• Cavell, Richard. McLuhan in Space: A Cultural Geography . Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2002.


“[S]pace occupies the single most consistent conceptual category in the work of Marshall McLuhan. Put another way, space is the notion that connects a multiplicity of elements in McLuhan’s large and diverse oeuvre . McLuhan made constant reference to space throughout his career, and the various dimensions of his thought are articulated through notions of spatial biases, sensations, and modes of production. It was space, furthermore, which anchored the system of ideas that connected McLuhan to artists and theorists with whose work his own is most productively situated.” (xiii)


  • Danielson, Wayne. “Digital McLuhan [review].” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 79.1 (2002): 224-5.

“Levinson’s determination to find prophecy in all of McLuhan’s ideas seems to push theory farther toward theology (Is there a common root in the two words?). To the extent that theory becomes theology it can no longer be disproved, and we are asked to return to a time when theories proved themselves by being merely interesting or provocative.” (224)


  • Gill, Anton. Art Lover: A Biography of Peggy Guggenheim . N.Y.:
    HarperCollins, 2002.

“[T]he last issue of [Guggenheim’s art magazine] View appeared in March 1947, with articles by Marius Bewley, Marshall McLuhan, and Louise Bourgeois’s husband, Robert Goldwater” (346).


  • Houe, Poul. “Communication between Two Ages: Kierkegaard, McLuhan, and Problems of Hermeneutics. Edda: Nordisk Tidsskrift for Litteraturforskning / Scandinavian Journal of Literary Research (Edda) 1 (2002): 22-29.


  • Johnson, Brian. “A Prophet Gets Some Honor.” Maclean’s 115.48 (2002): 66-7.

“The media had their fun with McLuhan, treating him as a perplexing novelty act. But by his death in 1980, he had been discredited in the academic world, which looked askance at his vulgar celebrity. By the ’90s, most of his books were out of print. And now there are university graduates who draw a blank when you mention McLuhan’s name. Others may recall only a couple of catchphrases — ‘the global village’ or ‘the medium is the message.’ McLuhan laid the bedrock of what’s now called media studies, and envisaged the Internet decades before it existed. But his ideas have been so well subsumed by pop culture that we tend to forget where they came from. There’s no mention of McLuhan in Naomi Klein’s No Logo, the best-selling bible of the anti-globalization movement. Yet her notion of the ‘brandscape’ seems inconceivable without his vision of the media as a supersaturated environment.” (66)


  • Lang, Peter. “McLuhan, Perfect People, and the Media Plays of Jean-Claude van Itallie. New Readings in American Drama: Something’s Happening Here. Ed. Norma Jenckes. New York: Peter Lang, 2002.


  • Merrin, William. “Implosion, Simulation, and the Pseudo-Event: A Critique of McLuhan.” Economy and Society 31.3 (2002): 369-90.

“If Baudrillard is indebted, in part, to Boorstin for his critique of McLuhan, how then does this influence and critique develop in his later work? In a 1984 interview Baudrillard says that McLuhan’s is ‘still the best analysis’ of the media (1993a: 87), but this claim is made on the basis of his own ‘more interesting’ reading in which, from an initial defense of McLuhan, ‘one inverts the hypothesis'(1993a: 88), to reverse the effects he describes (1993a: 90). Although there are fewer references to McLuhan in Baudrillard’s later work, he remains acentral influence, especially as Baudrillard comes to foreground the electronic media and technology, but, as always, his critical conclusions are reversed by Baudrillard.” (383)


  • Spigel, Lynn. “Installing the Television Set [1992].” The Everyday Life Reader. Ed. Ben Highmore. London and New York: Routledge, 2002. 325-28.

“Indeed, the ideological harmony between technological utopias and housing utopias created an ideal nesting ground for television’s introduction to the public in the postwar years. Women’s home magazines often displayed television sets in decorative settings which created the illusion of spatial conquests. The set was typically placed in rooms with panoramic window views, or else installed next to globes and colorful maps. The image of television as a ‘global village,’ which media critic Marshall McLuhan spoke of in the 1960s, was already suggested in the popular discourses of the postwar period.” (328)


  • Stevenson, Nick. Understanding Media Cultures: Social Theory and Mass Communication . London: Sage, 2002.


