Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Intensive Space: McLuhan

What is better than Alice in Wonderland --- is Alice in a media archaeological context, as in this quote from Marshall McLuhan. McLuhan is able to put into one paragraph the intertwinings of new worlds that the 19th century new media and science worlds introduced, and the literary hallucinations of Lewis Carroll...the new intensive, dynamic material-spatialities... (part of my interest to extend media archaeologically "new materialist" debates as part of the 19th century birth of modern media cultures):

“There is no longer any tendency to speak of electricity as ‘contained’ in anything. Painters have long known that objects are not contained in space, but that they generate their own spaces. It was the dawning awareness of this in the mathematical world a century ago that enabled Lewis Carroll , the Oxford mathematician, to contrive Alice in Wonderland, in which times and spaces are neither uniform nor continuous, as they had seemed to be since the arrival of Renaissance perspective.” (McLuhan, Understanding Media, McGraw Hill book company, New York, 1964, p.348)

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