Conference: Mixed Messages: Marshall McLuhan & the Moving Image, University of Pennsylvania


Professor d’Agostino, FMA, to be featured in panel discussion at Penn Humanities Forum

Published: MARCH 28, 2012

Professor Peter d’AgostinoFMA, will participate in a panel discussion as part of “Mixed Messages: Marshall McLuhan and the Moving Image” at the Penn Humanities Forum.

The event is Saturday, March 31, at 2 p.m. at International House Philadelphia.

Marshall McLuhan is one of the most recognized cultural theorists of the 20th century. His books Understanding Media, The Guttenberg Galaxy and The Medium is the Massage are landmark texts that distilled the rapid changes in technology, communication and philosophy in the increasingly global society of post-war America. As television became a popular medium throughout the 1960s, McLuhan recognized its potential for social transformation and conjured a utopian ideal that incorporated art, communication and technology.

Inspired by McLuhan and the advent of portable video cameras such as the Sony Portapak, artists set out to experiment with the burgeoning medium and reconfigure the seemingly one-directional effect of television. Active participants of the newly emerging media ecosystem include Nam June Paik, Les Levine, Steina and Woody Vasulka and groups such as USCO, Global Village and Raindance Corporation.

“Mixed Messages” is a thorough examination of the relation between McLuhan’s ideas and the film and video art he inspired over the past 50 years. The program, which coincides with the centennial year of McLuhan’s birth, includes short films and a free half-day panel discussion with media artists Peter d’Agostino, Tom Sherman and Gerd Stern.

Related Film Series:


3701 Chestnut St., 267-765-9700, Cecilia (1983, Cuba, 127 min.): A light-skinned Afro-Cuban woman plays white to try and find love while Cuba’s race-based social structure starts to crumble in the background. Thu., March 29, 7 p.m., freeThis Is Marshall McLuhan: The Medium is the Massage(1967, U.S., 56 min.): Originally broadcast on NBC, Ernest Pintoff aims for a pictorial representation of media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s work (and yes, the title is right). Sat., March 31, 8 p.m., free.Videodrome (1983, U.S., 87 min.): James Woods stars as a TV station president who loses his grip on reality as he delves deeper into media manipulation and snuff TV. Sat., March 31, 10 p.m., $9Scribe Video Center Producers’ Forum: Director Camille Billops will be in attendance during the screenings of Suzanne Suzanne (1982, U.S., 30 min.) and Christa Christa (1991, U.S., 55 min.), two films about women confronting their troubled pasts. Wed., April 4, 7 p.m., $10.

 International House, Philadelphia

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