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Continuing the theme of money as medium, the following is a review and précis of David Orrell’s 2015 Marshall McLuhan Lecture at transmediale in Berlin, presented by the Marshall McLuhan Salon of the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. Of course you can hear and view his whole lecture by scrolling down to the eighth posting below this one or clicking on . But if you haven’t the time, attention span and patience to sit though an hour long mediated lecture, reading this account might be an alternative.

David Orrell on Money and McLuhan

David Orrell, Ph.D. is a scientist and author of popular science books. He studied mathematics at the University of Alberta, and obtained his Ph.D. from Oxford University on the prediction of nonlinear systems.

Addendum: The whole Western world is in debt, having failed to understand the simple wisdom of Mr. Micawber in “David Copperfield”: Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery”. 

We can think of money as two things: 1. stored labor, and 2. a communication medium that conveys value; Marshall McLuhan devotes Chapter 14, the subtitle of which is “The Poor Man’s Credit Card”, to the medium of money in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (1964). The following paragraph discusses McLuhan’s ideas about money:-

McLuhan argues that the emergence of money as currency rather than the commodities used in trade allowed man to “…extend trading to the whole social complex.” (McLuhan, 1964, p. 132.)  Through this extension of money in trade, man was also able to exchange ideas, opinions, and theories while they were exchanging money for goods and services.  A social medium eventually evolved from the emergence of money as items began to attain a value to society.  “Money as a social medium or extension of an inner wish and motive creates social and spiritual values…” (McLuhan, 1964, p. 135).  Money/Value can be seen in items worn or used by individuals, they send a message to the rest of society; a Rolls Royce, a house in the Hamptons, Harry Winston jewelry are examples of money or what it can acquire.  If we follow McLuhan’s belief that the content of any medium is always another, the consideration of money as a medium would beget conspicuous consumption, platinum cards or the lack thereof as a medium as well.  These items show the appearance and effects of money (or poverty) and send a message to the rest to society. (Source: )

Here are some quotes from McLuhan’s Understanding Media that illustrate his views of money as a medium:-

“Money talks” because money is a metaphor, a transfer, and a bridge. Like words and language, money is a storehouse of communally achieved work, skill, and experience. Money, however, is also a specialist technology like writing; and as writing intensifies the visual aspect of speech and order, and as the clock visually separates time from space, so money separates work from the other social functions. Even today money is a language for translating the work of the farmer into the work of the barber, doctor, engineer, or plumber. As a vast social metaphor, bridge, or translator, money—like writing—speeds up exchange and tightens the bonds of interdependence in any community. It gives great spatial expansion and control to political organizations, just as writing does, or the calendar. – UM, Ch. 14

“Money, as a social means of extending and amplifying work and skill in an easily accessible and portable form, lost much of its magical power with the coming of representative money, or paper money.”– UM, Ch. 14

“Money, like language a store of work and experience, acts also as translator and transmitter.”

“The nature of people demands that most of them be engaged in the most frivolous possible activities—like making money.”

Money “speeds up social exchange and tightens the bonds of interdependence in any community” – UM, Ch. 14

“Even today, money is a language for translating the work of the farmer into the work of the barber, doctor, engineer, or plumber. As a vast social metaphor, bridge or translator, money – like writing – speeds up exchange and tightens the bonds of interdependence in any community… In a highly literate, fragmented society, ‘Time is money’ , and money is the store of other people’s time and effort.” – 1964, Toronto

Money is just the poor man's credit card.

The final TV episode of Mad Men, set in the revolutionary decade of the 1960s, will be broadcast on AMC this evening. Whether you liked and watched it or not, as I did, since its premiere on July 19, 2007, the series received huge critical praise for its acting, writing and historical accuracy, winning 15 Emmys and 4 Golden Globes. It was also the first basic cable series to win the Emmy for Outstanding Drama series in each of its first 4 seasons.

