Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ABC Radio - The McLuhan Project

As in Marshall McLuhan - the godfather of our media-saturated world. He saw it coming way before we became immersed in it. The Australian Broadcast Company has set up a site in his honor, a great collection of resources about him and his life.

Below are some cool parts of the site - and there's much more.

Welcome to the McLuhan Project

This July 21 marks the 100th birthday of the late Marshall McLuhan, Canadian thinker and media visionary who defined the mass media age of television and predicted much of the information revolution that followed.

He coined the phrase 'the global village', declared that 'the medium is the message', and he described what we now realise is the internet, 30 years before it existed.

Yet, McLuhan also warned of an 'age of anxiety' and the loss of privacy in the age of electronic media.

Now, at a time when our work, social and family lives are governed by media and interconnectivity, what can we learn from examining McLuhan's message? And where are we heading in the digital era?

The McLuhan Project is a major series of broadcasts on ABC Radio National and on ABC Digital Radio during the week of this significant centenary.

Beginning on 16 July on ABC Radio National and on the weekend of July 23 and 24 on ABC Digital Radio.

Video from the ABC Archives

Marshall McLuhan

Click on the image to view the video

In June 1977 Marshall McLuhan visited Australia and was a guest on Monday Conference, a live ABC television show hosted by the unflappable Robert Moore. The ABC has recently unearthed this footage, which remained in the archives for 34 years. As you’ll see, many of the ideas debated are just as relevant and contentious today.

Watch the whole interview and other exclusive footage

McKenzie Wark, ABC Radio National McLuhan thinker-in-residence

Associate Professor Ken Wark is an Australian-born culture and media academic now with the New School in New York.

McLuhan caused a sensation in the 60s with his provocative aphorisms on media and spawned a whole school of thought on the study of media forms. 'The medium is the message' as he famously put it.

While McLuhan himself has been consigned to the box marked 'those crazy 60s people', the questions he probed remain with us. How do media come together into a seamless environment? How does immersion in this environment affect the ways we perceive, think and feel? How does a given media form (radio, for example) shape the kind of social life we can lead? Our political institutions? Our relation to the past?

McLuhan's birthday is a great opportunity to think about these questions from a contemporary perspective, but also to revisit McLuhan himself. He turns out to be not quite the crazy 60s guy he remains in popular imagination. He turns out to be a whole lot more interesting.

Timeline EditorLink

ABC Pool Project

Proto media prophet, the late Marshall McLuhan, has been described as an 'alien entity hovering over planet Earth filing mission reports back to his own galaxy', and ABC Pool wants you to pick up his signals and amplify them through today's networks.

We invite you to share YOUR ideas that argue with, extend, prove, update, refresh, or debunk McLuhan’s thinking. Check out the links below for some great insights into McLuhan and his predictions (including his biggest prognostication of all -the internet.)

Add a comment of no more than 140-characters here in the comments, and we'll send the best into the Twittersphere via the Faux McLuhan Twitter account. Don't forget -it has to be 140 characters or less for Faux McLuhan to tweet it. Real McLuhan was a master of the pithy, provocative, seemingly simple and sensational statement so let's give this Faux McLuhan some outrageous ideas that the old guy would be proud of. He also thought that comedy one liners were a new form of humour resulting from the loss of attention span caused by media, so feel free to have fun with this.

Remember, These Days YOU are the Message- and we want you to Tweet Like McLuhan! (Now what's this Twittermajig thingie again?)

If 140 characters doesn't do it for you, upload your thoughts and responses to McLuhan's ideas as text, audio, video or images right here to this project.

You might want to re-purpose this rare Marshall McLuhan archive video we’ve snagged from the ABC vault! (It's pixelated here, proving once again that the 'Media is the Message', but you can download the full quality version.)

Whatever way that you want to contribute to this project, let's get Neuroconnected! Send your contributions down the pipes because we're cooking up some great ways to get your messages heard on ABC Radio during the celebrations for the 100th anniversary of McLuhan's birth. That's on ABC Radio’s special week of programming beginning July 16.

To start things off, we’ve shared this rare ABC archival video of an interview with Marshall McLuhan when he was in Australia during the 1970s.

If you want to find out a bit more about McLuhan, check out this website with a huge collection of videos of the man himself!

And we invite you to Tweet Like McLuhan by adding a 140 character length message here in the comments, and we'll make sure the best get published by Faux McLuhan on Twitter.

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