT WALLS

CLASSROOM WITHOUT WALLS
Designed as a Grade 11 media literacy textbook, it was published in 1977 in the United States and was quickly ignored by everyone.

subliminal

subliminal
I have insisted that any new structure for codifying experience and moving information, be it alphabet or photography, has the power of imposing its structural character and assumptions upon all levels of our private and social lives – even without the benefit of concepts or of conscious acceptance…. That is what I’ve always meant by “the medium is the message”.
Interview with Thomas P. McDonnell, U.S. Catholic, 1966

services, disservices, 'allatonceness', figures 'detached' from ground + side effects

All situations are composed of an area of attention [figure] and a very much larger (subliminal) area of inattention [ground] ….Figures rise out of, and recede back into, ground….for example, at a lecture, the attention will shift from the speaker’s words to his gestures, to the hum of the lighting or street sounds, or to the feel of the chair or a memory or association or smell, each new figure alternatively displaces the others into ground…The ground of any technology is both the situation that gives rise to it as well as the whole environment (medium) of services and disservices that the technology brings with it. These are side effects and impose themselves willy-nilly as a new form of culture.

dissociated sensibility : "Never did a person give so many clues as to how to understand his work."

dissociated sensibility : "Never did a person give so many clues as to how to understand his work."
Holmes genius for constructing patterns from chaotic surface events is a critical perceptual tactic for the electronic/information age ...

futile holeopathic 'tiny note' protest

futile holeopathic 'tiny note' protest
" Television kills telephony in brothers' broil. Our eyes demand their turn. Let them be seen! And wolfbone balefires blaze the trailmost if only that Mary Nothing may burst her bibby ..."

COUNTER INTELLIGENCE

COUNTER INTELLIGENCE
1970 Covert Smear Campaign
[ click image to enlarge ]

MEDIA ECOLOGY 'CUL DE SAC'

MEDIA ECOLOGY 'CUL DE SAC'
[1:1 13.5] " ... silence speaks the scene. Fake! So This Is Dyoublong? Hush! Caution ! Echoland ! How charmingly exquisite! It reminds you of the outwashed engravure that we used to be blurring on the blotchwall ..."

Network 1951 - unpublished

Network 1951 - unpublished
"a dove launched from an ark to discover not whether there is land, but whether there are men."

more metonymy

more metonymy
" Classification makes some people feel more secure. It seems to relieve them of any need for further study."

McLuhan did not trust the academic's love of classification and simplification, as this could distort the truth out of a desire for clarity.

POST-TACTILE

POST-TACTILE
'Those who do not learn from the future are condemned to repeat it' - Destroy All Monsters

heavy metal thunder

heavy metal thunder
McLuhan recognized in Joyce 'the prescient explorer', one who used patterns of linguistic energy to discern the patterns of culture, society and technology.

"The sounds we utter are structured in acoustic space by noise spaced in silence."

"The sounds we utter are structured in acoustic space by noise spaced in silence."
Explorations explored the grammars of such languages as print, the newspaper format and television. It argued that revolutions in the packaging and distribution of ideas and feelings modified not only human relations but also sensibilities. It further argued that we are largely ignorant of literacy's role in shaping Western man [and woman], and equally unaware of the role of electronic media in shaping modern values. Literacy's vested interests were so deep that literacy itself was never examined. And the current electronic revolution is already so pervasive that we have difficulty in stepping outside of it and scrutinizing it objectively. But it can be done, and a fruitful approach is to examine one medium through another..."

STEPHEN 'GUITAR' HERO

STEPHEN 'GUITAR' HERO
" The Wake is not, like a novel, to be read all at one go, but to be sampled and sipped and relished in bits. And used. "

RAINDANCE

RAINDANCE
" ( O my shining stars and body ! ) how hath fanespanned most high heaven the skysign of software advertisement ! "

RADICAL SOFTWARE = BERYL KOROT


SONY PORT-A-PAK = PORTABLE VIDEO
1967 : the first portable video recording device was the Sony CV-2400 Video Rover.
" The Portapak would seem to have been invented specifically for use by artists. Just when pure formalism had run its course; just when it became politically embarrassing to make objects, but ludicrous to make nothing; just when many artists were doing performance works but had nowhere to perform, or felt the need to keep a record of their performances; just when it began to seem silly to ask the same old Berkleean question, 'If you build a sculpture in the desert where no one can see it, does it exist?'; just when it became clear that TV communicates more information to more people than large walls do; just when we understood that in order to define space it is necessary to encompass time; just when many established ideas in other disciplines were being questioned and new models were proposed - just then the Portapak became available."