It has been of special interest to advertising people and the article below can help the rest of us understand the program better. One mistake the article’s author makes is his comment that “I’ve always found the lack of any mention of media writer and thinker McLuhan the most inexplicable”. It’s true that McLuhan isn’t mentioned by name during the series, but his most famous aphorism “the medium is the message” is mentioned, specifically by then office manager Joan Holloway in a comment to Peggy during Episode 6 of Season One. Viewers who don’t know where that phrase comes from should. See my March 24, 2012 posting on this blog about Marshall McLuhan and the Mad Men here: .

Further proof, as if any were needed, of Marshall McLuhan’s prescience. In 1964, he wrote:*

“The classified ads (and stock-market quotations) are the bedrock of the press. Should an alternative source of easy access to such diverse daily information be found, the press will fold.”

*Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (ARK edition, 1987) p.207

And, while we’re on the subject, here two more McLuhanisms on advertising:

“Ads are the cave art of the twentieth century.”

“Ads are not meant for conscious consumption. They are intended as subliminal pills for the subconscious in order to exercise an hypnotic spell, especially on sociologists.”

And finally, how about this? “I don’t necessarily agree with everything that I say.” ( )

Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century.  - Marshall McLuhan

MLN 2012 poster

The book’s cover art

Editor: Domenico Pietropaolo, Principal, St. Michael’s College

Co-editor: Robert K. Logan, Fellow, St. Michael’s College

Marshall McLuhan, who spent most of his career at St. Michael’s College, from 1946 to his untimely passing in 1980, revolutionized our thinking about media, communications and the impact of technology on the human mind. He was also a deeply religious man, totally committed to his faith. The essays in this collection explore the relationship between faith and media in McLuhan’s thinking. They are based on the presentations made at the two-day international conference held on September 21 and 22, 2012, at the University of St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, where the McLuhan legacy lives on through the Book and Media Studies program (see ).

For the Marshall McLuhan: Social Media Between Faith & Culture Conference (2012) see

The Book’s Table of Contents

Preface  –  Domenico Pietropaulo and Robert K. Logan

McLuhan: Social Media Between Faith & Culture Conference Programme

St. John Fisher College and Marshall McLuhan  –  Timothy Madigan

Spiritual Symmetries: Blake and McLuhan – Tim Buell

Semiotics of Simultaneity: Religious Reflections in McLuhan’s Mass (Age) – Pouneh Saeedi

The Trials of Susanna Told Through Tetrads – Ruthanne Wrobel

 ‘In the beginning was the Pun’. McLuhan, Derrida, Brisset: McLuhan’s Word-play as Faith-in-practice” – Peter W. Nesselroth

Loving The Lord With Your Whole Mind: Reflections on Theology, Church History, Neuroscience & Media Ecology – Michael Giobbe

Passion and Precision: The Faith of Marshall McLuhan – Derrick de Kerckhove

When New Technologies are Old: Re-Thinking about Electric Communi(on)cation in the Age of Social Media – Elena Lamberti

Marshall McLuhan’s Catholicism and catholicism Thomas Cooper

Comparing the Realism of  Etienne Gilson and Marshall McLuhan – Rev. A. Leo Reilly

McLuhan as Mystic: The Role of the Artist  – Dan Browne

A Return to Magic: The (Go) Spell of Technology in Marshall McLuhan’s Thought – Paolo Granata

Physics and McLuhan’s Theology of Information – Malcolm Dean

McLuhan as Pedagogy: Waking up Narcissus – Jenna Sunkenberg

The St. Michael’s College Course Religion, Media and Culture – John Pungente, SJ

Did McLuhan’s Deeply Held Roman Catholic Convictions Bias His Scholarship? – Robert K. Logan

The book can be purchased from and, and is distributed by the University of Toronto Press Distribution Centre. It can also be ordered directly from the publisher Legas Publishing .

