John Wain wrote thirteen novels, culminating in his massive Oxford Trilogy (1988 – 94), the third and last volume being published a few weeks after his death. He was also well known for his award-winning life of Samuel Johnson (1974). He also steadily wrote and published poetry, both short and long: his long poem Feng was based on the original Danish source for Hamlet’s stepfather Claudius in Shakespeare’s play. Based in Oxford from 1963 until his death, he served the University as Professor of Poetry from 1973 to 1978, nominated by Philip Larkin and Peter Levi. He was awarded the CBE for services to literature in 1984. John Wain was married three times and had four sons. (Source: http://johnwain.com/wordpress/ )
The performances described in the review below ended yesterday, Feb. 28. Marshall McLuhan had a deep and abiding interest in artists, who, following Ezra Pound, he considered to be the “antennae of the race”. So it’s not surprising that artists continue to have an ongoing interest in McLuhan’s ideas. “Poets and artists live on frontiers. They have no feedback, only feedforward. They have no identities. They are probes.” – Culture is Our Business (1970)
A Chutzpah Festival presentation. At the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre on Wednesday, February 25. Continues until February 28
The latest Chutzpah dance program is a study in contrasts: the intellectual next to the gut-instinct; the measured and the messy.
On one hand, you have fast-emerging Vancouver choreographer Vanessa Goodman staging a studied, carefully orchestrated ode to the theories of Marshall McLuhan and Glenn Gould. On the other, you have fearless Israeli renegade Idan Sharabi throwing it all against the wall in a virtuosically spastic exploration of home, politics, and identity, set to everything from his own interviews with people in Gaza bomb shelters to Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov’s Scheherezade and songs by Joni Mitchell. The impressions you left with were of cool, grey and white brain food and then Sharabi’s wild, balls-to-the wall dance innovations—enough stuff to feed the head and the heart over what was, admittedly, a long evening.
Goodman’s Wells Hill (named for the street of McLuhan’s family home) uses dance to comment, sometimes ironically, on the texts of Gould and McLuhan, who shared many prescient ideas about technology and art. (The Canadian icons also appear in fuzzy video.) The piece opens with a projection of the famous McLuhan quote “Art is anything you can get away with,” counterpointed by Goodman’s dancers going through classic dance motions to echoey studio-piano music.
Wearing white dress shirts and grey bottoms, like deconstructed suits from the McLuhan era, the six dancers are top-notch, including an expressive Lara Barclay and James Gnam. The most powerful moments are when they enact, metaphorically, the hold media has on us, punctuated by voice-overs like the one of McLuhan warning that TV is feeding an unprecedented amount of information at high speed into children’s brains. At one point a dancer manipulates Barclay like a doll, covering her eyes, moving her hands and legs, and doubling her over; soon others join in, moving her till all five of her stage partners have overtaken her body. It’s in scenes like this you can really sense Goodman’s ability to choreograph; she also excels at creating a look and atmosphere, here with James Proudfoot’s stark white spot and fluorescent lighting and Gabriel Saloman’s original-sound compositions. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/qhgbt7c )
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‘U OF T RADICALS ROUTED: Bissell lands a right hook’
An excerpt from the article below:-
“The moderate professors beamed their satisfaction – all except that all-purpose communications guru, Marshall McLuhan, who insisted on squatting cross-legged like a Buddha at Dr. Bissell’s feet. He made petulant faces at the photographers.
On one occasion he even crawled on his hands and knees over to the photographers, glared into the lens of one camera and scolded: “It’s cannibalism shoving a lens in my face – Scram, scram.”
Eventually McLuhan crawled behind speaker’s rostrum to make it tough on the photographers. When he left the meeting later, he bounded through the hall like the Sylph of Spring, or Bambi leaving the clearing. An odd, engaging fellow is Dr. McLuhan”. (The Telegram, Toronto, Thursday, October 2nd, 1969)
Read on your browser by increasing the magnification by at least 150% for easy reading.
The 1960s was the decade of protest over race, war, gender discrimination, but also higher education, which was forced to restructure to accommodate the needs of the post war generation of baby boomers. The later premier of Ontario Bob Rae, who was a student and activist at U of T during the ’60s wrote about the university president Claude Bissell and his role in changing the university:-
1968 to 1969, was in many ways very difficult for the president [Claude Bissell]. He had wanted to reform university governance because he was troubled by the gap between the academic and business sides of the university, and I think he was tired of being caught in the middle. His return to U of T from Harvard that fall was to have marked the beginning of a gentle campaign to make some fundamental changes. What he found was that the students and faculty wanted to control the process. (Read the rest at http://tinyurl.com/mcnvxak .
For context see also “Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll” at U of T in the ’60s by Charles Levi: http://tinyurl.com/k954t5e .
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John Barrington Wain (14 March 1925 – 24 May 1994)
This excerpt is taken from John Wain’s (1986) memoir, Dear Shadows: Portraits from Memory. London: John Murray, pp. 77 – 110.
Since this essay is about Marshall McLuhan, it is obvious what I am going to say next; that in these thick, shiny reviews I first became acquainted with his name. Quite so. And yet ‘Herbert Marshall McLuhan’, as he tended to sign himself, was not quite the ordinary New Critic. He wrote what I used to think of as ‘brain-teeming’ criticism. Where the traditional scholar rarely ventured outside his ‘field’, and the conventional New Critic applied what were becoming well-worn techniques to the text in front of him (the sacred phrase was ‘the words on the page’), McLuhan worked by sending up a shower of comparisons, analogies, wisecracks, sudden satiric jabs at people and attitudes he disliked, and equally sudden excursions into scholastic philosophy or modern advertising practice (both these last were subjects he had studied attentively), all in the service of illuminating, or preparing for illumination, whatever book or writer he was discussing. It was like riding on a roller-coaster; it also reminded me of Johnson’s description of the practice of the Metaphysical poets: ‘the most heterogeneous ideas are yoked by violence together.’ In McLuhan’s case the violence had nothing sullen or offensive about it; it was the natural outcrop of a geniality, an impatience with conventional categories, and a willingness to have a go and try anything for size. Most critics make an aperçu serve them as theme for a whole essay or even a whole book; McLuhan provided an aperçu in virtually every line, and if they were not all equally good, if indeed some of them were unconvincing to the point of absurdity, well, there was always the interest of seeing what the man would say next; and there was a large, gusty breeze of fresh air blowing through the whole enterprise.
I remember feeling more than once that if the title of any of McLuhan’s essays were to get lost, no one would be able to say, from reading the essay, what it had actually been about. In the 1950s he began to contribute to English periodicals; I believe the first British editor to use him was Cyril Connolly, who included an essay on ‘American Advertising’ in the number of Horizon, in 1950s, that dealt specifically with the American scene. You could at any rate tell what that one was about; but when Marshall moved to the Oxford periodical Essays in Criticism a little later, he contributed an essay on ‘Tennyson and Picturesque Poetry’ (I, iii, 1951) which gave me the impression, on reading it, of having to keep my seat-belt fastened. Here is a specimen paragraph:
It might be suggested that landscape offered several attractive advantages to the poets of the mid-eighteenth century. It meant for one thing an extension of the Baroque interest in Ia peinture de Ia pensee, which the study of Seneca had suggested to Montaigne and Bacon and Browne – an interest which reached a maximal development, so far as the technique of direct statement permitted, in Pascal, Racine, and Alexander Pope. Pope especially deserves study from this point of view since he first developed the couplet to do the complex work of the double plot of the Elizabethans. He discovered how to make a couplet achieve a symbolic vision. That is, to effect an instant of inclusive consciousness by the juxtaposition without copula of diverse and even paradoxical situations or states of mind:
The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, / And wretches hang that jurymen may dine.