NO OBJECTION

NO OBJECTION
" The modern Red Ridinghood,
reared on iPod commercials,
has no objections to being eaten
by the wolf. "

this is not a bagpipe

this is not a bagpipe
"All electric forms whatsoever have a decentralizing effect, cutting across the older mechanical patterns like a bagpipe in a symphony."
Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media, 1964, p.167

"I'm not really here, I just stick around for my friends."

"I'm not really here, I just stick around for my friends."
"Consequently, the steady announcement of new telematic 'discoveries' - such as, molecular computer chips, cell-sized nano bio-engines for 'invisible travel' through the blood stream, new genetic hybrids from the labs of all the recombinant geneticists - attracts not a ripple of discontent nor a muted cry of ideological discord because these manifestations of 'technology outreach' into the body electronic are less a brave new horizon of telematic wilderness clear-cutting, than an already nostalgic sign of our (wired) past."
Arthur Kroker and Michael A. Weinstein, Data Trash, 1994, p.74

"A hand from the cloud emerges, holding a chart expanded."

"A hand from the cloud emerges, holding a chart expanded."
"I thought we achieved anarchy very completely long ago ... I didn't realize it was something that remained to be done.
And I think we're going further in every minute."

UN'FINN'ISHED + UNPUBLISHED : " Electricity ended sequence by making things instant "

UN'FINN'ISHED + UNPUBLISHED : " Electricity ended sequence by making things instant "
We're back in Acoustic Space: " electricity is not a thing that "flows" but is "the condition we observe when there are certain spatial relationships between things."

Aren't they going to turn that down ?


" The Go-go Dancer ... Virgin in deep frieze. The inner trip doesn’t need any connections with the outer world. The dancers become icons, things. There is no storyline. They live out of time in an eternal present. Growing up absurd in the Theatre of the Absurd ...
Sound, in the new world, of song and dance, is not for listening ...its for 'making' ..."

"gorilla" theater

"gorilla" theater
The Yippies' most famous actions was "an attack" on the New York Stock Exchange where they threw money to the floor which precipitated a huge brawl for the scattered dollar bills ... as well as their involvement at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, at which they nominated a pig for president.

Clip On Wolfe : a "take-off" or a "put-on" ?

Clip On Wolfe : a "take-off" or a "put-on" ?
" The topless waitress is the opening wedge of the trial balloon "

"In the future, everyone will have privacy for 15 minutes." - Bob Dobbs

"In the future, everyone will have privacy for 15 minutes." - Bob Dobbs
cf. "McLuhan and Recent Art History" by Frank Gillette 1998

Revolution for the hell of it !

Revolution for the hell of it !
In part, the Yippies borrowed this epistemological model from the aphoristic thinking of mass media guru Marshall McLuhan ... The Yippies knew and believed what McLuhan said about modern politics and television : "The party system has folded like the organizational chart. Politics and issues are uesless for election purposes since they are too specialized and hot. The shaping of a candidate's integral image has taken the place of discussing conflicting points of view."

Rudy de Harak

Rudy de Harak
How many 'communication theorists' does it take to screw in a light bulb ?
An infinite number and the process goes on forever.

507 Gertrude Avenue, Winnipeg

507 Gertrude Avenue, Winnipeg
Ph. 47835 : " Home, Home on the range ..."

Earl Grey (Junior High) School

Earl Grey (Junior High) School
Fort Rouge School District, 340 Cockburn Street (at Garwood Avenue), Winnipeg

Gladstone Elementary School

Gladstone Elementary School
Fort Rouge School District, Winnipeg (corner of Osborne, Corydon, and Pembina Highway)

" I AM I BECAUSE MY LITTLE DOG KNOWS ME "

" I AM I BECAUSE MY LITTLE DOG KNOWS ME "
file under " Wyndham Lewis as 'hidden ground' "...
Gertrude Stein to McLuhan :
"What are people like you doing here at Cambridge ? "

" Writing about music is like dancing about architecture ! "

" Writing about music is like dancing about architecture ! "
" The Aesthetics of Rock"
( Something Else Press 1970 ) :
"Tactility as Unknown Tongue"

" WORDS WON'T STAY PUT "

" WORDS WON'T STAY PUT "
I.A. RICHARDS : " PROTO-FLARF-IST ? "

PROVOCATIVE IDIOCY

PROVOCATIVE IDIOCY
1970s backlash : Hans Magnus Enzensberger dismissed McLuhan as a 'charlatan' who wrote nothing more than 'provocative idiocy' . Having absolutely no conception of the tradition Menippean Satire, Hans later died when an emergency 'sense of humour' transplant failed.

