Great news! W. Terrence Gordon, author of many McLuhan related books and the editor of the edition of Understanding Media that I am reading, has agreed to do a guest lecture on May 20th (more info to follow). He has just asked me the following question:
From the most recent discussions, do you think there is some aspect of MM’s work that is of particular interest that I could use as a focus for presentation?
This week we will be reading chapters 23-25 of Understanding Media. Chapter 24 is titled: “Games – The Extensions of Man”. So I have asked Kars Alfrink, founder, partner and principal designer at Hubbub to give a short talk about games and McLuhan and engage with us in a further exploration of the the topic.
The conversation will be on Monday, May 6th at 16:00 CET (click here for your own timezone).
We will use Adobe Connect for the session. You can launch Adobe Connect using the following URL:
Hubbub is an international design studio that researches, designs and develops new games and forms of play, to spark social change. They have an incredibly diverse portfolio of game projects that is well worth exploring. Many people in the Netherlands have seen the Playing with Pigs project in the media:
But his other games deserve at least as much attention. Check out the game he designed for the Dutch tax office as a way to engender organization change:
Kars will talk about play and games and how non-institutionalized play is different from institutionalized games. As preparation, it would be good to read a blog post that he wrote after delivering a lecture at the Hide & Seek Weekender last year. It is titled:
He discussed McLuhan tetrads from The Laws of Media and gave us a new way of thinking about media temperature (hot and cold). There was plenty of time for questions. We discussed McLuhan personality, his reception over the years and how best to approach studying his work and applying it to our own work. Mark gave a few references. Below a incomplete list:
JR Dingwall has posted a summary of Understanding Media’s chapter 20 on his blog. I’ve copied the text and image below.
I have only had an opportunity to reflect on this chapter thus far, and will be unable to present my questions on Monday as I have a time conflict.
I find the comparison between photography and its subjects, and brothels intriguing and bothersome. It would seem that the interpretation of photography here is in advertising and the mass media. At the time of writing, the consumption of photography is by the group, but photography can still be produced in the same way the author states writing takes place – within the individual. It also seems that the artistic approach to photography has been overlooked.
What aspects of photography have been overlooked here that divorce photography from being compared to a brothel? (The author does state that before placing value in something it should be examined.)
How is photography understood in different disciplines and mediums? (I would like to hear about how photography is understood in your fields of study. How does it manifest itself, and how has it impacted your field from the transition of the ‘literary man’ to the ‘multimedia man’)
Lastly I have attached a small mind map of things that stuck out to me in this chapter. Perhaps as a follow up activity new topics or missing pieces in existing topics could be suggested.
McLuhan talking about art and culture as big business. This is natural consequence of living in an information age. Education becomes business too. As he says: “There is no longer any gap between the campus and Wallstreet”.