Marshall McLuhan and his students in The Coach House, University of Toronto.

Radical Transdiciplinary Academics: Exploring ‘Explorations’
With Michael Darroch & Janine Marchessault, Graham Larkin

Sunday 5.11.2017, 20:00 — 22:30

Michael Darroch & Janine Marchessault will speak about Marshall McLuhan and the landmark Explorations seminar/think tank and journal (1953-1959) which is on display in the archive section of our exhibition Feedback: Marshall McLuhan and the Arts. In particular, they will focus on the collaboration between McLuhan, the radical anthropologist Edmund Carpenter, and trans-disciplinary urbanist Jacqueline Tyrwhitt with a focus on the innovative experiments that they developed together.

The conversation will address the way their collaborative project to explore media landscapes incorporated research from different disciplines: history, urban planning, psychology, medicine, anthropology, with an expandied understandding of the revlevance of the arts. What were the machinations and cross-overs between disciplines? For example, how was Hans Selye's stress model based on psychobiology (a critical influence whose work was published in the first issue of Explorations) translated into an approach relevant to analyzing the impacts of media on the human sensorium? Marchessault and Darroch co-curated the Explorations section of our exhibition.

Graham Larkin
The Book Arrives Too Late: A Fresh Look at the DEW Line Newsletter I think of art, at its most significant, as a DEW line, a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it.’ Marshall McLuhan in ‘Understanding Media’

Graham Larkin is an art historian, curator, McLuhan scholar and researcher. Larkin has done extensive research into the physical archives of McLuhan's work, exploring and tying together the manuscripts, the physical detritus, the writings and the remnants of his creative process. In addition to his work at the Nation Archives of Canada, Larkin’s research also includes work with McLuhan’s children, and the archives at the University of Toronto. Graham Larkin co-curated the presentation of the DEW-line Newsletter in the exhibition.

Janine Marchessault is author of ‘Ecstatic Worlds: Media, Utopias, Ecologies’ (MIT Press, 2017), ‘Reimagining Cinema: Film at Expo 67’ (MQUP 2014) and ‘Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban’ (MQUP 2014). A public art curator of numerous site specific exhibitions in Toronto, she is a past president of the Film Studies Association of Canada, She is also the co-editor of the forthcoming Oxford ‘Handbook of Canadian Cinema’. Building on her book ‘McLuhan, Cosmic Media’ (Sage 2005), her current projects concern the afterlife of media.

Michael Darroch was Founding Director (2010-16) and is now Co-Director of the ‘IN/TERMINUS’ co-and editor van ‘Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema’ (2007). He co-edited ‘Cartographies of Place: Navigating the Urban (MQUP 2014). His publications engage with issues in urban media cultures, history of media and media studies, borderlands studies, performance, language, sound, and translation.

The presentations will be followed by a conversation between the Canadian academics Michael Darroch, Janine Marchessault and Graham Larkin about Marshall Mcluhan’s radical interest in publication, as part of his methodical experiments in electronic media scholarship.