The judges are hungry but not for justice; yet there is no suggestion that they would be better judges if they had dined. The stark confrontation of this human condition is enforced by the second line or ‘sub-plot’ which is parallel but inferior. The suggestion that meat must hang before it is edible, and that jurymen are merely promoting the proper business of society by seeing that it gets hung is analogous to the vision of society in Swift’s Modest Proposal and to Lear’s vision on the heath. The couplet in Pope’s hands escaped from the conditions imposed by univocal discourse which had developed in the Cartesian milieu.
Let no one imagine that I am quoting such a paragraph satirically, to show Marshall as a quaint or clownish figure. On the contrary, I admired it then and I admire it now. I like the sweep and audacity, the impression he gives of having so much to say about so many subjects that one thought can scarcely be brought in without three or four others which have a bearing on it, a bearing often hitherto unsuspected. The incidentals are as important as the main line, the disgressions as essential as the ratiocinative thread. (p. 79 – 82)
The entire essay from which the above is excerpted can be downloaded from http://www.johnwain.com/Mcluhan.pdf (which is a pdf, not a Web page).
About John Wain
John Wain (1925-1994) was a writer whose work included novels, poetry, plays, criticism and biography. He was originally associated with the Movement poets and also with the so-called ‘Angry Young Men’ of the early 1950s, when his first novel Hurry On Down was published. He was born in the Potteries and educated at Newcastle High School, Newcastle Under Lyme, and at St John’s College Oxford. After Oxford he taught English at Reading University. In 1955 he resigned his academic post and for the rest of his life earned his living as a professional writer.
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Audio of Peter Nesselroth’s Lecture: “McLuhan’s War, Here & Now”, St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
Book & Media Studies Program
McLuhan’s War, Here and Now
Peter W. Nesselroth
Peter W. Nesselroth presented the inaugural lecture in a new annual series of lectures dedicated to the theme of McLuhan and the technological imagination on January 29, 2015
Peter W. Nesselroth is Professor emeritus of French and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto. He is a former Director of the Centre for Comparative Literature. He has published numerous essays on 19th and 20th C. French poetry, on Dada and surrealism, and on Derrida and McLuhan.
Follow this link to listen to an audio recording of the lecture: http://tinyurl.com/kztp2k4 .
Thanks to Michael Edmunds for recording the lecture and sharing it.
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Sheila Watson, née Doherty, novelist, critic, teacher (b at New Westminster, BC 24 Oct 1909; d at Nanaimo 1 Feb 1998). Publication of Watson’s novel The Double Hook (1959) marks the start of contemporary writing in Canada.
Sheila Watson, née Doherty, novelist, critic, teacher (b at New Westminster, BC 24 Oct 1909; d at Nanaimo 1 Feb 1998). Publication of Watson’s novel The Double Hook (1959) marks the start of contemporary writing in Canada. She attended UBC and later completed a PhD at U of Toronto under Marshall McLuhan. A distinguished scholar of the early modernist period in Britain, specializing in the works of Wyndham Lewis, Watson taught school in the BC interior and later taught at U of Alberta. She was awarded the Lorne Pierce medal by the Royal Society of Canada in 1984.
Her Four Stories appeared in 1979, and one other story, And the Four Animals, in 1980; these two works were later amalgamated as Five Stories (1984). Her critical articles were collected in a special issue ofOpen Letter (1974). She was the founding editor of the periodicalWhite Pelican (1971-75), and a volume of essays in her honour, Figures in a Ground, appeared in 1978. The Collected Works of Miriam Mandel (ed by Watson) was published in 1984. In 1992, a much earlier novel, Deep Hollow Creek, written in the early 1930s, was finally published.
Watson made possible-through her intellectual daring, the sophistication she assumed in her readers and her sceptical care for the nature of language itself-the development of contemporary writing in Canada. The Double Hook presents in concise, symbolic terms a drama of social disintegration and redemption, set in an isolated BC community. Watson has said of the novel that it is “about how people are driven, how if they have no art, how if they have no tradition, how if they have no ritual, they are driven in one of 2 ways, either towards violence or towards insensibility – if they have no mediating rituals which manifest themselves in what I suppose we call art forms.” These themes are presented in a style which itself balances on a “double hook”: it is simultaneously local and universal, realistic and symbolic.
