University of Winnipeg

In McLuhan’s Techno-Sensorium City: Coming to Our Senses in a Programmed Environment, Jaqueline McLeod Rogers argues that Marshall McLuhan was both an activist and a speculative urbanist who drew from cross-disciplinary and ahistorical sources to explore constitutive exchanges between humanity and technologies to alter human perception and imagine a sustainable future based on collective participation in a responsive urban environment. This environment—a techno-sensorium—would endeavor to design and program technology to be favorable to life and capable of engaging with multiple senses. McLeod Rogers examines McLuhan’s active engagement with the vibrant art and urban design culture of his day to further understand the ways in which the links he drew between media, technology, space, architecture, art, and cities continue to inform current urban and art criticism and practices. Scholars of media studies, urbanism, philosophy, architecture, and sociology will find this book particularly useful. (Source:

Lexington Books
Pages: 192 • Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-7936-0524-5 • Hardback • November 2020
978-1-7936-0525-2 • eBook • November 2020
Subjects: Social Science / Media StudiesSocial Science / Sociology / UrbanPhilosophy / Philosophy of TechnologyPhilosophy / Individual Philosophers

Special 30% Discount Offer!
To get discount, use code LEX30AUTH20 when ordering.*May not be combined with other offers and discounts, valid until 12/31/2020.

About Jaqueline-McLeod-Rogers, Professor & Chair, Department of Rhetoric, Writing & Communication, University of Winnipeg

Journalist Christian Esguerra named as 2020 McLuhan Fellow for Excellence in Journalism

The Embassy of Canada in the Philippines presented the annual Marshall McLuhan Fellowship for Excellence in Journalism to Christian Esguerra of ABS-CBN News, in recognition of his stellar work in the past year especially in providing explanatory reporting of the day’s most important issues.

Canada’s Ambassador to the Philippines Peter MacArthur named Mr. Esguerra as the new McLuhan Fellow during the virtual Jaime V. Ongpin Journalism Seminar organized by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).

In presenting the award, Ambassador MacArthur cited Mr. Esguerra’s professional qualities: “consistency in providing the public outstanding coverage of the most pressing stories of the day; knowledge of a wide range of issues, deftness in adapting to the changing platforms of the industry, and a desire to mold the next generation of media professionals.”
He also lauded Mr. Esguerra’s “passion for the craft (that) transcends news platforms, and whose proficient mastery to discover and explain the facts restricts the space for disinformation to thrive.”
Congratulations, Christian!

Established in 1997, the prestigious Marshall McLuhan Fellowship is awarded yearly by the Canadian Embassy in the Philippines to a recipient “embodying outstanding qualities in the field of investigative journalism.” 

The fellow will travel to universities across Canada and the Philippines to deliver lectures on a chosen topic in journalism.

Previous McLuhan fellows include Patricia Evangelista (2019), Jeff Canoy (2018), Manny Mogato (2017), Gigi Grande (2016), Joseph Morong (2015), Cheche Lazaro (2014), Eileen Mangubat (2013), Lynda Jumilla (2012), Carol Arguillas (2011), Ed Lingao (2010), Diosa Labiste (2009), Glenda Gloria (2008), Inday Varona (2007), Gerry Lirio (2006), Yvonne Chua (2000, 2005), Tess Bacalla (2004), Luz Rimban (2003), Miriam Grace Go (2002), Vinia Datinguinoo (2001), Ellen Tordesillas (1999) and Sheila Coronel (1998).

For more information, see

In anticipation of Bill Kuhns’ to-be-published huge compendium of McLuhan quotes in his McLuhan Marshalling Machine: A Dictionary of Quotations, where they will be categorized by the artifact or phenomenon they refer to, I have Bill’s permission to publish samples of original McLuhan quotes from his writings, lectures, and interviews, some of which will have never before been seen in a secondary publication context.
For your information, the publisher is not yet known but the manuscript is near completion and publication is expected to be sometime next year.

Marshall McLuhan on America


Americans have lost their sense of identity because of the speed of information. The American bureaucracy, political and educational, was set up for very slow speeds of the print word and for railways. At electric speeds, nothing in the USA makes sense. The most benign political democracy becomes a police state as soon as you improve the speed of communication. Everybody then becomes under surveillance, everybody is put into a data bank, and there is no freedom left.”
– “The New Majority,” Interview with Ed Fitzgerald, CBC-TV, 1970, transcript p. 6 (11:25 in the video).
“Basic modes of cognition on this continent not linguistic but technological”…
Letter to Ezra Pound, January 5, 1951, in Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 218.
“By the time of the power press in the early 19th century, the newspapers were  rapidly changing the character of politics by creating public opinion. In a new  country like America the new medium of the press created the first instance of a state founded on public opinion. English political forms, predating the press, still depend much less on public opinion, as do those of Canada.

