- McLuhan Program
- Monday Night Seminars
Nov. 6, 2011
The Messiah with the Right Credentials, 1990/2011, by Vera Frenkel
Time: Nov 5-13, once every 10 minutes all day each day on 300 screens located on 60 platforms, throughout Toronto’s subway system.
Location: Toronto subway platforms throughout Toronto
Cost: Free with TTC Admission
‘The Messiah with the Right Credentials,’ the most recent work in Frenkel’s ongoing Messiah Project, traces the collusive connections between consumerism, fundamentalism and romance. Interwoven modes of narrative and representation, from handwriting to American Sign Language reveal, through distilled texts and compelling images, the psychic engines of the culture. The media projects of Governor General and Bell Canada Awards laureate Vera Frenkel include String Games: Improvisations for Inter-City Video (Montréal-Toronto, 1974), currently on view at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre; Messiah Speaking, a computer animation for London’s Piccadilly Circus; “… from the Transit Bar”, a six-channel videodisk project and functional piano-bar, documenta IX, Kassel, and the photo-video-text project Body Missing installed in the tunnels under the city of Linz, Austria. The Blue Train, her newest video and mobile devices project, is now in production for Archival Dialogues, the Ryerson Gallery inaugural exhibition, Toronto.
Marshall McLuhan: Sound, Space, Music, and Acoustic Ecology
Time: Bar opens at 2:30, discussion 3-5pm, reception follows
Location: Arts and Letters Club, 14 Elm Street, Toronto
Cost: $12; students $8; Reservations required: email@example.com or 416-597-0223;
McLuhan (1911-1980) was Canada’s most famous and controversial communications scholar and one of the Club’s most distinguished members. We celebrate the centenary year of his birth with a panel of McLuhan experts, discussing “Marshall McLuhan: Sound, Space, Music, and Acoustic Ecology”
- Donald Gilles (Chair), Communication and Culture, Ryerson University
- Phil Rose, Department of Communication Studies, York University
- Lewis Kaye, Department of Communications Studies, Wilfrid Laurier University
- Jay Alan Hodgson, Department of Music, University of Western Ontario
- B.W. Powe, Department of English, York University
- Eric McLuhan (Respondent), Harris Institute for the Arts
Everything That Is Solid Melts Into Air
Time: Nov 7-10, Noon to 4pm
Location: The Coach House Institute, 39a Queen’s Park Crescent (in the parking lot behind 39 Queen’s Park Crescent), Toronto
This installation borrows its title from a sentence from the Communist Manifesto, and delves into the idea of commodity fetishism applied to the production of oil in Nigeria and its subsequent speculative use in North America. Consisting of a two-channel synchronised video installation, each screen depicts one of the two factions struggling for control of the precious good. On one screen we find the Nigerian guerrillas that seek to alleviate the misery of the region by redistributing the oil resources by all means necessary. The opposing screen shows the theatricality of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the largest exchange of futures and derivatives, where corporations trade goods that don’t even exist yet. That removal of the material stuff -absent from both the land where it comes from and trade where is exchanged- is what Boulos means by ‘melting into air’, the path to metaphysical qualities. The two facing screens, which portray such polarised but inextricable realities, build a dialectic and hypnotic space for thought.
Robert Bean: 273@345 (brushing information against information)
Time: Exhibition OPENING RECEPTION Friday November 4, 2011, 6 – 9 PM (The artist will be in attendance);
Run: November 5 – December 3, 2011; Gallery Hours: Saturdays, 12:00 noon – 5:00 p.m., or by appointment (please don’t hesitate)
Location: Circuit Gallery at Gallery 345 – 345 Sorauren Avenue, Toronto, Canada
Circuit Gallery is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Canadian Artist Robert Bean exploring the relationship between John Cage and Marshall McLuhan. This exhibition considers the influential relationship that Marshall McLuhan and the composer John Cage shared during their lives. Through the use of sound, images of artifacts, archives and experimental scores, the installation presents an exploration of inscription and technology by “brushing information against information”. John Cage makes continuous reference to McLuhan’s ideas in his essays, interviews and mesostics. In particular, he frequently quotes McLuhan’s observation that in the electronic age, our primary occupation is information-gathering and “brushing information against information”. McLuhan anticipated the transition from anxiety to boredom in the cultural evolution of electronic media and information technology. Observing the transition from content to pattern as well as the non-linear destructuring of reception inherent to electronic technologies, McLuhan perceived an anaesthetic or numbing influence on the human senses. Referencing the Distant Early Warning radar technologies (DEW) deployed during the Cold War, McLuhan described art and artists as a cultural “early warning system”. John Cage, attentive to McLuhan’s observation that the human nervous system is extended beyond the body by electronic media, endeavored to expand and accentuate human sensorial experience is his experimental and optimistic approach to sound, performance and technology. Artist Bio: Robert Bean is an artist, writer and teacher living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is currently a Professor at NSCAD University. Bean has exhibited his work in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Europe, South America and New Zealand. He is represented by Circuit Gallery (Toronto) (www.circuitgallery.com)
November 5 – 13, 2011
An international video billboard art project at the corner of Yonge and Edward, featuring 8-second video and text pieces by Steve Lambert (USA), Kelly Mark (Canada), onformative (Germany), Kelly Richardson (UK), and Ron Terada (Canada). Curated by Sharon Switzer. The Pattison digital video billboard is located on the roof at 322 Yonge St, Toronto.