  • Branden W. Joseph, “‘My Mind Split Open’: Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable,”  Grey Room 8 (Summer 2002) 80-107

    89  “Marshall McLuhan … included the Exploding Plastic Inevitable in his popular pictographic [sic] handbook The Medium Is the Massage of 1967. As indicated on the subsequent two-page spread (illustrated with a Roy Lichtenstein-like, comic book ‘BANG’), the EPI represented the ‘auditory space’ of electric media, which, as McLuhan explained, was multidirectional, synaesthetic, and interactive. ‘The ear favors no particular “point of view,”’ McLuhan observed. ‘We are enveloped by sound. It forms a seamless web around us.’”


    90     “Prior to implicating the EPI, the privileged site of McLuhan’s electronic space was television. Although the TV image was flat, the children of the electronic age–sitting, in McLuhan’s descriptions, with a characteristic closeness to the screen–were enveloped by the scanning electrons beamed forth from the cathode-ray tube, ‘bombarded,’ as McLuhan put it, ‘by atoms that reveal the outside as inside in an endless adventure amidst blurred images and mysterious contours.’ Within this all-encompassing, audio- visual environment, the flickering half-presence of television’s (then) low level of resolution was seen to create a ‘mosaic’ that called forth the spectators’ ‘participatory’ in-filling and a synaesthetic, multisensory response. ‘The TV image,’ McLuhan explained in Understanding Media, ‘requires each instant that we “close” the spaces in the mesh by a convulsive sensuous participation that is profoundly kinetic and tactile.’ For McLuhan, the ultimate result of such electronic media was to be both the return to an organically ‘retribalized’ global village—‘where everything happens to everyone at the same time: [and] everyone knows about, and therefore participates in, everything that is happening the moment it happens’–and an equally holistic transformation of the individual into ‘a complex and depth-structured person emotionally aware of his total interdependence with the rest of human society.’”



    91   “McLuhan’s ‘tribal’ imagery sought to naturalize the decade’s thoroughly technological transformations (to such a point, in fact, that The Medium Is the Massage illustrated this idea with Nat Farbman’s photograph of Beschuana villagers from the famous exhibition by Edward Steichen).”


    92  “Without mentioning McLuhan, George Maciunas’s 1966 Expanded Arts Diagram traced the genealogy of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable from International Expositions and World Fairs, to Disneyesque spectacles, to the multiple screen projections of Expanded Cinema, a category headed by the name of Charles Eames. Indeed, in 1964–the year before the Cinematheque’s first ‘Expanded Cinema Festival’–the publication of McLuhan’s Understanding Media would likely have been overshadowed by Charles and Ray Eameses’ Think presentation in the IBM Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. The Eameses’ audience–lifted hydraulically before a vast hemispherical wall of movie and slide projections–was bombarded by information at a pace too rapid to be fully absorbed. More so than television, the Think installation–with its literal mosaic of screens, its fragments of information, and its synaesthetic, or at least multisensory, engagement–exemplified McLuhan’s descriptions of an ‘auditory,’ electronic space.”


    93  “While McLuhan generally presented such an interactive participation as leading to the holism of the global village, the controlling effect of this new mode of distraction was not entirely absent from his discussion.”


    94  “As in the IBM Pavilion, then, the “participatory” closing of an auditory, mosaic space–the individual’s connection of diverse, fragmentary bits of information–actually produces a more active form of suture, an identification with and subjection to the electronic image. ‘Potentially,’ remarked McLuhan, television ‘can transform the Presidency into a monarchic dynasty. A merely elective Presidency scarcely affords the depth of dedication and commitment demanded by the TV form.’” [italics added]


    94   “In a 1964 review of the conflictual, electronic battlegrounds of Naked Lunch and Nova Express, McLuhan’s habitual discourse underwent a highly symptomatic rupture, temporarily drawing back the ideological veil of tribalization to reveal the more nefarious dimensions of this electronic space. Burroughs, he noted, presents ‘a paradigm of a future in which there can be no spectators but only participants. All men are totally involved in the insides of all men. There is no privacy and no private parts. In a world in which we are all ingesting and digesting one another there can be no obscenity or pornography or decency. Such is the law of electric media which stretch the nerves to form a global membrane of enclosure.’ It is certainly a coincidence that Warhol characterized Pop art–in terms that recall McLuhan’s descriptions of television and electronic space–as ‘taking the outside and putting it on the inside or taking the inside and putting it on the outside.’ Yet it is, I would suggest, this dimension of the global village–its spatial and subjective interpenetration–that was modeled by the Exploding Plastic Inevitable. Within it spectators became keenly aware of the subindividual transformations effected by media technologies.”