Counterblast (1969), p. 125.
“The American image of itself, American goals, American directions, have been scrapped by electric speeds. I am not making value judgments. I am simply observing that if you accelerate any structure beyond a certain speed it collapses”.
– “The Global Theatre” (1971), p. 182.
“In the same way, the American south has a variety of traditional English dialects and an overriding rhythm that is corporate and oral.”
“Liturgy and Media: Do Americans Go to Church to be Alone?” (1973) in The Medium and the Light (1999), p. 122.
Now an American not only does not like acting or putting on a public, but he does not put on a corporate or standard voice when he speaks. He uses his private voice, and this, of course, enables the Americans to have no class consciousness and no class structure.”

– “TV News as a New Mythic Form” (1970), in Understanding Me, (2003), p. 168.
“As an example of the new relations prevailing in the English-speaking countries, a short time ago, Cyril Connolly suspended the operations of Horizon (England’s leading literary magazine) with the pronouncement that his magazine had ceased to have a function. All the best pieces he published, he said, were being sent from America. True or false, this was a revolutionary view. It amounted to saying that the cultural shadow which for centuries England cast over the arts on this side of the Atlantic has vanished. Instead, American arts are blanketing English intellectual life just as American movies have for two decades been providing English children with new speech habits. There is no longer any excuse for the immigrant humility in artistic matters which for so long pervaded American cultural life.

– “Defrosting Canadian Culture” (1952), American Mercury, Vol. 74, No. 339, p 94.
“Thus the English and American cultures in particular were overwhelmed by print, since in the 16th century they had only rudimentary defences to set up against the new printed word. The rest of Europe, richer in plastic and oral culture, was less blitzed by the printing press. And the Orient has so far had many kinds of resistance to offer”.

– “Culture Without Literacy”, Explorations #1, (1953).
“Since television America came of age, Americans got a lot of trouble, but since television they are not afraid of serious culture. Television trains everyone. It has deepened the American psyche. America is no longer that visually dominated culture. It used to be concerned with the outside appearance and the packaging. Now it does not care. The visual world is no longer dominant in America. You can tell that the moment you see the kids, dressed in their crazy way. They are not dressed for the eye.”
– Interview with J.P.M. van Santen in Toronto, October 25, 1972, Transcript, p. 2.
“America is 100% 18th century. The 18th century had chucked out the principle of metaphor and analogy—the basic fact that as A is to B so is C to D. AB:CD. It can see AB relations. But relations in four terms are still verboten. This amounts to deep occultation of nearly all human thought for the U.S.A.”
– Letter to Ezra Pound, December 21, 1948, in Letters of Marshall McLuhan, 1987, p. 224.
“A common observation of European visitors to America is that life here is more collectivized and stereotyped than communists have ever aimed to achieve. It was always the central theme of Marx that direct political action was unnecessary. The machine was the revolutionary solvent of bourgeois society. Allow the dynamic logic of the machine full play in any kind of society and it will, said Marx, become communist automatically. Certainly America is far more advanced on the road to a collective, centralized, consumer’s paradise than any other part of the world. May not some of the American panic about the communist threat be a dim recognition of this paradox?”
“Revolutionary Conservatism.” Unpublished typescript, 1952.

In anticipation of Bill Kuhns’ to-be-published huge compendium of McLuhan quotes in his McLuhan Marshalling Machine: A Dictionary of Quotations, where they will be categorized by the artifact or phenomenon they refer to, I have Bill’s permission to publish samples of original McLuhan quotes from his writings, lectures, and interviews, some of which will have never before been seen in a secondary publication context.
For your information, as I have been asked, the publisher is not yet known but the manuscript is near completion and publication is expected to be sometime next year.

The Panopticon

In 1785 utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham proposed architectural plans for the Panopticon, a prison Bentham described as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.” Its method was a circular grid of surveillance; the jailors housed in a central tower being provided a 360-degree view of the imprisoned. Prisoners would not be able to tell when a jailor was actually watching or not. The premise ran that under the possibility of total surveillance (you could be being observed at any moment of the waking day) the prisoners would self-regulate their behavior to conform to prison norms. The perverse genius of the Panopticon was that even the jailor existed within this grid of surveillance; he could be viewed at any time (without knowing) by a still higher authority within the central tower – so the circle was complete, the surveillance – and thus conformance to authority – total.

