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On Thursday 6 October a day of panel discussions took place at Watershed exploring McLuhan’s ideas in relation to the current explosion of digital media and looking at what we can learn about the 21st century media landscape by viewing it through McLuhan’s “rear view mirror”.
Recordings of these panel discussions are now available to view at Watershed’s DShed website, follow the links below.
Seminar 1: The Walled Garden
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 (e.g. Facebook and iTunes). This panel debates the phenomenon of the walled garden and how other ‘plants’ may subsist or not in the digital world.
Speakers include: Professor Jon Dovey, Director Of Digital Cultures Research Centre, UWE; Stacey Spiegl, Canadian artist, artistic director, and new media theorist; PhD researcher Sy Taffel and Watershed’s Head of Programme Mark Cosgrove.
Watch the Walled Garden discussion on DShed
Seminar 2: Extension
McLuhan raised the radical idea of emotional extension through new technologies. Social Media have transformed the way we communicate and overthrown the authority of traditional media. Many of the consequences have been unintended and conspicuous in the media milieu, affecting policing, the Judiciary and personal privacy. Videogame play is a vivid example of an everyday and intense extension of the human in and through media technology. In this talk, the panel discuss the effects of media extension with emphasis on gaming, and the behavioural changes that it has created.
Speakers include: digital strategist and producer Rachel Coldicutt; lecturer and writer Seth Giddings; chaired by artist and curator Simon Poulter.
Watch the discussion on Extension on DShed
Seminar 3: Understanding New Media
New Media has changed the way we think about media, with advances in technology making access to content possible on-demand, on any digital device. New media has also blurred the line between those who create, and those who consume content. In this lively discussion, the panel debates the pros and cons of new media, including the disappearance of tactile formats, the function of ‘gatekeepers’, the increasingly narrow gap between producers and audiences, and the positives and negatives of living in a culture that is always ‘on’.
Speakers include: cultural commentator and journalist Paul Morley; digital commissioning and innovation expert Matt Locke; Clare Reddington, Director of Pervasive Media Studio; chaired by McLuhan colleague and curator Ihor Holubizky
Watch the discussion on Understanding New Media on DShed
Event: Paul Morley in Conversation
Music journalist and cultural commentator Paul Morley discusses with artist Simon Poulter the rapidly evolving musical landscape in the context of Marshall McLuhan’s theories, addressing the demise of record shops and the physical medium, the effect the internet has had on commercial consumption of music, and the emergence of hybrid forms in the face of dissolving genre distinctions.
Watch Paul Morley in conversation on DShed