© 2015 Legas Publishing, New York, Ottawa, Toronto  –  ISBN 978-1-897493-51-9

Number 61 in the Language, Media & Education Studies Series, Center for Communication & Information Sciences

 St. Basil’s Church, the college parish

Traces of McLuhan – A Media Sprint at the Marshall McLuhan Salon

This posting is a supplement to the previous posting just below this one, to try to better understand how this Hyrid Lecture Player technology works to create a new information mashup using materials extracted from an archive. The archive used in this case was the Marshall McLuhan Archive in the National Library & Archives of Canada (see ). To see the holdings of the McLuhan Archive, you can download a pdf Finding Aid from ……. Alex

Christina Kral & Simon Worthington

Marshall McLuhan Archive – Archive Sprint

The Hybrid Publishing Consortium (HPC) is an Open Source publishing infrastructure research group and proposes a session on ‘Publishing from Archives’ based on the Marshall McLuhan fonds in Library & Archives Canada, in Ottawa. The archive contains video, audio, manuscripts and experimental transmedia work of Marshall McLuhan himself. 
We use an Open Source tool chain of; Pando.ra (video archives), Tamboti – Heidelberg Research Architecture (collection management. Cluster Asia Europe, Heidelberg University) and (3D, GUI interface), Amara (video sub-titling. Participatory Culture Foundation) and Transpect (multi-format publishing. le-tex, Leipzig).

With this tool set we allow users to author a data enrichment layer on-top of the existing collection data, allowing the public to become archivists and share their knowledge and insights. We use the model of the Book Sprints, but instead use transmedia content (video, audio, text, annotation etc) to create a trace on the archive or a new publication.

This ‘Archive Sprint’ user layer on the archive creating a rich visual and auditory interface, secondly it leaves a new data source on the archive which is VRA, MODS meta description US Library of Congress compliant.

The objective is to allow users to move from a light experience of creating ‘playlists’, to authoring on the involved level of Wikipedia. At the same time ensuring the data structure created is machine readable and so re-usable for—visual styling, citation, annotation, distribution and metrics etc.

This project remixes a lecture given by Graham Larkin in 2011 in Berlin.

Christina Kral: As part of a transdisciplinary research team, Kral explores the future of publishing in relation to open educational technologies. In particular, Kral researches forms of communication and engagement, learning habits and routines and develops transitional platforms and encounters that push publishing beyond normal conventions. In her capacity as an artist, she explores practical utopias in form of experimental facilitation and publishing projects. She is co-creator of an educational reality game (YKON Game). She is co-founder of Betta Zine, an artistic research publication project that draws from first hand experiences with the goal to open multiple perspectives/entry points to seemingly contradictory combinations such as shopping & war, education & war. She has been awarded artist residencies & stipends at Eyebeam, Art and Technology Center in New York, the EdLab Digital Arts Residency at Columbia University, New York, the Interdisciplinary Residency in Art and Ecology in Guapamacátaro, Mexico and at SPACE in London, UK.
Simon Worthington: works on open source software infrastructures for independent publishing—realtime, transcluded, transmedia, scaleable and cloud-based. In 1994 he co-founded Mute magazine. In 2012 he founded the Hybrid Publishing Consortium as a technology research organisation to support publisher innovation and book liberation.


Traces of McLuhan – A Media Sprint at the Marshall McLuhan Salon

In late November, the Hybrid Publishing Consortium held a one day workshop at the Marshall McLuhan Salon in the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. This intense and positively stirring event brought together McLuhan scholars and software developers who all shared their views on working with and publishing from the archive. Together we mapped out these perspectives, potential needs and approaches.

The day concluded with a practical session hosted by Erich Decker and Matthias Helmut Guth from Cluster Asia Europe at the Heidelberg University. After showcasing their cross media annotation tools, they walked us through the technology, applying it to the specific case of the McLuhan archive and its video and textual content. Naturally this session could only raise awareness of what can be done and provide a feel for the workflow—it’s only just the beginning.

Hence, in early 2015 we plan, together with participants from the workshop, to complete two smaller projects that will focus on two particular works within the archive and employ the technology introduced during the media sprint. The aim will be to create small, tangible packages that can be used for educational purposes and the promotion of the archive and its content. More on that soon.

HybidPublishing Lab

Figure: Hybrid Lecture Player interface showing clipping of McLuhan in his office (left), Graham Larkin presentation video (right), presentation transcript full text (bottom left) and contextual link right of ‘Picnic in Space’ (bottom right).

