Marshall McLuhan – The Medium is the Me(a)ssage: Art is anything you can get away with
I wouldn’t be seen dead with a living work of art.
According to Marshall McLuhan any anxiety experienced with the complexities of ‘being’ is mostly related to the redundancy of the outdated mental and psychological abilities we are using to make sense of the world. In many ways, certain philosophers and most artists (worth their salt) are exploring the inadequacy and the redundancy of words also. In this wonderful recording, and its accompanying book, the theories are given a greater depth and presented as the art McLuhan believes is the best way to look at the ‘now’ of who we are.
When Marshall McLuhan proposed his idea to create an audio companion piece to his landmark 1967 book The Medium Is The Massage, no one quite knew what to expect. The book itself brilliantly captured McLuhan’s theories on media and technology, arguing that the medium by which information is transferred to people was more important than the actual content being relayed. McLuhan hoped that an audio recording would give greater depth to his theories, and in the late 1960s, he and producer John Simon went to work on a record of the same name. Using audio clips of McLuhan speaking, often interrupted by discordant sounds and other voices interjecting, they created a thought-provoking, sometimes whimsical patchwork of sounds and ideas that illustrated the complex relationship between people, media and technology. Over 40 years since it release, The Medium Is The Massage continues to challenge listeners to think about media and communications in new ways. Five Day Weekend is proud to present the definitive compact disc editions of this rare and important album in a brand dew relsease.
” In the study of ideas, it is necessary to remember
that insistence on hard-headed clarity issues from
sentimental feeling, as it were a mist, cloaking the
perplexities of fact. Insistence on clarity at all
costs is based on sheer superstition as to the mode
in which human intelligence functions. Our reasonings
grasp at straws for premises and float on
gossamers for deductions.”
—A. N. Whitehead, “Adventures in Ideas.
The tracks here are a spliced hotchpotch of McLuhan speaking and various media dumpings intended to give us a condensed idea of what McLuhan is talkin about. We receive information in sound bites, bumper stickers and advertising for advertorials. All of this is accompanied by a funky 60’s track that lulls and seduces you into a comfortable place of acceptance – precisely McLuhan’s point.
an extension of
Media, by altering the environment, evoke in us
unique ratios of sense perceptions. The extension
of any one sense alters the way we think and act—
the way we perceive the world.
I’ll end this post with words from the accompanying booklet – the words of McLuhan himself: