The Importance of McLuhan’s “Medium” – Two Translations

Art and sight

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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Announcing the next event of Telematic Cafe!

Hello all! A new event of Telematic Café is here. This edition is inspired by the VACANTGeelong project: an art and discursive initiative addressing de-industrialization with the leadership from Deakin University researchers at Geelong Waterfront. In the context of this project is a recent history: last year, yet another industrial landmark – Ford Engine Plant became “vacant” in Geelong (Victoria, Australia), a city with large and diverse industrial sites. VACANTGeelong is allocating creative and communicative energies to contemplate on memories and urban surroundings in the moment between “vacancy” and the change.

Over the next months, Telematic Café is bound to deliver “telematic communication models” in the form of discussion with the title De-Industrialization and the Materialities of Labour.

How do we understand the labour in the context of the vacancy of industrial spaces? They speak of human desires – progress and advancement of technology. This direction of civilization continues, but the process of de-industrialization signifies that the understanding of labour, productivity and value is transforming.

The project invites local minds to discuss labour not only as something at the service of economic system but as the human resource and cultural feature. The concept of labour suggests materiality.  What are kinds of this materiality and uses of “productivity”? Who benefits?

The process of discussions will be tracked in this blog, including links to audio recordings of live discussions.

Telematic Café is teaming up with VACANTGeelong to become its guest during its OPEN STUDIO on Wednesday 24 May 2017 (discussions from 3pm) at an old industrial space – 10 Baxter street, North Geelong. Here, Part I will be conducted with invited academics, artists and processionals discussing the themes:

Labour of making. Significance of manual, constructive and creative production.

Labour of technology. The role of “post-fordism” – information technologies, communication systems and data.

Project curator: Marita Batna.

VACANTGeelong OPEN STUDIO runs  from 1pm to 5pm 24 May 2017. For more information on VACANTGeelong – contact Dr. Mirjana Lozanovska, Deakin University, mlozanov@deakin.edu.au