The social technologies we see in use today are fundamentally panoptical – the architecture of participation is inherently an architecture of surveillance. (Source:

I have been providing you with Marshall McLuhan quotes on issues that are relevant to our current precarious situation in which our health, well-being, government, environment and way of life are threatened. This post is about…


“If Big Brother is watching, it is because we insist that he do so”. 
– Brave New World of MM, Glamour, July, 1966, p 101.
“The more that the data banks record about each one of us, the less we exist.” 
– From Cliche to Archetype(1970), p 13
“Espionage is now the total human activity — whether you call it audience rating, consumer surveys and so on. All men are now engaged as hunters of espionage.”
– Table Talk of Marshall McLuhan (1971), p 45.
“What has happened since the old muckraking days of the1920s is that espionage, whether political or commercial, has become the largest business in the world, and we take it for granted that the modern newspaper depends on “buggin” the whole community. In fact, we expect the press to “bug” the world and to challenge and penetrate all privacy and identity, whether private or corporate”.
– “At the Moment of Sputnik—” (1974), typescript, p 6.
“What is the effect on a person who speaks into a phone that is bugged or tapped? Simply this, such a person speaks as if to a highly specialized audience. He ‘puts on’ his audience. He wears a corporate mask like any other speaker….. Private discourse ends. In the long run, the effect of bugging phones, like the effect of computer data banks, is to obliterate all private individuality”.
“McLuhan on Russia” 1971, p 192.
“The new human occupation of the electronic age has become surveillance, CIA-style. Espionage is now the total human activity – whether you call it audience rating, consumer surveys, and so on. All men are now engaged as hunters of espionage. So women are completely free to take over the dominant role in our society. Women’s liberation represents demand for absolute mobility, not just physical and political freedom to change roles, jobs, and attitudes, but total mobility.” 
– “Table Talk of Marshall McLuhan” (1971), p 45.
“The entire planet has become a whispering gallery, with a large portion of mankind engaged in making its living by keeping the rest of mankind under surveillance.”
– “At the Moment of Sputnik,” (1974), typescript, p 4.
“Electrical information devices for universal, tyrannical womb-to-tomb surveillance are causing a very serious dilemma between our claim to privacy and the community’s need to know.”
– The Medium Is the Massage (1967), p 12.
“Thus wire-tapping seems even more odious than the reading of other people’s letters.
– Understanding Media (1964), MIT Press Edition, p 269.
“Another strange effect of this electric environment is the total absence of secrecy. What President Nixon refers to as the confidentiality of his role and position is no longer feasible. No form of secrecy is possible at electric speed, whether in the patent world, in the fashion world or in the political world. The pattern becomes obvious before anybody says anything about it. At electric speed, everything becomes X-ray. Watergate is a nice parable or example of how secrecy was flipped into show business.”
“Living in an Acoustic World,” Lecture at the University of South Florida, 1970. “McLuhan Speaks” Transcript, p 9. [VIDEO]
Mike McManus: “The investigations now of the CIA, the FBI, and even our own, God forbid, RCMP, has this anything to do with the electronic age?”
Marshall McLuhan: Well, yes, because we now have the means to keep everyone under surveillance. No matter what part of the world they’re in, we can put them under surveillance. It has become one of the main occupations of mankind, just watching other people and keeping a record of their goings-on. This is the way most businesses are run. Every business has a huge espionage sector. This is called public relations and audience research, and this is around the clock. This has become the main business of mankind, just watching the other guy”.
– “Violence as a Quest for Identity” (1977), Interview on The Mike McManus Show (TVO), in Understanding Me (2003), pp 267-268 [VIDEO].

Surveillance Capitalism

P. Mansaram: The Medium is the Medium is the Medium

September 11, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Lee-Chin Family Gallery

Click here to view the Education Guide

Curated by Indu Vashist and Toleen Touq of the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC), this exhibition of Burlington’s senior media artist P. Mansaram’s work thinks through the artist’s decades-long practice of repetition. For P. Mansaram, repetition is art practice, repetition is meditation, repetition is spirituality, repetition is falling in love, and as he says, repetition is a way to finding god. Strategically using recurrence and reproduction through a variety of medium including drawing, painting, collage, text, sculpture, xerox, silkscreen printmaking, and film, P. Mansaram’s work invokes unending feelings of travel: through time, dimension and territory.

“The Medium is the Message” is a quote by Marshall McLuhan, a well-known professor and thinker who was interested in media (like film, television, and photography) and communication. He became famous in the 1960s when the world was being changed by new technologies. Marshall McLuhan’s ideas inspired P. Mansaram. They even became collaborators, working on a series of paintings together! When he said “The Medium is the Message,” Marshall McLuhan was suggesting that the way we choose to communicate (email, art, text messaging, TikTok, Twitter) shapes what we say and how we say it. Imagine telling your friend about your new puppy. How would a text message you send them about it be different than a painting you make of it to show them?

