Queenscliff Lighthouse (Queenscliff, Australia) by Lachlan Manley Photography. Sourced: Pinterest
During the year that has just reached its conclusion (2017) I had come to think that I would not need Marshall McLuhan in my priority reading. He seems to have become, in the world of media studies, old-fashioned. It feels that the sound of “technological determinism” is rather sickening for many critical thinkers in humanities because the image of technology is full of neoliberal spectacle and its ghosts of exploitation.
But in the last days I have picked up again his well-known Understanding Media. The Extensions of Man (the 1964 version). McLuhan’s texts are first of all texts of great confidence as he speaks from the positions of arts and cultural studies, but this confidence is not in vogue today. We rather think in terms of resistance, interventions, “hacking” and so on. As McLuhan admitted, his book was written in…
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