“The artist is the person who invents the means to bridge between biological inheritance and the environments created by technological innovation.” Marshall McLuhan, Laws of Media
Fragments of RGB, 2010/11
November 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 2011
onformative, founded by Julia Laub and Cedric Kiefer is a berlin based design studio specializing in generative art and design solutions covering various types of media and topics.
CLOSE YOUR EYES AND IMAGINE…, 2011
November 5, 6, 8, 12, 13, 2011
Steve Lambert has made art in public spaces since 1998. For Steve, art is a bridge that connects uncommon, idealistic, or even radical ideas with everyday life.
November 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 2011
Ron Terada lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. Recent one-person exhibitions include Being There, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2011), Jack, Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver
(2011), Who I Think I Am , Hayward Gallery, London (2010).
The Erudition, 2010/11
November 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 2011
Kelly Richardson’s work has exhibited in numerous museums and venues internationally including the Sundance Film Festival in both 2009 and again in 2011, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Art Gallery of Ontario and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.
EVERYTHING / SOME THINGS / NOTHING, 2011
November 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 2011
Toronto-based Kelly has exhibited widely across Canada, and internationally at venues including the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), The Power Plant (Toronto), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Muse d’Art Contemporain (Montreal), Bass Museum (Miami), Ikon Gallery (UK), and the Netwerk Centre for Contemporary Art (Belgium).
The Eyes That Stopped the Train
Time: Nov 5-19
Location: Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCADU) – the corridor leading to the auditorium. 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
The Eyes that Stop the Train questions the time of moving image technologies vis a vis physical space as a train takes the viewer on an ever looping trip between two unseen places. This work raises questions about the ontology of the moving image and the relationship between the corporeality of the viewer and the media (moving-image) technology in the spirit of McLuhan’s questioning of the cognitive enframing the medium presents. Through this work, the artist brings this issue to the experiential enactment of the moving image, exploring the boundaries between viewer and medium.
CBC Radio presents Demystifying McLuhan
Demystifying McLuhan will engage you with McLuhan’s ideas through a series of puzzles and creative projects. Work your way through a jumble of McLuhan quotes, then use audio and visual materials from the CBC Archives to remix, rework and recreate McLuhan’s message. Opens October 24th! URL: www.cbc.ca/mcluhan.
Models For Taking Part
Time: Nov 5, and 7-10, Noon to 5pm
Gallery Hours: Monday – Wednesday & Friday 11 am to 5 pm; Thursday 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday – Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm
Location: Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto
Presented in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Marshall McLuhan’s birth, the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery’s fall program takes as its point of departure McLuhan’s observation that, in the electronic age, information integration would cause people to be ever more involved in each other’s lives, collapsing any easy distinction between what is felt to be near or far. Increasingly, artists are examining this pervasively mediated environment, the nature of our involvement in it, and the possibilities and nature of participation in the public sphere.
Models for Taking Part assembles media works by international artists Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkacova (b. Slovakia and Romania), Bouchra Khalili (b. Morocco), Renzo Martens (b. the Netherlands), Tobias Zielony (b. Germany), and Artur Zmijewski (b. Poland). The artists’ provocative works critically interpret the public sphere as both an idea and ideal that intersects uneasily with factional and even personal interests. The exhibition presents models of participation in which the idealized marriage between democracy and the public sphere becomes fraught with incongruity, at times appearing unsustainable.
Juan A. Gaitán is a curator currently working at Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The exhibitions and programs of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery are generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. The Gallery is wheelchair accessible. Produced with assistance from the Toronto Arts Council and the British Columbia Arts Council Touring Initiatives. The exhibition continues until December 11. For more information call Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, 416-978-8398;www.jmbgallery.ca
McLuhan at the NFB
Time: Guided Viewing Station Hours: Noon-7pm Tues-Thurs; Noon-10pm Thurs-Sat; Sun Noon-5pm
Location: Guided Viewing Stations, main floor, 150 John Street, Toronto
Visitors to NFB can also pick from a guided viewing list for the viewing stations that include the following films:
McLuhan’s Wake (2002)
Fascinated by the role technology played in transforming our lives, one of the twentieth century’s most famous intellectuals realized, with stunning accuracy, the impact the digital age would have on our social, spiritual, economic and ideological selves. ‘The global village’ and ‘the medium is the message’ are among the most quoted phrases of our time. Few people grasped the enormity of his ideas, however, and over the course of the following decades his work was largely ignored by academia and the public. Now, twenty years after his death, in the midst of an era of Internet, virtual and wired technologies, McLuhan’s Wake explores the enduring hold of McLuhan’s message. Blending all forms of media, including animation and special effects, McLuhan’s Wake is a visually dazzling and poetic film, with narration by renowned performance artist Laurie Anderson, and commentary by scholars Eric McLuhan, Neil Postman, Lewis Lapham and journalist Patrick Watson.