Find the print in the exhibition called “The Message Man”. On it, there is a drawing of Mansaram’s famous collaborator, Marshall McLuhan.

                                          Marshall McLuhan & Mansaram 1974 

The Medium is the Medium is the Medium circulating exhibition is co-organized by SAVAC and the Art Museum at the University of Toronto and with the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council. The AGB’s presentation has been generously supported by our reopening partner and exhibition sponsor, DJB Chartered Professional Accountants, and the Government of Canada.

Location: The Art Gallery of Burlington is located on Lakeshore Road in Burlington, Ontario adjacent to Spencer Smith Park and Lake Ontario.

Please visit us at: 1333 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, ON L7S 1A9      View a map…

Parking is available on the north side of the AGB and is accessible from Elgin Street.

We are here to help at (905) 632-7796

Hours of Service: At the AGB, we believe that art experiences should be accessible to everyone, so we are open 74 hours per week, 362 days per year, and admission is always free, although donations are always welcome.

AGB Hours: 

See my essay about Mansaram and Marshall McLuhan: Collaboration in Collage Art at

Burlington Art Gallery

By Eric Scheske

My first cell phone was the Motorola RAZR V3. That was in 2005.

I didn’t use it a lot at first, but it made me more accessible to my clients. I would often use it to return calls while walking, so I could exercise and earn money at the same time.

I did this the third day I had the phone, walking back to the office after lunch. I called the client at Point A and ended the call a half mile later, at Point B.

After I hung up, I felt like I was waking from a deep daydream. For a moment, I couldn’t even remember what route I had taken from Point A to B, though I had walked the route over a hundred times.

Since then, I’ve grown more used to walking and phoning, but I found that first experience a little unnerving.

How do you like to multitask?

I like multitasking if it’s the right kind. Reading a book while waiting for laundry to dry: smart multitasking. Reading a book while interviewing for a job: dumb multitasking. Ordering a Pabst while the head on your Guinness settles: fun multitasking.

What about multitasking with the cell phone?

Everyone has heard the debate about driving and cell phones. One study says that cell phone driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. The National Safety Council’s website declares there’s “No Safe Way to Use a Cell Phone and Drive,” then links to a white paper about the “cognitive distraction” of cell phone use and noting that “hands-free” doesn’t make much difference.

Yet hands-free cell phone use is still legal in all 50 states and most states even allow hand-held cell phone use while driving. Tons of people still use their phones while driving and claim it doesn’t affect them and oppose laws to make it illegal.

I don’t want to enter that debate here, but I will admit to missing an obvious left-hand turn once while using my cell phone. I also remember my dream-walking experience. Those two experiences combined make me think phoning and driving is about as safe as spitting on Chuck Norris.

But why? I can talk with a passenger and drive. I can listen to the radio and drive. I can even listen to the radio, drink a Big Gulp, and bop my head to the beat while I drive.

Why not chat on the phone?

Enter Marshall McLuhan

A household name in the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan has been largely forgotten today [Untrue!]. His central theory is that human modes of thinking are altered by media. Media are “extensions” of ourselves, things that add themselves on to what we already are, and when we use them, they change us in some way, often psychologically. The simplest example is the saying, “To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

His most famous saying is, “the medium is the message,” by which he means the important part of a medium is the medium itself. The important thing about books isn’t their content (their “message”). The important thing is their “bookness”: how does the act of reading from a book, or the fact that we have books instead of scrolls, affect how we think, live, and behave?

It’s too bad he’s been forgotten [only by this guy!]. I think he would’ve diagnosed the cell phone/driving issue quickly.

In his magnum opusUnderstanding Media (1964), McLuhan wrote: “The telephone demands complete participation.” He pointed out that some people could scarcely talk to their best friends on the phone without becoming angry, precisely because it’s such a demanding medium.

Basically, McLuhan said, the telephone is a jealous taskmaster:

Why should we feel compelled to answer a ringing public phone when we know the call cannot concern us? Why does a phone ringing on the stage create instant tension? Why is that tension so very much less for an unanswered phone in a movie scene? The answer to all of these questions is simply that the phone is a participant form that demands a partner, with all the intensity of electric polarity.”

As a further example, he mentioned a postal incident in 1949, in which a “psychotic veteran, Howard B. Unruh” went on a mad rampage in Camden, killed thirteen people, then barricaded himself in his house and exchanged gunfire with police. A reporter called Howard on the phone. He stopped firing and answered,

“This Howard?”
“Yes. . . .”
“Why are you killing people?”“I don’t know. I can’t answer that yet. I’ll have to talk to you later. I’m too busy now.”

The Headset: Revolt against the taskmaster

The telephone, McLuhan said, is a very cool (as in “cold”) medium.

