Film Education

Media: The extensions of man
September 12, 2010, 8:22 am
Filed under: Film Musings | Tags: , , , , ,

Marshall McLuhan

Media: The extensions of man

During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned.

“Understanding Media” By Marshal McLuhan

Belonging to the Electronic Age/Digital Age today and come a long way from the agrarian, industrial societies, how has it affected us as an audience and artist/filmmaker. How do we perceive the world, how do we receive information and how do we process it.
If media is an extension of our senses and therefore of our perceiving the world how has the process of perception changed for the artist/filmmaker today.
If the artist is aware that she/he perceives the world in a different way and is impacted by media in that process of perception, the message(content) in regards to tv and cinema by a sensitive artist will also reflect that change.
Thus ‘The Medium is the Message’ but the ‘Message is also as important as the Medium’ as the message can hold a mirror to the Medium.
Oorvazi Irani
“The Medium is the Message”

(By Dr. Eric McLuhan,

Each medium, independent of the content it mediates, has its own intrinsic effects which are its unique message.

The message of any medium or technology is the change of scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs. The railway did not introduce movement or transportation or wheel or road into human society, but it accelerated and enlarged the scale of previous human functions, creating totally new kinds of cities and new kinds of work and leisure. This happened whether the railway functioned in a tropical or northern environment, and is quite independent of the freight or content of the railway medium. (Understanding Media, N. Y., 1964, p. 8)

What McLuhan writes about the railroad applies with equal validity to the media of print, television, computers and now the Internet. “The medium is the message” because it is the “medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action.” (p. 9)


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Amazing, very different thoughts!

Comment by Agastya Kapoor

So happy you liked my film musing and the different point I wanted to draw attention to!

Comment by oorvazi

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