Writers such as Robert Kroetsch have seen in the image of the double hook a balancing of opposites that is a fundamental characteristic of Canadian culture. Deep Hollow Creek treats many of the same themes in a manner which is more direct and conventional, but no less elliptical and challenging. It is fascinating to imagine the ways in which Canadian fiction might have been transformed if this startling and brilliant novel had been published at the time of its first composition. She was married to Wilfred Watson, with whom she retired to Vancouver in 1980. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/p8tj3gz )
Wilfred Watson, poet, playwright, professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Alberta (b at Rochester, Eng 1 May 1911; d at Nanaimo 25 Mar 1998).
Wilfred Watson, poet, playwright, professor emeritus of English literature at the University of Alberta (b at Rochester, Eng 1 May 1911; d at Nanaimo 25 Mar 1998). A highly innovative writer, Watson influenced 1960s theatre in Canada; his number-grid verse is significant to prosody and to poetry performance. His first book, Friday’s Child (1955), won the British Council and the Governor General’s awards for poetry. Its mythological, literary and religious imagery and intense energy persist in his later work.
In the 1960s, Watson turned to drama, producing 10 plays, mostly in verse (including Cockrow and the Gulls, produced 1962; O Holy Ghost DIP YOUR FINGER IN THE BLOOD OF CANADA and write, I LOVE YOU, 1967; Let’s murder Clytemnestra, according to the principles of Marshall McLuhan, 1969), the immediate influence of which was considerable. A close reader of Marshall MCLUHAN (they coauthored From Cliché to Archetype, 1970), Watson believed the world of multimedia produces multiconsciousnesses, demanding a theatre of “radical absurdity” in which realistic settings and action are replaced by “multi-environments.” Much of his work is political allegory.
In the 1970s he returned to poetry: The Sorrowful Canadians (1972) counterpoints type fonts, refrains and “voices.” With I Begin with Counting (1978) and Mass on Cowback (1982), he developed number-grid verse using a vertical grid of 9 numbers with 17 slots for words, syllables or phrases. By stacking the grids, Watson writes a “score” for the performance of multivoice poems which exist not on the page but in transformations from visual to auditory forms. His 1983 work, Gramsci x 3 (produced 1986), though partly “docudrama,” is characterized by absurdity, continual experimentation with verse forms, satire alternating with lyricism, and an energy and exaltation that transcends the horrors it depicts.
Watson’s Collected Poems (1986) and Plays at the Iron Bridge (1989) bring together his most important work. Five of his short stories, all of them allegories, are collected in The Baie Comeau Angel and Other Stories (1993). His papers are deposited in the University of Alberta Archives. Watson was married to the influential novelist Sheila WATSON. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/nqt5l86 )
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2014 Marshall McLuhan Fellow Speaks About the Influence of Social Media on Coming Elections in Her Country
Responsible media. Cheche Lazaro speaks during a forum on responsible media at the USJ-R main campus auditorium. (Sunstar foto/Arni Aclao)
SOCIAL media and citizen journalism will play a crucial role in the 2016 elections, a veteran journalist said yesterday.
Award-winning journalist Cheche Lazaro, however, said that while there are laws that govern the proper use of social media, there is still a need to self-regulate citizen journalists from posting content that would cause controversy.
Speaking before the journalism and mass communication students at the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) yesterday, Lazaro said that the 2016 polls will serve as an “acid test” for social media on whether it could actually achieve change in the country.
Lazaro, who was awarded with the prestigious Marshall McLuhan Fellowship from the Canadian Embassy last year, spoke of how the social media has changed the traditional forms of media.
“Social media has rewired our brains to the point of addiction,” said Lazaro.
