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Counterblast: Marshall McLuhan and the sphere of art

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This article explores the relationship Marshall McLuhan has with the sphere of modern and contemporary art. Some of McLuhan´s concepts (such as probe, artist, medium) are explained following Wyndham Lewis’s view and understanding of the twentieth-century modernism art sphere. McLuhan’s 1954 edition of Counterblast presents itself as a valuable tool for this analysis. The contemporary art scene is quickly analyzed through a contrast between Paul Virilio’s view on contemporary art and some of McLuhan’s comment on the role of art and the artist. The concepts of cliché and archetype are used for this enterprise.
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Keywords: Counterblast; McLuhan; art; cliché; modernism; probe

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Kyoto University of Art and Design

Publication date: March 1, 2016

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  • EME explores the relationships between media, technology, symbolic form, communication, consciousness, and culture. Its scope is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. Media ecology provides a rich philosophical, historical and practical context for studying our increasingly technological and mediated society and culture with an emphasis on historical context.
    Media ecology scholarship emphasizes a humanistic approach to understanding media, communication, and technology, with special emphasis on the ways in which we have been and continue to be shaped and influenced by our inventions and innovation. The Media ecology approach is predicated on understanding that media, symbols, and technologies play a leading role in human affairs, and function as largely invisible environments affecting the way we think, feel, act, and organize ourselves collectively.
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