Zulu Time (1999)
Best known as the amicable Director of the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology at the University of Toronto, Derrick de Kerckhove is at the core of a world think-tank dedicated to probing the rapid changes of our global village. The documentary Zulu Time follows this “wired man” in his globe-trotting career as media prophet and probes into some of the most fascinating questions confronting us in our new electronic galaxy. As the spiritual inheritor of McLuhan’s thought, de Kerckhove lives in perpetual oscillation between himself and his double, Marshall McLuhan, with whom he has become publicly identified and virtually assimilated.
What the Hell’s Going On Up There (1979)
A disgruntled Uncle Sam complains that nobody listens to him anymore, and what’s more, he doesn’t even know what’s going on up there. “I thought we were living on the top floor,” he mutters. He expedites the ubiquitous Marshall Efron on a fact-finding mission north of the border. Part satire, part serious, this film sets out to package Canada for American consumption, with some of the clichés thrown in. Contrasting with the decidedly lighter side of the film are interviews with well-known Canadians such as Marshall McLuhan, Mordecai Richler, Margaret Atwood, John Kenneth Galbraith, Raoul Duguay, and Pierre Bourgault.
Almost Real focuses on a few individuals for whom the Internet has become a lifeline, a way to connect with like-minded souls in surprising ways. The early promise of the Internet could never have predicted people like these: a cyber punk based on an anti-aircraft rig in the English Channel who operates the world’s first rogue Web server, a monk developing “wireless prayer technology,” and a “gamer” who re-creates himself in an online game. Even traditional concepts of school, marriage and retirement are mutating: a disillusioned eight-year-old opts in favour of home-schooling, a retired couple moves into an Internet-controlled seniors’ complex, and a recent divorcée exchanges vows online with a man she has never met. With insightful commentary by sci-fi writer William Gibson, virtual reality creator Jaron Lanier and ‘post-national’ writer Pico Iyer, Almost Real is a snapshot of the end of the first phase of the Internet–a far less utopian age than some had hoped.
Time: Nov. 2-13; Gallery Hours: Wed-Sun . 1-6pm
Location: Gallery 1313, 1313 Queen St. West, Toronto
Gallery 1313 is pleased to present, THE MESSAGE, an exhibition of new media artists who explore the effects of technology on popular culture and society. The exhibition is also a celebration of the legacy of Marshall McLuhan. The exhibition was curated by Gallery Director, Phil Anderson and is sponsored by Highland Park Scotch. We would like to thank Highland Park Scotch for their generous support. There will a mix of installation, video works and photo based works. The exhibition will take place in the Main and Process Galleries. Panel discussion Nov. 9, at 7pm on the future and effects of technology in artistic practise and society in general. More details can be found at www.g1313.org along with the roster of panelists.
Medium Massage 2.0 :: an infinite inventory
Time: November 5th – December 3rd, 2011, opening reception, November 5th, 2 – 5pm
Location: Contact Gallery, 80 Spadina Ave, Suite 310, Toronto
Featured Artists: Kate Armstrong, Myfanwy Ashmore, Jeremy Bailey, David Jhave Johnston, Martine Neddam, Rafaël Rozendaal, Cheryl Sourkes, Donna Szoke, KD Thornton
“All media are extensions of some human faculty – psychic or physical”
The Medium is The Massage, Marshall McLuhan p 26
Medium_Massage 2.0 :: an infinite inventory is a net-based exhibition inspired by Marshall McLuhan and graphic designer Quentin Fiore’s collaborative book The Medium is the Massage. Published in 1967 in an experimental format that fused Fiore’s engaging graphic style and visual language with McLuhan’s text, The Medium is the Massage introduced McLuhan’s theories of media and communications technology to a mass audience. With 2011 being the centennial of Marshall McLuhan’s birth, and 20 years since the development of the first webpage, how are McLuhan’s prophetic theories reflected by a generation of media artists immersed in the networked medium and cultural shift that he predicted back in the 60′s? The exhibition includes a new expanded version of The Medium is the Massage matched with compositionally similar images using google algorithms; a sorrybot that gives a unique apology to every citizen on earth; new web software that re-invents the way artists communicate with the media; an archeological examination of 8 bit-graphic images and obsolescent media through daily floppy disc mining; and more!
Curated by Michael Alstad, Medium_Massage 2.0 is presented by Year Zero One in conjunction with the McLuhan100 Festival. A selection of Medium_Massage 2.0 artists will crossover from a virtual to a gallery medium at the Contact Gallery in Toronto. Contact Gallery http://scotiabankcontactphoto.com/contactgallery. YZO gratefully acknowledges the support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council for their generous support of Medium_Massage 2
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With TV, came the icon, the inclusive image, the inclusive political posture or stance.— Marshall McLuhan