“Hot” media and “cool” media were McLuhan’s buzz dichotomy. A hot medium is one that intensely extends one of our senses. The radio is a hot medium: ear only, and a lot of it. But it leaves the other senses free to do what they want.

The telephone, on the other hand, is an extremely cool medium. The ear doesn’t receive much information, forcing the user to participate, to fill in the gaps.

I think McLuhan was right. You ever wonder why you have to say “uh-huh” frequently during an otherwise-monopolized phone conversation? It’s because the medium demands your participation.
Read the rest of this essay here

Understanding Media Intensive is a 12-part look at media theorist Marshall McLuhan’s major 1964 work “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,” taught by Andrew McLuhan, Director of The McLuhan Institute. In an age where our media environment conditions and structures our reality in increasingly potent ways, Understanding Media provides important foundational knowledge on how our cultural traumas and tropes are embodied in technologies. This course will provide lecture and discussion on Part One of the book, which puts forth a set of tools for exploring human technologies and innovations as a means to regain agency in the midst of our increasingly disorienting online lives.

Lectures will include explorations and explanations of never-before-seen author annotations, historical documents, and personal accounts. Time will also be spent on the two introductions by Marshall McLuhan, and an introduction “Foreword is Forearmed,” written in 2002/2003 by Eric McLuhan but never published. A scrapbook of materials around the publication of the book in 1964 compiled by Marshall’s wife Corinne McLuhan, containing reviews and interviews, will add further context to how the book was received and provide insight into the material under discussion.

Classes will happen live every Saturday from 11-2pm PST / 2-5pm EST taking place online from October 3rd through December 19th.

Dates: Every Saturday, October 3 through December 19

Times: 11am – 2pm PST / 2pm – 5pm EST

Cost: Live Access – $600, Audit Access – $360

Experience Level: Beginner to Advanced. Effort will be made to accommodate all levels of familiarity and understanding with Marshall McLuhan’s work.

• Computer/device to watch or listen to lectures and participate in Q&A.
Participants are asked to use a physical copy of the 2003 Gingko Press “Critical Edition” of “Understanding Media,” as it includes both of Marshall McLuhan’s introductions, and for easy reference to page numbers, as well as to receive full benefit from deep immersion in printed text.

The Critical Edition of Understanding Media, edited by W. Terrence Gordon
Buy Understanding Media from our Store to Support Gray Area

Course Outline

1 – Preface to McLuhan
• Practical Criticism
• Metaphor, Aphorism, Empiricism
• Understanding Poetry > Understanding Media
• NAEB Report on Project in Understanding New Media
• ‘Foreword is Forarmed’ Eric McLuhan 2002/2003
• UMR (Understanding Media, Revised, 1970) > LoM (Laws of Media, 1988)
• Introduction of MM’s annotated works

2 – Introductions
• Introductions 1 and 2 to UM by Marshall McLuhan
• Overview of ‘Marshall McLuhan’s Theory of Communication: The Yegg’ from ‘Theories of Communication’ (Marshall and Eric McLuhan, 2011)

Examining “Understanding Media”
• Chapter 1: The Medium is the Message
• Chapter 2: Media Hot and Cold
• Chapter 3: Reversal of the Overheated Medium
• Chapter 4: The Gadget Lover: Narcissus Narcosis
• Chapter 5: Hybrid Energy: Les Liasons Dangereuses
• Chapter 6: Media as Translators
• Chapter 7: Challenge and Collapse: The Nemesis of Creativity

ANDREW MCLUHAN – Course Instructor

Andrew McLuhan is a grandson of Marshall McLuhan, noted Canadian professor from the University of Toronto who was a pioneer in the field of Media/Communications studies. Andrew’s father, Eric McLuhan, was Marshall’s eldest son, who worked with Marshall from the mid-1960s until Marshall died in 1980. From 1980 until his death in 2018, Eric McLuhan continued the work he began with his father, completing important works such as ‘Laws of Media: The New Science’ (1980) ‘Media and Formal Cause (2011) ‘Theories of Communication’ (2011) among other solo works. In 2009 Andrew began work documenting and inventorying Marshall McLuhan’s annotated library (now at the Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto, and named to UNESCO’s ‘Memory of the World Register’ of globally-significant cultural artifacts) which was his first major McLuhan project, and one he speaks on regularly – most recently at New York University ‘Exit Through the Bookshop McLuhan Monograffiti.’ (recording available on YouTube and part of a forthcoming publication.) For about a decade, Andrew acted as Eric McLuhan’s part-time assistant, student, and travel companion, accompanying him on speaking tours near and far, getting deeper and deeper into the unique McLuhan tradition of exploring culture and technology. Andrew is director of The McLuhan Institute, created in 2017 to continue the work begun by Marshall McLuhan and carried on by Eric McLuhan in exploring and understanding culture and technology.