She said that with the popularity of the social media, it also gave rise to citizen journalists and “pseudo-journalists” who post information without knowing the consequences of what they are publishing online.
But with more citizen journalists using the social media, traditional media must serve its role in vetting out the information being published by the former, said Lazaro.
She said that while the constitutional freedom of speech remains, there are laws, such as the Anti-Cybercrime Law, that shields persons from being victimized by pseudo-journalists that use social media as an outlet to commit crimes, such as cyber-bullying.
Lazaro said that with the social media effectively changing the traditional forms, such as print and television, the journalists are also changing because of it.
Citizen journalists became the products of the social media’s integration with traditional media, Lazaro added.
Aside from being the 2014 Marshall McLuhan fellow, Lazaro received numerous accolades for her investigative journalism programs on television. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/kpgylv4 )
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Paul Levinson’s Keynote Address at Baylor University Libraries’ 2014 Symposium, 50 Years After McLuhan
I gave the Keynote Address: “The Medium of the Book, 50 Years after Understanding Media,” at Baylor Libraries 2014 Symposium, 50 Years after McLuhan, Baylor University, Waco, TX, September 25, 2014.
Abstract: A half century after the publication of McLuhan’s Understanding Media seems like a good time to examine the recent evolution of the book itself as a medium. In Understanding Media, McLuhan quotes the French poet Alphonse de Lamartine’s circa 1830 observation that “the book arrives too late”. Today, in a revolution as important as the introduction of Gutenberg’s press, books can arrive instantly anywhere in the world, via Kindles and other ebooks. But the most significant part of this development may pertain not to readers but authors, who can now can publish books without a publisher and within an hour or less after the book has been written. The advantages and disadvantages of this bypassing of the traditional gatekeeper for authors and the world at large will be explored — they are mostly advantages — as well as the decline of gatekeeping in other media. Current conflicts, such as the dispute between Amazon and the traditional publisher Hachette will be examined. Connections between the evolution of the book and other facets of writing on the Web will be traced, including the capacity of readers to communicate directly and easily with authors, in modes akin to the “intelligent writing” that Socrates yearned for in the Phaedrus.
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Marshall McLuhan With Wilfred Watson at Tony Schwartz’s Studio in 1968
In his 1970 book, From Cliché to Archetype (Viking, NY ISBN 0-670-33093-0), Marshall McLuhan, collaborating with Canadian poet Wilfred Watson, approached the various implications of the verbal cliché and of the archetype. One major facet in McLuhan’s overall framework introduced in this book that is seldom noticed is the provision of a new term that actually succeeds the global village; the global theater.
Follow this link to hear McLuhan and Wilfred Watson: https://huffduffer.com/flash/player.swf?soundFile=http://halkinnaman.com/ed/audio_rr/bob_mcluhan_wilfred_watson.mp3
From Cliché to Archetype (1970)
McLuhan, M. and Wilfred Watson (1970). From Cliché to Archetype. New York: Viking.
On this module, we do not look at McLuhan’s collaboration with Wilfred Watson, From Cliché and Archetype, but this short introduction is provided for those who are interested. This elegantly designed book is presented as a patchwork of short reflections, arranged in alphabetical order (even the Introduction and Table of Contents are combined with the other entries). The key terms “cliché” and “archetype” are two of McLuhan’s most difficult ideas, but the main theme of the discussion is our formulaic, habitual ways of engaging with the world, and how these have changed, particularly in the modern period.
The term “cliché” is a French word which derived originally from printing, and refers to the blocks that are used to make prints. Similarly, the word “archetype”, which comes from Greek, first referred to an original pattern or model from which copies are made. A cliché has come to mean an overused expression which, though it was once fresh and conveyed something novel, has been repeated so many times that it is now a trite stereotype, such as “you are what you eat” or “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. An archetype, in psychology and literary criticism, has come to mean a mythical, universal figure or idea that repeats itself throughout history and across cultures, such as the questing hero or the ill-fated lovers.