" ... WE DON'T GET EXCITED AT WHAT WE HAVE INVENTED, WE HUNT MACHINES ..."

" ... WE DON'T GET EXCITED AT WHAT WE HAVE INVENTED, WE HUNT MACHINES ..."
" Laughter is the sudden handshake of mystic violence and the anarchist."
Wyndham Lewis

Kelvin Rowing Club 1927

Kelvin Rowing Club 1927
" We don't know who discovered water, but it certainly wasn't a rower. "

1928 Kelvin Yearbook

1928 Kelvin Yearbook
" We grew up with him telling us he was a Prairie boy and a Winni-pigeon " said his daughter Elizabeth ... "He always said Winnipeg is where he was from."

NO DOME FOR HOME

NO DOME FOR HOME
Gerald O'Grady : " The American Pavilion was a celebration of Pop Art housed in a resplendent geodesic dome designed by R. Buckminister Fuller, a structure which McLuhan tried to purchase to house his Centre for Culture and Technology in Toronto. "

Unfortunately, funding was nowhere to be found. McLuhan was undaunted: "We shall concentrate upon achieving an intellectual identity rather than a physical one," he maintained. Thus, the Centre's physical incarnation remained McLuhan's small office in the English Department at St. Michael's College until Professor Arthur Porter, the acting director of the Centre while McLuhan was at Fordham U. in 1967 - 68, obtained the Coach House for McLuhan's Centre.

CYBERNETIC SERENDIPIDITY ?

CYBERNETIC SERENDIPIDITY ?
"A McLuhan Megillah" : Fluxus Happening 1966

" I KNOW IT LIKE THE PALM OF MY HAND "

" I KNOW IT LIKE THE PALM OF MY HAND "
"All takes are mistakes" - Stan Brahkage

UNPUBLISHED 1952

UNPUBLISHED 1952
"If we grant that human existence is the state of damnation, two possibilities follow. Either we can learn to retrace the stages of our fall into matter, and so escape, or we can devise some means of extinction of personality. The pagan art and culture of the world, past and present, is divided in the pursuit of these alternatives. On one hand art is followed as a continuous labyrinth in which by blind, dogged persistence we may struggle upward by means of will power and ethical struggle. On the other hand there is the intellectual course presented by Mr. Eliot, in which we move from one intensity to another, towards a final flash of awareness and extinction. In the one art - that linked with Plato's cave man - Time, continuity, dialectic, are of the essence. In the other, time is lost in simultaneities and juxtapositions."

Master of Implosion

Master of Implosion
" Less an idiot than intellectual jester in the humanist tradition of Erasmus's folly, Joyce's wit, and Rabelais's bawdiness, McLuhan played the clown in order to infiltrate specialist discourses and cross the wires of disciplines and satirise them in a mode he called 'anti-environmental'. While McLuhan may have lacked the sense of folly as a philosophical vocation, by playing the clown he was also playing at being an artist. He chose eclecticism over the effort to synthesize. He used probes, puns, blasts and counterblasts, and the mosaic method instead of interrative strategies. He was a media artist who created the new form that Donald Theall (1971) dubbed "the concrete essay" with its collide-oscopic principles of typographic play, surrealistic juxtaposition of images, and unfortunately, heavy doses of technological mystification."

UNPUBLISHED

UNPUBLISHED
" Today, the business of business is becoming the constant invention of new business "

UNPUBLISHED

UNPUBLISHED
"XEROX makes everybody a publisher" :
a study of the impact of xerography on literacy and publishing

THE FUTURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE ! ( and neither is the past or the present )

THE FUTURE AIN'T WHAT IT USED TO BE ! ( and neither is the past or the present )
" The 20th century is the century in which 'change' changed. "

SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY

SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY
empson paraphrase : " The only form of response that people in general ever make to anything is a numb, somnambulist response. They do whatever happens to come into their heads - like tulips."

RETRIEVAL, RESUSCITATION OR REANIMATION ?

RETRIEVAL, RESUSCITATION OR REANIMATION ?
cf. : "McLuhan and Holeopathic Quadrophrenia: The Mouse-that-Roared Syndrome" by Bob Dobbs

WORKING TITLE

WORKING TITLE
"The Mechanical Bride is really a new form of science fiction, with ads and comics cast as characters. Since my object is to show the community in action rather than *prove* anything, it can indeed be regarded as a new kind of novel." - LETTERS, p.217.