Diversity Scholarship

To help creators of all backgrounds reach their goals, we are proud to offer a diversity scholarship to sustain and advance an inclusive community at Gray Area and beyond. This full scholarship is for artists, students, and scholars from diverse backgrounds that are underrepresented in higher education and the fields of art, design, and technology.

To apply, enroll in this Scholarship Application form Apply

In anticipation of Bill Kuhns’ to-be-published huge compendium of McLuhan quotes in his McLuhan Marshalling Machine: A Dictionary of Quotations, where they will be categorized by the artifact or phenomenon they refer to, I have Bill’s permission to publish samples of original McLuhan quotes from his writings, lectures, and interviews, some of which will have never before been seen in a secondary publication context.

“The political candidate who understands TV – whatever his party, goals or beliefs – can gain power unknown in history”. – Playboy Interview, 1969, in The Essential McLuhan (1995), p. 448 in original (1995) edition, p. 248 in the later Anansi edition.
“The day of  political  democracy as we know it today is finished. Let me stress again that individual freedom itself will not be submerged in the new tribal society, but it will certainly assume different and more complex dimensions.”
1969, March. Playboy Interview: Marshall McLuhan. Playboy. Pp. 53 – 74, 158.
“TV is revolutionizing every political system in the Western world. For one thing, it’s creating a totally new type of national leader, a man who is much more of a tribal chieftain than a politician. Castro is a good example of the new tribal chieftain who rules his country by a mass-participational TV dialog and feedback.”
-1969, Playboy Interview.
“If you have difficulty envisioning something as trivial as the imminent end of elections, you’ll be totally unprepared to cope with the prospect of the forthcoming demise of spoken language and its replacement by a global consciousness.”
Playboy Interview (1969), in The Essential McLuhan (1995), p 261.
“One obvious effect of writing and printing is to bind together long tracts of time by making past writers simultaneously available. Associated with this effect is the republicanism of letters. Anybody, no matter what his origin or condition, has access on equal terms to the written messages of “the mighty dead,” so that we can readily link, as most have done, the rise of democratic attitudes to the mechanization of writing.”
Technology & Political Change, International Journal, 1952, p. 190.
“You certainly could not run a democracy on TV news. In such an instant social situation you have no representatives, you have only participants. Automatically TV wipes out representation in government and puts the public in the position of the direct participatory activist. The student activists are merely a mild fore-taste of direct public participation in politics.”
“The Hardware-Software Mergers: How Successful Have They Been?” Speech at the conference, Reappraisal of the Educational Technology Industry, University of Chicago, November 16-18, 1969.
“Representation is disappearing very rapidly in favor of image-making. It is an 18th century gimmick based on very slow travel.”
“The Hardware-Software Mergers: How Successful Have They Been?”
“Representation is disappearing very rapidly in favor of image-making. It is an 18th century gimmick based on very slow travel.”
The Hardware-Software Mergers: How Successful Have They Been?”
“You can judge the likelihood of the survival of democracy by the survival of the printed page.” – “Technology Kills Democracy, McLuhan Warns Exchangers” in The Varsity (U of Toronto student newspaper), Vol LXXXII, no 26, November 19, 1962, p. 7.
“If we knew what we were doing, we wouldn’t do it.”
Technology Kills Democracy, McLuhan Tells Exchangers.” p. 1.
“In an imploded world there is little room for a democratic way of life”.
“Technology Kills Democracy, McLuhan Tells Exchangers.” The Varsity (U of Toronto student newspaper), vol LXXXII, No. 26, November 19, 1962, p. 7.
“If we want to keep our civilization, we have to freeze technology. After all, why shouldn’t the world pull back some of the technology it has pushed out. Irritation has created technology and at the same time created more problems than it solved”.
“Technology Kills Democracy, McLuhan Tells Exchangers.”
“If you go out and work for General Electric, you are destroying democracy”.
“Technology Kills Democracy, McLuhan Tells Exchangers.”
In an imploded world there is little room for a democratic way of life.”
“Technology Kills Democracy, McLuhan Tells Exchangers.”
“TV reaches out for the corporate attributes of office. Potentially, it can transform the Presidency into a monarchic dynasty”.
– Understanding Media,
1964, MIT, p. 336.