Christina Kral  – April 25, 2015

 Presentation of the Hybrid Lecture Player by the Hybrid Publishing Consortium at the annual Libre Graphics Meeting. An exploration of the Marshall McLuhan collection held at the McLuhan Salon in the Canadian Embassy, Berlin.

The Hybrid Publishing Consortium is pleased to announce the Hybrid Lecture Player, a new research publishing case study by the Lüneburg (Germany) based lab. It will be presented as part of the Libre Graphics Meeting on April 30, 2015, 13.20pm at the University of Toronto, Canada.

The Hybrid Lecture Player is part of a broader investigation on Traces on the Archive. Traces refers to the users activity in the archive, highlighting the hidden parts of the archive, and the visitor’s journey through a collection. In addition to making multimedia content practically available through digital technologies, such as the Hybrid Lecture Player, the study also develops concepts that provide a variety of methods and examples of how to access and activate an archive.

This case study focuses on the long-running video documentation of an insightful lecture by the historian and curator Graham Larkin on McLuhan’s own experimental publishing and media practice, held at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, 2011. The player unpacks the lecture’s sections to transform it into a hybrid lecture environment that reveals the knowledge contained in the video in exciting ways, encouraging users to watch it further and engage with the McLuhan archive.

The Hybrid Lecture Player brings together in a browser the original video recording alongside subtitles in multiple languages, the original slide show (containing 366 slides), and a prose version of the transcription. All features are synched with each other which allows for multiple ways into the lecture: via a menu of sections, through the essay, at random or from beginning to end. The goal is to make the original lecture comprehensible and engaging again, in a way that the respective video cannot and to further enhance the material by adding external resources referred to in the lecture. The viewer has the option to download the essay as multi-format publication.

About the Hybrid Publishing Consortium

This Case Study is a project by the Hybrid Publishing Consortium (HPC), a research project with a mission to support the development of open source software for public infrastructures in publishing. HPC pursues a model of digital interoperability, frameworks as opposed to platforms, that combines ISO standards with experimental approaches to dynamic publishing, using existing Open Source expert projects.
HPC develops concepts for new forms of access to information, and specializes within their research in Museums, Libraries and Archives publishing. HPC is part of the Hybrid Publishing Lab at the Centre for Digital Cultures, Leuphana University, Lüneburg, Germany and is funded by the EU and the German federal State of Lower Saxony.

Featured Technologies
A-machine – modular publishing software ecosystem by Hybrid Publishing Consortium (Universal Subtitles) – Open Source subtitle editor – Open Source smooth playback video and browser graphics and annimations (ideal for desktop and mobile HTML5)
Transpect – multi-format publishing transformation software from

Simon Worthington Concept, Project Lead
Christina Kral Concept, Project Manager
Graham Larkin Lecturer, slides, network in Canada, exchange
Daniel Jackson Tool developer
Loraine Further Interface Design
Johannes Amorosa Sysadmin
Annika Gieselmann Transcription v1
Baruch Gottlieb Associate Editor
Stephen Kovats Instigator

THANK YOU Baruch Gottlieb for proposing this lecture to use for this case study.
Special THANKS TO Andrea Boegner and the McLuhan Salon at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin for providing space, thought and materials in order to see this case study come into existence. (Source: )

Embassy of Canada on Leipziger Platz

The Canadian Embassy on Leipziger Platz, Berlin

McLuminations 15:1   –   Quest for Identity in the Global Village

McLuminations 15.1

Featuring Professor Elfriede Fürsich (FU Berlin) & Professor Mark Wolfe (University of  Calgary)

The Marshall McLuhan Salon of the Embassy of Canada present a new edition of the discussion series McLuminations with Baruch Gottlieb and Steffi Winkler.

In the early 1960s McLuhan sensed the upcoming of a “global village“ as one of the big effects of the new electronic media. This idea of  a technological change fostering a social change he prefigured as a “retribalized society“ interacting within a “group consciousness“, participating in a “seamless web of interdependence“. Being essentially aware and concerned with the others was “a natural product of circuitry“ for McLuhan. So simultaneously with a common “spectator mentality“ the “feedback“ of one’s own appeal to the audience stimulates to establish an identity by merging with group or even corporate roles. Individualistic self-definition turns out as illusion in such a field of complete interrelations. Still, for McLuhan the global village makes more discontinuity, more diversity and maximum disagreement inevitable but also creative dialogue.

McLuminations, a special series of video discussion events

Initiated and directed by Baruch Gottlieb as a special series of events during the McLuhan Centennial Year 2011, McLuminations aims to elaborate in a form of lively discussions the electronic media experience. It employs archival video material of Marshall McLuhan in attempts to articulate the contours of what McLuhan calls the “in depth” participation of the inhabitants of an instantaneous electronic media environment.

Doors open: 16:30   –   The event is in English, admission is free. Please register below.Please present a valid photo-ID at the door and allow sufficient time for Embassy security. Address: Marshall McLuhan Salon, Embassy of Canada, Leipziger Platz 17, 10117 Berlin, U/S Potsdamer Platz (Source: )
Global Village quote #2

Aspen was a multimedia magazine published on an irregular schedule by Phyllis Johnson from 1965 to 1971. Described by its publisher as “the first three-dimensional magazine,” each issue came in a customized box or folder filled with materials in a variety of formats, including booklets, flexidisc phonograph recordings, posters, postcards and reels of super-8 movie film. Many of the leading figures in contemporary North American and British art and cultural criticism were editors, designers or contributors to Aspen. The magazine has remained of interest to students of the artistic ferment of the late 1960s; extensive documentation of Aspen’s contents is available online at (Source:

Aspen Magazine – The McLuhan Issue (#4)
New York City, USA: Roaring Fork Press, 1967
9.5 x 12.5 x .075″ – Hinged box containing 8 items.

The McLuhan Issue was designed by Quentin Fiore, who had then-recently collaborated with McLuhan on The Medium is the Massage, a book which Fiore had initiated and which went on to become McLuhan’s best seller. The issue came in a box illustrated with a diagram of an electrical circuit and text taken from their collaborative work. The contents included several posters, a flexi-disc record of electronic music, an article about a nature trail for the blind and John Cage’s Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse). The latter would also later be included in the SMS Portfolio (a publishing project not dissimilar to Aspen) and as a Great Bear Pamphlet, published by the Something Else Press. The advertisements (which include an early Something Else Press newsletter) were held in a magenta folder inscribed with McLuhan’s theory of effective advertising.
Of this publication McLuhan wrote:-
“Quentin Fiore tells me that Aspen Magazine is wild about putting me in one of their boxes.  I am the subject of their next issue, issue number 4, the McLuhan edition.  Corinne will be amused.  The graduate school – I am sure – will not.  This will give the Profs at Toronto University a fit.  I can hear them now.  Pure Commercialism! Undignified!  Not professorial!  

Well that’s their look out. For each issue Aspen’s editors assemble a mix of recordings, posters, essays and whatnot playing on a particular theme.  “Magazine” you know is a very interesting word.  It means a storehouse, a cache, typically for explosives.  This issue is undoubtedly going to result in fireworks.  The last one was on Warhol.  This one’s on me.    Haven’t seen it yet, but I will.  Perhaps next Sunday.” (1967) (Source: )

I published a link to the first part of four parts of David Orrell’s 2015 Marshall McLuhan Lecture at transmediale in Berlin in the third posting below this one. Here are the videos of all four parts of the lecture in one place. You can also read a biographical account of David Orrell’s career in the posting below……..Alex

Marshall McLuhan Lecture 2015: Money is the Message – Part One

Marshall McLuhan Lecture 2015: Money is the Message – Part Two

Marshall McLuhan Lecture 2015: Money is the Message – Part Three

Marshall McLuhan Lecture 2015: Money is the Message – Part Four 

David Orrell by Catalysta 2014 David Orrell

Picture of The Point of Being

From the Acknowledgements: The writing and editing of this book has passed through different phases. The idea started years ago with Derrick de Kerckhove, trying to understand the implications of a sensorial reset that McLuhan had predicted would be a consequence of electricity. By opposition to the point-of-view, which positions the subject in a visually dominant and detached experience, a tactile response would be a proprioceptive experience, privileging a sensation of the subject over its representation. The notion of the Point of Being, if embryonically, was introduced in the book Skin of Culture in 1998. The second strong impulse to the materialization of the book happened in the summer of 2007, when Derrick invited a group of researchers to work together on the first nucleus of the book in his house in Wicklow, Ontario, Canada.