COINTEL PRO

COINTEL PRO
Black Op : Rhetorical skillz to pay the billz

DEAD LIST

DEAD LIST
January 9th, 2002 to July 3rd, 2008

just say "no way" to the spadina expressway

just say "no way" to the spadina expressway
12 minute film collaboration with director David MacKay 1970

early fusillade

early fusillade
"My approach to any question?
To refuse to have a fixed viewpoint."

RIGHT WINGER FOR THE ' WINNIPEG SCHOOL '

RIGHT WINGER FOR THE ' WINNIPEG SCHOOL '
Shooting from the lip :
" There's a face off in the corner ! " ...
" OMG ! Whose is it ? "

On Aphorism

On Aphorism
" Aphorisms representing a knowledge broken, do invite men to inquire farther; whereas Methods, carrying the show of a total, do secure men, as if they were at farthest."

boom !

BababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnukPerkodhuskurunbarggruauyagokgorlayorgromgremmitghundhurthrumathunaradidillifaititillibumullunukkununKlikkaklakkaklaskaklopatzklatschabattacreppycrottygraddaghsemmihsammihnouithappluddyappladdypkonpkotBladyughfoulmoecklenburgwhurawhorascortastrumpapornanennykocksapastippatappatupperstrippuckputtanachThingcrooklyexineverypasturesixdixlikencehimaroundhersthemaggerbykinkinkankanwithdownmindlookingatedLukkedoerendunandurraskewdylooshoofermoyportertooryzooysphalnabortansporthaokansakroidverjkapakkapukBothallchoractorschumminaroundgansumuminarumdrumstrumtruminahumptadumpwaultopoofoolooderamaunsturnupPappappapparrassannuaragheallachnatullaghmonganmacmacmacwhackfalltherdebblenonthedubblandaddydoodledHusstenhasstencaffincoffintussemtossemdamandamnacosaghcusaghhobixhatouxpeswchbechoscashlcarcarcaractUllhodturdenweirmudgaardgringnirurdrmolnirfenrirlukkilokkibaugimandodrrerinsurtkrinmgernrackinarockar

using your noodle !


Orion of the Orgiasts, Meereschal MacMuhun, the Ipse dadden, product of the extremes giving quotidients to our means...

McLuhan = " Applied Joyce "

McLuhan = " Applied Joyce "
" Listening to the simultaneous messages of Dublin, James Joyce released the greatest flood of oral linguistic music that was ever manipulated into art. «The prouts who will invent a writirig there ultimately is the poeta, still more learned, who discovered the raiding there originally. That's the point of eschatology our book of kills reaches for now in soandso many counterpoint words. What can't be coded can be decorded if an ear aye sieze what no eye ere grieved for. Now, the doctrine obtains, we have occasioning cause causing effects and affects occasionally recausing altereffects. Joyce is, in the «Wake,» making his own Altamira cave drawings of the entire history of the human mind, in terms of its basic gestures and postures during all the phases of human culture and technology. As his title indicates, he saw that the wake of human progress can disappear again into the night of sacral or auditory man. The Finn cycle of tribal institutions can return in the electric age, but if again, then let's make it a wake or awake or both, Joyce could see no advantage in our remaining locked up in each cultural cycle as in a trance or dream. He discovered the means of living simultaneously in all cultural modes while quite conscious."

Joyce = " Applied Aquinas "

Joyce = " Applied Aquinas "
Standard Aristotelian/Thomistic doctrine:
the USER of any medium is the CONTENT; in the same way human consciousness is an analogical mirror.

Prairie Post Modern | PARA MODERN ?

Prairie Post Modern | PARA MODERN ?
" Understanding always requires a multidimensional approach and should always include humour."

KELVIN : Cherry + Grey

KELVIN : Cherry + Grey
Home of the Clippers

CODEBOOK

CODEBOOK
" Media are make-happen rather than make-aware agents."

$1,600 Grant

$1,600 Grant
$1,600 Grant from IODE enabled Marshall to study at Cambridge.

global village idiot

global village idiot
The Situationist Guy Debord wrote of McLuhan that he was "the spectacle's first apologist, who had seemed to be the most convinced imbecile of the century."

PAGE 119

PAGE 119
" The electronic age ... angelizes man, disembodies him. Turns him into software."

PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST

PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST
" I am solving my own problems parabolically by tackling yours ..."
McLuhan letter to Wyndham Lewis

FUTURE MEMORY : The Keys to. Given !

FUTURE MEMORY : The Keys to. Given !
" It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards."

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