The Beatles on the set of Our World prior to the program, June 25, 1967 

Well, what is called for example a generation gap today, the TV generation of kids, have a completely different set of perceptions from their parents. Their parents grew up in a visual world like the world of movies, where they have cameras and pictures and points of view. The kids have grown up in an x-ray world. The TV camera does a perpetual job of x-ray on them and they take this for granted. X-ray means depth, x-ray means participation in depth in whatever they are doing, and calls for a totally new kind of commitment to everything they are doing. That is why when they encounter situations in which they are merely classified entities as in the school room, they don’t feel wanted, they don’t feel needed, they just drop out. Now, this strange, new all-at-once situation in which everybody experiences everything all at once creates this kind of x-ray mosaic of involvement and participation for which people are just not prepared. They have lived through centuries of detachment, of non-involvement, Suddenly they are involved. So it’s a big surprise, and for many people a kind of exhilaration. Wonderful!…
– Marshall McLuhan interviewed early in the “Our World” BBC satellite international television program, June 25, 1967


By Mohammad Salemy, The New Centre for Research & Practice

Abstract: The 1960s was the decade in which satellite technology was introduced to the television world via a series of live broadcasts. With the active participation of 46 stations, BBC’s Our World (1967) was undoubtedly the most globally far-reaching of them all. Conceived around Marshall McLuhan’s concept of the communicative global village, the special program took full advantage of satellites to reach a truly global audience and use the occasion to announce the dawn of globalization and what living in a small and thoroughly connected world would mean for its inhabitants. Prominent in the broadcast was the program’s Canadian segment, which aired right after the introduction and included an interview with Marshall McLuhan in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s studio in Toronto. This paper considers McLuhan’s contributions both to the ideas and practices of planetary communication as well as his direct involvement with the production of Our World. I demonstrate how McLuhan’s understanding of the co-constitution of time and space not only set live television broadcasts apart from other temporal media but that, through these spatiotemporal affinities, One World can be considered to belong to the prehistory of our contemporary telecomputational technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones.
Please follow this link to read the full essay, plus full text of the interview of Marshall McLuhan during the event

Note: The Beatles’ performance of “All You Need is Love” had to be left out of this version of the video for copyright reasons. Here are the Beatles rehearsing the song, along with scenes of the programming control room, plus a snippet of their final performance:

About the author of the essay – Mohammad Salemy is an independent Berlin-based artist, critic and curator from Canada. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and an MA in Critical Curatorial Studies from the University of British Columbia. He has shown his works in Ashkal Alwan’s Home Works 7 (Beirut, 2015), Witte de With (Rotterdam, 2015) and Robot Love (Eindhoven, 2018). His writings have been published in e-fluxFlash ArtThird RailBrooklyn RailOculaArts of the Working Class and Spike. Salemy’s curatorial experiment For Machine Use Only was included in the 11th edition of Gwangju Biennale (2016). Together with a changing cast, he forms the artist collective Alphabet Collection. Salemy is the Organizer at The New Centre for Research & Practice.

Explorations Cover Designed by Harold Kurchenska & Used Until April 1970
Explorations Cover June 1970 Redesign

By Gary Genosko

Douglas Coupland describes the journal as a “glorious stew of diamonds and rhinestones and Fabergé eggs and merde.” For Coupland, Explorations was McLuhan’s “calling card throughout the world.” It is against this background of heavy valorization that what I am calling the “unknown” post-life of Explorations takes shape. Its existence has passed without much scholarly commentary. Indeed, some passing mentions of its second-life are without any content, as in Terrence Gordon’s remark: “In 1964 Explorations was revived as a sixteen page insert in the University of Toronto Varsity Graduate magazine for alumni and survived in that format into the 1970s”. No longer a stand alone journal, the new  Explorations would
need assistance to move forward. In fact, McLuhan in his published letters refers a number of times to the return of the journal, but is careful in each case to qualify the event, emphasizing how “small” and “restricted” it is and that it constitutes a “portion” of a larger publication. 

Journalist Robert Fulford, who has been a keen observer of publishing in Toronto for many decades, did, however, devote several paragraphs to the “unknown” years of the journal. He observed that after a few years of quiet from 1959 to 1964, the journal reappeared as an insert in Varsity Graduate, the University of Toronto alumni publication edited by Kenneth S. Edey, Director of the Department of Information, the University’s News Bureau and PR Department. This incarnation ran until 1972 when a note appeared to the effect that, as Fulford describes:

In the issue of May, 1972, at the bottom of his last page, [McLuhan] published the following: “Editor’s Note: Mr. Ken Edey tells me that in all the years that the Explorations series has appeared in the Graduate there has never been a response, pro or con, nor a comment of any sort.” That was his farewell. Could anyone but McLuhan have compressed his thoughts and feelings into such a magnificently deadpan line? 

Not entirely unknown, but apparently unnoticed, Explorations under the editorship of McLuhan alone dissolved in the spring of 1972. It is worth noting that the last 2 issues, after the re-design of the Varsity Graduate (re-christened University of Toronto Graduate), resembled the larger, 8.5 x 11 inch format Issue 9 of 1959 in size and shape, losing the versatility of the Varsity’s smaller scale of 5.5 x 7.5 inches—a magazine within the magazine.
(Read the entirety of this essay at


The 23 Post-First-Nine Issues of Explorations Are Now Available Online

The original Explorations consisted of Issues #1 through #8 and were jointly edited by Edmund Carpenter, who did much of the work, and Marshall McLuhan and published between 1953 and 1957 at the University of Toronto.

Issue #9 titled Eskimo was edited by Edmund Carpenter and consisted of text by him and images by Robert Flaherty and Frederick Varley.

Issues #1 to #8 and #9 were stand-alone issues, but issues #10 to #19 were inserted in the University of Toronto’s Varsity Graduate magazine while #20 to #32 were inserts in the University of Toronto Graduate.

Explorations in Communication, an Anthology, edited by Edmund Carpenter and Marshall McLuhan is a collection of articles from the first eight issues of the journal Explorations that was published in 1960 in Boston by Beacon Press. The book is now out of print but used copies are often available at, and eBay.

The following 23 issues of Explorations (#10 through #32) are available online. For issues #10 through #19 clicking on the links for Varsity Graduate 11, 12 & 13 will take you to the entire Varsity Graduate magazine and so you must find the pages indicated for each issue where the Explorations insert starts. The page numbers in the Varsity Graduate magazine are given for each issue. Varsity Graduate 11 contains 4 issues of Explorations, Varsity Graduate 12, 3 issues and Varsity Graduate 13, 3 issues.

Contains: Summer 1964 (#10); Xmas 1964 (#11); Spring 1965 (#12); Summer 1965 (#13)

• Issue #10 of Explorations begins on p. 154/708 of this file which is p. 49 of the Summer 1964 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

• Issue #11 of Explorations begins on p. 181/264 of this file which is p. 49 of the Xmas 1964 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

• Issue #12 of Explorations begins on p. 49/264 of this file which is p. 49 of the Spring 1965 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

• Issue #13 of Explorations begins on p. 623/708 of this file which is p. 49 of the Summer 1965 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

Contains: Xmas 1965 (#14); Spring 1966 (#15); Summer 1966 (#16)

• Issue #14 of Explorations begins on p. 57/452 of this file which is p. 49 of the Xmas 1965 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

• Issue #15 of Explorations begins on p. 233/452 of this file which is p. 49 of the Spring 1966 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

• Issue #16 of Explorations begins on p. 49/176 of this file which is p. 49 of the Summer 1966 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

Contains: Xmas 1966 (#17); Spring 1967 (#18); Summer 1967 (#19)

• Issue #17 of Explorations begins on p. 45/480 of this file which is p. 37 of the Xmas1966 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

• Issue #18 of Explorations begins on p. 261/480 of this file which is p. 49 of the Spring 1967 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

• Issue #19 of Explorations begins on p. 65/136 of this file which is p. 65 of the Summer 1967 issue of the Varsity Graduate.

Contains: Xmas 67 (Issue #20)

Contains: Spring 68 (Issue #21)

Contains: Summer 68 (Issue #22)

Contains: November 68 (Issue #23)

Contains: Spring 1969 (Issue #24)

• Issue #24 of Explorations begins on p. 81/121 of this file which is p. 81 of the Spring 1969 issue of the University of Toronto Graduate.

Contains: Summer 69 (Issue #25)

Contains: Xmas 69/Winter 70 (Issue #26)

Contains: Spring 1970 (Issue #27)

• Issue #27 of Explorations begins on p. 65/97 of this file which is p. 65 of the Spring 1970 issue of the University of Toronto Graduate.

Contains: Summer 70 (Issue #28)

Contains: Winter 1970-71 (Issue #29)

• Issue #29 of Explorations begins on p. 89/137 of this file which is p. 89 of the Winter 1970-71 issue of the University of Toronto Graduate.

Contains: Spring 71 (Issue #30)

Contains: Jan 1972 (Issue #31)

• Issue #31 of Explorations begins on p. 45/73 of this file which is p. 45 of the January 1972 issue of the University of Toronto Graduate.

Contains: May 1972 (Issue #32)

• Issue #32 of Explorations begins on p. 41/65 of this file which is p. 41 of the May 1972 issue of the University of Toronto Graduate.

Note: This information was first published by New Explorations: Studies in Culture and Communication. Vol 1, No 1 (Spring 2020).

Explorations in Communication (1960), edited by Marshall McLuhan & Edmund Carpenter included articles from the first 8 issues of Explorations