McLuhan 100 in Toronto – July 18 – 24

Peter Jones Media Ecology

Marshall would have loved it. Please celebrate McLuhan’s 100th birthday recognition around the city next week. CONNECTING THE VISIBLE WITH THE INVISIBLE McLuhan at 100: Programs from the CBC Archives at the Graham Spry Theatre, CBC, provides an introduction to Marshall McLuhan and the MLN Festival. This special program of rare archival films will be played continuously from July 4 to July 29. Open to the public and free of charge, films can be viewed Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at CBC – 250 Front Street West, Toronto. Subway passengers will be confronted by Underground Tarot, a series of clips that appear to be and blend with existing advertisement, while placing blame on everyone and no one – a careful strategy used by American ‘tactical media’ collective Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) for showing in a potentially censorious environment. Commissioned by Sharon Switzer, Digital Content and Programming Curator for Onestop Media Group, Underground Tarot will screen 3 times per 10 minute cycle, all day from July 15 to July 24 on the network of 300 Onestop LCD …

Sustainism & a Neologism Manifesto

Peter Jones Media Ecology, Strategic Foresight

Why are neologisms sometimes effective, and sometimes not? Why do they work when they work? Neologisms are plays on words that coin a new expression, usually as a mashup of ideas in current circulation. They work well because, like sound bites or advertising slogans, they compress the currency of our concerns into a memorable meme that travels between people and across boundaries. They tend to stick, and at their best, help us imagine new possibilities suggested by the mashup or phrase. The term sustainism expresses an ideology of sustainability.  This is one of several turns of phrase in play just today. John Thackara, whose work I admire and advocate, tees up a critique on Design Observer: Ultra Modern. Disclosure: I have not read the book he skewers, Sustainism Is the New Modernism: A Cultural Manifesto for the Sustainist Era But I have the read comments on the review, which is about as third-order as you can get. And I’m intrigued by the reflexive fussiness of language rectitude that spills from the mediasphere. In the spirit of McLuhan, I’m interested in …

Thank You for Sharing

Peter Jones Dialogic Design, Media Ecology, Wu Wei

Michael Brenner proposes Shut Up Wednesdays, and I like this idea. We all talk too much these days. With two huge cohorts of talkers (Boomers + Millenials), “social everything,” and the general anxiety to look good when all is crashing down around us, I find myself overwhelmed by trivial chat. Here’s the key blurb on speechlessness: Never before have we had so many means to communicate. Never before has there been more clatter and clamor. Never before have we communicated less. Especially in our political life. The shrillness of this year’s overwrought electoral campaign is a powerful reminder of the difference. It’s all about feeling rather than thought — either emoting to stimulate the feelings of sympathizers or emoting to grate upon the feelings of enemies. That certainly is true of most Republicans and their Tea Party hit men. Thought and ideas be damned. It’s the primal scream — twisted by fear, anger and confusion. We might all start listening to our own listening. What am I listening for? How can I encourage authentic speech and guide everyday dialogue?How might …

Understanding New Media

Peter Jones Information Ecology, Media Ecology

OCAD and U of Toronto’s Bob Logan has published a new book just in time for 2011’s McLuhan Centenary: Understanding New Media:  Extending Marshall McLuhan From the press release (because I have not yet read it):  Marshall McLuhan made many predictions in his seminal 1964 publication, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. Among them were his predictions of the Internet, the Global Village, making us more interconnected than television; the closing of the gap between consumers and producers; the elimination of space and time as barriers to communication; and the melting of national borders. He is also famously remembered for coining the expression «the medium is the message». These predictions form the genesis of this new volume by Robert Logan, a friend and colleague who worked with McLuhan. In Understanding New Media Logan expertly updates Understanding Media to analyze the new media McLuhan foreshadowed and yet was never able to analyze or experience. The book is designed to reach a new generation of readers as well as appealing to scholars and students who are familiar with Understanding Media. Visit the companion …