In From Cliché to Archetype, McLuhan extends these two terms beyond their usual verbal or literary meanings. For instance, he argues that our very perceptions are clichés, since they are patterned by the many hidden, surrounding structures of culture. We tend to see or hear what we expect to see or hear. So, at its simplest level, a cliché is a perceptual probe, which promises new information but merely reiterates old, stereotyped ways of understanding.
In addition, McLuhan links clichés to technologies. According to McLuhan, technologies extend our senses and abilities, allowing us to see further or move faster, for instance. But, as we quickly come to rely on these technologies, they create pervasive, persistent environments that actually numb our attention. Thus, we can also use “cliché” to describe technological extensions, which enlarge our sensory life but actually reduce our powers of attention and insight.
Finally, clichés can sometimes awake us from this dazed state, and provide a breakthrough into a new kind of experience. The continually repeated cliché can draw attention to itself, prompting a sting of perception or shock of recognition. In this sense, a “cliché” can be a breakthrough that actually enhances our understanding. Thus, McLuhan uses the term “cliché” to describe our perceptual probes into the surrounding culture, which are mostly numbed by the technologies that pervade this environment, but which occasionally provide us with insights into this very ubiquity.
Similarly, McLuhan broadens the meaning of the term “archetype.” McLuhan argues that every technology initially extends some human faculty, creating a new cultural environment and mode or awareness (cliché). This technology and mode of awareness are then pushed aside or scrapped by a new technology, only to be retrieved later on by yet another technology. It is this process of retrieval that turns a cliché into an archetype. Thus, for McLuhan, archetypes are not universal or primordial figures or ideas which mystically appear from time to time, but are accumulated collections of particular, historically specific clichés. The title of the book, From Cliché to Archetype, refers to the process whereby a cliché becomes, through retrieval, an archetype.
So, why are the sections of the book arranged in alphabetical order, and why does the Table of Contents appear under T rather than at the beginning of the book? In fact, the form of the book illustrates the content, i.e. the key ideas of cliché and archetype. We can think of the alphabet as a cliché, a technology that has become so pervasive that we fail to notice the way that it shapes our thinking. A Table of Contents, meanwhile, is a kind of archetype, which retrieves other parts of a book. In From Cliché to Archetype, McLuhan and Watson upset our expectations by mischievously missing out some letters from their alphabetical list and repeating others, and also by placing the Table of Contents under T and the Introduction under I (even the Notes on Sources were supposed to appear under N, but the publisher put them at the end). In this way, the authors draw our attention to the regimented, disciplining effect of alphabetization by means of the cliché itself (cliché as breakthrough). Indeed, since the material is ordered alphabetically, the Table of Contents is in fact largely useless, except, as Terrence Gordon has pointed out, as a reminder that archetypes can themselves become clichés…
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Transmediale Marshall McLuhan Lecture 2015 with David Orrell: Money is the Message
Tuesday, January 27 2015, 18:30-20:00
Embassy of Canada
Leipziger Platz 17, 10117 Berlin
Moderated by Georgios Papadopoulos
Canadian mathematician and publicist David Orrell will deliver this year’s Marshall McLuhan Lecture entitled Money is the Message. In works like Apollo’s Arrow (2007) he deals with the boundaries of mathematic patterns which are supposed to ensure the predictability of events of all kinds.
His most recent publication Truth or Beauty: Science and the Quest for Order focuses on the strained relationship between science and aesthetics.
In his talk, Orrell will pick up on McLuhan’s idea that money is a medium for social interaction. The lecture looks at the origins of money; explores its often-paradoxical properties; asks how money went missing from mainstream economics; shows why modern fiat currencies are transmedia; peers into the future of currencies; and – in the spirit of McLuhan – draws on everything from ancient philosophy, to modern scientific theories to decode money’s mysterious but enchanting message.
transmediale Marshall McLuhan Lecture is a collaboration between transmediale and the Embassy of Canada in Berlin.
