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McLuhan's Message at Watershed - 6 October 2011


marshall mcluhan
1000 START

Picnic In Space (running time 28 minutes)
A rare screening of this Bruce Bacon film made in 1967; featuring Marshall McLuhan and Harley Parker. The two men lie on their backs somewhere in a field in Canada - cogitate on film, space, jazz and electronic media - and then participate in a picnic. Screened in full 16mm transfer to VHS and then digitised quality.

The Walled Garden 1100
Prof Jon Dovey [chair]
Stacey Spiegel
Sy Taffel
Mark Cosgrove

McLuhan's sense of the Global Village was not as a Utopian place, but an increasingly tribal site of conflicts. Web 2.0 raises the fundamental issue of 'walled gardens', areas of segregation for commercial purposes (such as Facebook and iTunes). This panel debates the phenomenon of the walled garden and how other plants may subsist or not in the digital world.

Extension - 1200 (NOON)
Rachel Coldicutt [confirmed]
Iain Grant (UWE) [confirmed]
Simon Poulter [chair]

McLuhan raised the radical idea of emotional extension through new technologies. Social Media has transformed the way we communicate and overthrown the authority of traditional media. Much of the consequences have been un-intended and conspicuous in the media milieu, affecting policing, the Judiciary and personal privacy. This panel debates the affects of media extension and the behaviour changes that it has created.

Understanding New Media - 2pm
Paul Morley [confirmed]
Clare Reddington [confirmed]
Ihor Holubizky [chair]
Matt Locke [confirmed]

McLuhan proposed the idea of hot and cold media, as a mean of understanding the effect that radio and television have had on audiences. Over the past decade there have been a multitude of pieces of writing updating hot and cold media in the light of the web revolution. This panel looks at the YouTube self-broadcasting phenomenon, IPTV and the fragmentation of the media-scape at large; assessing the idea that producers and audiences have blurred with the advent of such things as citizen journalism.

Genius Loci - 3.30pm
Performance of new sound artwork by Bernhard Living, experimental composer.
An assemblage of McLuhanisms gleaned from the net and remixed.

Words, Music and Media - 6pm
An interview with music journalist Paul Morley (The Observer, NME)
Simon Poulter interviews Paul Morley, discussing McLuhan, networked culture, Alvin Lucier, music tribes, the demise of record shops and Joy Division.

marshall mcluhan light bulb