Blowup: We Are All Crew, Netherlands


“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” – Marshall McLuhan. Join us for a weekend of telepresent artworks, film, lectures and parties celebrating the centenary of the birth of communications and media guru, Marshall McLuhan. The Strategic Arts Initiative 2.0 exhibition is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Blowup: We Are All Crew

November 3-5, 2011   –   V2, Eendrachtsstraat 10, Rotterdam
Michelle Kasprzak    –   31 (0)10 206 7272

Strategic Arts Initiative 2.0 exhibition; Them F*ckin’ Robotsscreening; lectures; parties!

To acknowledge the 100th anniversary of Marshall McLuhan’s birth, this edition of Blowup will present the Strategic Art Initiative 2.0 exhibition of re-created early telematic artworks; the worldwide premiere of Them F*ckin’ Robots, a documentary on the work and influence of electronic art pioneer Norman White; a keynote lecture by Dutch thinker and author Arjen Mulder, examining the things we love and love to hate about McLuhan; and a closing party for the exhibition featuring a custom cocktail.

Thursday November 3

20:00 – 23:00: Opening of Strategic Arts Initiative (SAI) 2.0 exhibition, five telematic artworks connected live with Interaccess in Toronto, Canada. Featuring artworks by Doug BackLaura Kikauka and Carl HamfeltDavid RokebyGraham SmithNorman White Welcoming remarks and short talks by the artists at 20:30.

Friday November 4

20:00: World premiere screening of Them F*ckin’ Robots, a documentary on the life and work of electronic art legend and participant in the Strategic Arts Initiative 2.0 exhibition, Norman White. Directed by Ine Poppe and Sam Nemeth.
21:00 – 23:00: SAI 2.0 exhibition open and connected live to Interaccess, Toronto

Saturday November 5

20:00 – Marshall McLuhan’s most widely quoted statement “the medium is the message” is a pun on the information theory of cybernitician Claude E. Shannon of the 1940’s. Shannon was the first to come up with the classical scheme of communication, according to which a message is sent through a medium to a receiver, losing and gaining information in the process of transmission. McLuhan knew and was influenced by Shannon’s work, even though he didn’t understand the mathematics nor the military background of Shannon’s concepts. However, McLuhan gave a unique twist to cybernetics by translating Shannon’s information concept into the idea of hot and cool media, their impact and the quality of the information environment they generate. 

In this lecture, Arjen Mulder will dive into early cybernetics and show how McLuhan managed to draw out the venom of Shannon’s information concept. Using early cybernetics as a springboard, McLuhan conceived ideas that are still very useful in the information age – and that we all love and love to hate. 

21:00: Response to the lecture and commentary on the SAI 2.0 exhibition by Derrick de Kerckhove
21:30 – 00:00: SAI 2.0 exhibition open and connected live to Interaccess, Toronto. Closing party with custom cocktail begins at 22:00.

Admission € 5,- pass for events on all three days
Free entrance for students (college card)

The event opening and Arjen Mulder’s keynote will be streamed live at
After the event, the Blowup e-Book Reader for this event will be made available for download.

Blowup: We Are All Crew is a part of McLuhan in Europe 2011, a year-long celebration of Marshall McLuhan’s impact and legacy on European art and media culture during the centenary of his birth.

The Strategic Arts Initiative 2.0 exhibition is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.


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