The talk will be held in English. Please present a valid photo ID at the door and allow sufficient time for Embassy security. (Doors open at 18:00). Please register online (deadline: January 27, noon)
Transmediale Marshall McLuhan Salon Exhibition 2015:
Abrupt Diplomat by Lorna Mills
Opening: Tuesday, 27 January 2015, 20:00-21:30
Exhibition: January 28 – February 1 2015, Mon-Fri 12:00-
18:00, Sat-Sun 14:00-18:00
Marshall McLuhan Salon at the Embassy of Canada
Ebertstraße 14, 10117 Berlin
The work of Lorna Mills forms patterns that defy progress and instead suspend the viewer in an endless retreat from the familiar. In the solo exhibition, Abrupt Diplomat, on display at the Marshall McLuhan Salon, we are treated to a largely new edition of Lorna Mills ongoing GIF animations. In her short and numerous GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) works, the characters are constantly misbehaving. The rhythms and patterns she establishes digitally are unmistakably natural, random and so far removed from their regular discourse that the agency rests in the framing of the piece via time and proximity.
Please present a valid photo ID at the door and allow sufficient time for Embassy security.
Transmediale Marshall McLuhan Screening 2015:
Ways Of Something
Saturday, 31 January 2015, 16:00-17:30
Embassy of Canada
Leipziger Platz 17, 10117 Berlin
Curated by Lorna Mills
On 31 January 2015 transmediale and Marshall McLuhan Salon will also present the German premiere of Ways of Something, an anthology film featuring 58 net artists curated by Lorna Mills as a remake of John Berger’s classic BBC documentary, Ways of Seeing (1972). The project combines 3D rendering, gifs, film remix, webcam performances, and websites to describe the cacophonous conditions of artmaking after the internet.
Please present a valid photo-ID at the door and allow sufficient time for Embassy security (Doors open 30 minutes before screening). (Source http://tinyurl.com/mo7cxz3 )
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This home at 11342 – 64th Street was once the home of famous Canadian media visionary Marshall McLuhan. Photo by Alex Kuskis.
Decades after his death, media visionary Marshall McLuhan’s spirit still looms over Edmonton.
Not only is his childhood home in Highlands — where he spent the first four years of his life — being converted into artspace, local professors, writers and artists continue to take inspiration from the philosopher.
Ambient musician Mark Templeton and filmmaker Kyle Armstrong are the latest to pay tribute to McLuhan, who died in 1980. Their collaboration, Extensions, is a haunting abstract of original and sampled sound and video. Shuddering rhythms, chopped vocals and snippets of spoken-word dialogue intermingle with shots of wires, blurry figures, clouds, rocket ships and some of McLuhan’s quotes, including: “To say that ‘the camera cannot lie’ is merely to underline the multiple deceits that are now practised in its name.”
Some of Armstrong’s multiple deceits include shots of what could be seen as either a field or a lake, wafts of smoke or underwater shadows, an upside mountain or the underside of a whale. Such duplicity also extends to the ambient soundtrack, partly composed of manipulated audio from stock film footage. “Kyle would send me sound files from films and I’d use them as sources,” says Templeton. “He wouldn’t tell me where the footage came from, but I didn’t really want to necessarily know in case it subconsciously affected how I approached it.”
The pair first performed their work at one of the Art Gallery of Alberta’s Refinery parties in 2014. As of Jan. 28, Extensions will be available on DVD (and LP), the first release on Templeton’s new label, Graphical Recordings, or graphicalrecordings.com. (Source: http://tinyurl.com/pr6oc7y )
In an attempt to dissuade us from ever posting on Twitter again, conceptual electronica bandits Mark Templeton and Kyle Armstrong combine forces on Extensions, an audio representation of Canadian media commentator Marshall McLuhan’s predicted ‘digital collective consciousness’. If such a thing as cerebral noise exists, this record has kicked the scene off to a great start in 2015. ( http://tinyurl.com/lghxxb5 )
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