From the Editors’ Introduction: The Point of Being is a book of essays that explore the psychophysiological  dimensions of the ways people experience their presence in the world and the world’s presence in them. While it is intended to interest every kind of culture, The Point of Being addresses conditions that apply principally to Western alphabetized societies. Indeed, the basic premise of the book is that the alphabet has emphasized a visual dominance among the senses people use to perceive the world as a whole, a trend that has repressed or toned down information from other senses. This literate 1 bias is well documented by Eric Havelock, Harold Innis, Marshall McLuhan, Leonard Schlain and others.
          Much research has focused on understanding how people experience their presence in the world. These publications generally analyse embodiment and new manners of exploring the sensorium beyond the inherited context. These contributions come from varied disciplines such as architecture, art, music, art history, cinema, psychology and proprioception studies, design, a variety of technology and engineering studies, philosophy, medicine, aesthetics, sociology, and anthropology, among others. 2 Although these contributions help construct the subject, they do not fully examine the impact of electricity or that of digital technology on sensibility. The concept of the Point of Being aims at offering different ways to understand this new situation. From the acknowledgement of this situation the book explores the research question: which are the psycho-physiological dimensions of the ways people experience their presence in the world and the world’s presence in them?
The objective of this collective work is not only academic. Because they deal principally with issues of perception and sentience, there is in all chapters an invitation to experience a shift of perception. An embodied sensation of the world and a re-sensorialization of the environment are described to complement the visually biased perspective with a renewed sense of our relationship to the spatial and material surrounds. What is attempted here is to induce the topological reunion of sensation and cognition, of sense and sensibility and of body, self and world
(Source: ).

Download a pdf extract of this book from: .

Nine authors explore different ways in which the paradigm of the Point of Being can bridge the interval, the discontinuity, between subjects and objects that began with the diffusion of the phonetic alphabet. The Point of Being is a signpost on that journey.

ISBN-13:978-1-4438-6038-3   *   ISBN-10:1-4438-6038-7   *   Date of Publication:01/08/2014   *   
Pages / Size:360 / A5   *   Price:£52.99 
Biographies of the Editors

Derrick de Kerckhove is Emeritus Professor of the Department of French, University of Toronto, and Professor of the Faculty of Sociology, University Federico II, Naples. He is former Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology (MPCT) and of the Research Programme in Digital Culture, at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (IN3/UOC), in Barcelona. Professor de Kerckhove received PhDs in French Language and Literature from the University of Toronto in 1975 and in Sociology of Art from the University of Tours in 1979. He worked as translator and co-author with Marshall McLuhan, and holds the Order of “Les Palmes Académiques”, is a Member of the Club of Rome and is Papamarkou Chair in Technology and Education at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

299889_10151113116942078_1313255742_aCristina Miranda de Almeida is Lecturer at the Department of Art and Technology, University of the Basque Country and a Visiting Scholar and external researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3/UOC), Barcelona. She holds a European PhD in Art (UPV/EHU, 2005). She spent post-doctoral research periods at the École Nationale Superieur des Beaux-Arts, Paris (2009), at the McLuhan Program of Culture and Technology, Toronto (2007) and at the CaiiA-Hub-Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth (2005–06), and was a pre-doctoral researcher at Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze (2005). She collaborates with the International Journal of McLuhan Studies, NoemaLab and Ausart. Her practice-based art research (video installations, photography, performances) focuses on the cultural construction of identity and has been internationally exhibited.


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