Probe the hidden psychic effects of human inventions (words, cars, philosophy, art, cellphones, etc) as extensions of our senses. Marshall McLuhan explored how artists reveal these effects so we can learn to cope with their disservices, and flip them into services. Consider his aphorisms like "We shape our tools then they shape us" and how they can be reinvented. For example, he updated it into "We shape our tools then our tools ape us." McLuhan reworded Robert Browning's "Our reach should exceed our grasp or what is heaven for?" into "Our reach should exceed our grasp or what is a metaphor? (meta for)." Contemplate & reword these: "If it works, it's obsolete." ... "You mean my whole fallacy is wrong." ... "Carefully make plans then do the opposite." ... "The Balinese have no word for art they do everything as well as they can." ... "How about technologies as the collective unconscious and art as the collective unconsciousness?” ... "The artists of our culture, 'the antennae of the race,' have tuned in to the new ground and begun exploring discontinuity and simultaneity." ..."Understanding is not having a point of view."... "Everybody experiences far more than he understands. Yet it is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behavior."
Walter Benjamin recommended "mastery, not of nature itself, but of the relationship between nature and humanity."
McLuhan called his probing process "applied Joyce" examining Finnegans Wake by James Joyce, which must be read outloud with a group of people. Joyce sought epiphanies in everydayness, satirized information overload, and invented language about language with new words like "laughtears" and "feelful thinkamalinks."
"Artists live in the present and write a detailed history of the future." - Wyndham Lewis
"This concern which interests us more than anything else: the blurring of the distinction between art and life." - Marcel Duchamp..."Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius ..."Get your job and your life as mixed up as possible" -?
"Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable" - Banksy
"Art is anything you can get away with." - Andy Warhol...
"Most people don't know what they like, they like what they know." - Igor Stravinsky
"I am a failure, but not a miserable failure" - Frank Zappa.... "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. - Samuel Beckett...."Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill.
"Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don't like - then cultivate it." - Jean Cocteau…
"The goal of the artist is to attempt to sell out, but fail." - Paul Schrader
Moshe Feldenkrais said that it is literally possible to identify a weakness and incorporate it to become a strength. We are normally taught to overcome a weakness. Turn breakdowns into breakthroughs, flip rejection into redirection. …"I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own tastes." -Marcel Duchamp
"I remember the images I filmed.... They have substituted themselves for my memory. They are my memory. I wonder how people remember things who don't film, don't photograph, don't tape. How has mankind managed to remember? I know: it wrote the Bible. The new Bible will be an eternal magnetic tape of a time that will have to reread itself constantly just to know it existed." - Sans Soleil by Chris Marker, who said:“I betrayed Gutenberg for McLuhan long ago.”
"The key is to bring the audience up onto the stage and into the scene with you. It is they who must give you even more than you give them in way of imagination and creative power." - Ruth Draper...“The pressure of experimentation is greater than the fear of embarrassment. That is the essence of art.” - Wolfgang Tillmans....“Art is a lie that tells the truth.” - Pablo Picasso…"The artists that I'm interested in are the ones that make a picture of the times they live in....The eye always craves what it doesn't see." - Marilyn Minter …."Art is confession; art is the secret told. . . . But art is not only the desire to tell one's secret; it is the desire to tell it and hide it at the same time.” - Thorton Wilder …"My task as a poet entails the work of seeing the world without language and then bringing that seeing into language." - Gary Snyder
"I would like to think that the sounds people do hear in a concert could make them more aware of the sounds they hear in the street, or out in the country, or anywhere they may be...I prefer laughter to tears." - John Cage
"Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain
"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others." - Martha Graham
"The real secret of life - to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. Instead of calling it work, realize it is play." - Alan Watts... "Bob Fosse's dancers seemed as if they were playing at dancing more than actually dancing." - Sam Wasson...
"Who can tell the dancer from the dance?" - W.B. Yeats
“Objects are unobservable. Only relationships among objects are observable. So if you think that the question, ‘Will we ever learn?’ implies a goal, a particular point and time we will arrive at, a particular object, we will never know that. Because objects like that do not exist, only relationships among objects exist. It is like asking, ‘Will there ever be silence?’ It's like, ‘Will you ever die?’ Well, you'll never know because to be dead is a specific experience that seems to imply isolation which could not be known. Because nothing exists in isolation, you will never experience death. You will only experience those things that involve relationships. The end point of time, death, cannot be experienced because it's not a relationship among events." - Robert Dobbs
Marshall McLuhan’s Tetrad: 1) What does it enhance or intensify? 2) What does it render obsolete or replace? 3) What does it bring back that was previously obsolesced? 4) What does it become when pressed to an extreme, what does it flip into? We are probing the psychic and social effects of the environments created by the invention. Every invention (from philosophy to cellphones) generates environments that provide services and disservices, and none of them reflect how the invention was originally intended to be used (= its content). For example, the CAR: ENH= private mobility, OBS=horse & buggy, RET=knight in shining armor, REV=bomb, home, traffic jam